This traditional Mexican pozole recipe is made with tender pork and hominy and simmered in the most delicious chile broth, then piled high with your favorite fresh toppings. Crock-Pot and Instant Pot options included in the notes below.
- 2 ounces dried ancho chiles
- 2 ounces dried guajillo chiles
- 2 to 3 chiles de arbol (optional*)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder*, cut into 1.5-inch cubes
- 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 7 to 8 cups chicken stock
- 3 (15-ounce) cans hominy, rinsed and drained
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
- optional toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, crumbled cotija cheese, diced avocado, fresh lime wedges, shredded cabbage, Mexican crema, and/or thinly-sliced radishes
- Make the chile sauce. Cut off and discard the stems of the ancho chiles, guajillo chiles and chiles de arbol. Then shake out and discard their seeds. Briefly toast the chiles over an open gas flame (or you can press them into a hot stockpot over medium-high heat) for a few seconds per side until fragrant. Transfer all of the chiles in a heat-safe mixing bowl and cover them completely with boiling water. Let the chiles soak for about 30 minutes or until softened. Carefully use tongs to transfer the chiles to a blender or food processor, along with 2 cups of their soaking liquid. Puree for 1 minute or until completely smooth. (As always when blending hot liquids, be sure to tent the cap on the blender lid slightly open so that any hot air can escape while blender.) Set the chile sauce aside for later.
- Brown the pork. While the chiles are soaking, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the pork and sauté, rotating the pieces every few minutes, until all sides are seared and lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer the pork to a clean plate and set aside.
- Sauté the veggies. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the same stockpot. Add the diced onion, and sauté for 4-5 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes more until fragrant, stirring frequently.
- Combine and simmer. Add in the 7 cups of the chicken stock, hominy, bay leaves, cumin, oregano, cooked pork, and the puréed chile sauce and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a very low simmer, cover, and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the pork is tender and shreds easily.
- Shred the pork. Once the pork is tender, use tongs to transfer it to a cutting board and shred it into bite-sized pieces using two forks. Return the pork to the soup and stir to combine.
- Season. If the broth is too thick for your liking, feel free to add in 1 more cup of chicken stock to thin it out. Stir, taste, and season the soup with salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve. Serve hot, garnished with lots of your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
Chiles de árbol: These chiles are significantly spicier than the guajillo and ancho chiles. So if you prefer a milder soup, feel free to make the chile mixture without them. You can always add some to the broth later if decide that you would like to add some extra heat. (In which case, just add them whole to the broth, simmer, and discard before serving.)
Crock-Pot Pozole Instructions: To make slow cooker pozole, follow Step 1 above to make the chili mixture in a blender or food processor. Add the chili paste and all of the remaining ingredients (excluding toppings) to a large slow cooker. Cover and cook for either 6-8 hours on low, or 4-5 hours on high, until the pork shreds easily with a fork. Then follow Steps 5-7 to complete the recipe.
Instant Pot Pozole Instructions: To make pressure cooker pozole, follow Step 1 above to make the chili mixture in a blender or food processor. Add the chili paste and all of the remaining ingredients (excluding toppings) to the bowl of an Instant Pot. Cover and pressure cook on high for 30 minutes, followed by a quick release. Then follow Steps 5-7 to complete the recipe.