New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment and chiles. Walking through downtown Santa Fe, you won’t be able to go a single block without seeing the strings of red chile ristras displayed in doorways, windows and walkways. They serve as an iconic decoration that represents a vital part of New Mexico’s economy and are known to bring good luck and health. And of course they are used in New Mexico’s fusion cuisine.
With its rich and unique culture, New Mexican cuisine is not like any other. It is an amalgamation of Pueblo Native American, Hispano Spanish and Mexican cultures, resulting in a distinctive and robust flavors.
Inspired by my time in America’s southwest, today I’ve put together a recipe and video tutorial (below the instructions) for Pozole Rojo, which is traditional Mexican soup made with pork ( you can substitute chicken), hominy and red chiles.
While full with flavor, the broth itself is meant to be on the thinner side so you can garnish it with a healthy dose of shredded cabbage, cilantro, onions, radishes, avocado, lime and tortilla chips!
Stay tuned for a blog post highlighting all of the restaurants and National Parks my wife and I visited during our ten day road trip and let me know what you think of the Pozole Rojo!
While bringing two quarts of water to a boil, remove the stem and seeds from the guajillo chiles. In a separate pan, dry roast the chiles lightly but do not burn. Add chilies to the pot with the water, turn off the heat and let them soak for twenty five minutes.
While the chiles are soaking, cut the rack of ribs in half. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over high heat. Sear the pork on both sides then lower the heat and add four smashed garlic cloves, dried oregano and cumin.
Blend the chilies with three cups of the soaking liquid from the pot along with the remaining garlic cloves. Pour over the pork along with enough water to cover the bones. Add one teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for two and a half hours.
Gather your garnishes while the pozole is cooking. Arrange your sliced radish, chopped green onions, cabbage, lime wedges, cilantro and tostadas on a large plate. Make it easy for your guests to top their pozole with the garnishes that they like.
Stir before serving. Some of the meat will be falling off of the bone, but I like to leave it up to the guest when it comes to whether they want the ribs in the soup or not. Top your soup with all of the toppings mentioned in step four and a little squeeze of lime. I love to crumble the tostada on top and mix everything together.
You may substitute chicken for the pork, just make sure to use bone-in chicken pieces to create a depth of flavor.