The weekend was upon us and I noticed the can of maiz pozolero(hominy) and it just had to be pozole! I had all of the other ingredients, minus the radishes, but that was an easy fix. Pozole, in my opinion, is one of the more simple and easy of the Mexican soup recipes. It can be prepared with pork, chicken, beef and even shrimp! And it can also be finished in a green chile broth or white (no chile) if the red chile is not your favorite already. The dried chile most often used for preparing pozole is the guajillo pepper. It is mild in flavor and yields a nice red color when rehydrated. Another cut of beef that works well in soups or stews is beef hind shanks. That is my favorite for Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef and Vegetable Soup).
- 2 ½-3 pounds beef short ribs or beef hind shanks
- 1 medium onion quartered
- 1 whole head of garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 carrot sliced
- 1 stalk of celery sliced
- 1 serrano sliced open
- handful of cilantro
- salt to taste
- 10 peppercorns
- 6 chile guajillo stems and seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon of Mexican oregano
- 4 cups maiz pozolero hominy
- cabbage shredded
- radishes sliced
- onion diced
- lemons wedges
- crushed chile piquin or red pepper flakes
- To a large pot, add the beef ribs or hind shank, onion, garlic, bay leaves, carrot, celery and peppercorns. Fill with water, at least 3 inches above meat. Season with salt, to taste. Add the cilantro. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 -2 hours or until meat is tender. Skim the foam off the top as it cooks.
- While the beef is cooking, preheat a skillet or comal to medium heat. Once hot, place the chile guajillo onto hot surface. Toast 1 or two at a time so they don't burn on you. Using a metal spatula, gently press down to speed up the toasting process. Toast for just a few seconds per side. They should change in color, slightly and become aromatic. Remove from heat and transfer to a pan of simmering water. Cook for 10 minutes. Let steep for another 10 minutes.
- Drain the water from the chile guajillos and transfer the chile to the blender. Add 2 cups of fresh water, pinch of oregano and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth. Set aside.
- Remove all of the solids from the soup, minus the beef ribs. Strain the chile sauce through a wire mesh strainer directly into the soup. Add in 1 1/2 full teaspoons of Mexican oregano. Bring to a boil. Add the hominy and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for another 30 minutes. Taste for salt. Serve into large bowls, adding 2 ribs per bowl. Garnish to your liking. Yields 4 hearty servings or 6-smaller servings.
The best cuts of beef for these types of recipes is one with good marbling. A little fat adds extra flavor!