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A traditional Mexican pozole as printed in our local newspaper today. The preparation time includes the overnight soaking of the peppers. Nixtamal is dried corn cooked with food-grade lime until it can be hulled. The softened, cooked corn can then be ground into masa for tortillas or tamales. Or it is left whole and cooked further to make pozole by putting the corn into a pot, adding water, and simmering until the kernels "pop" open. Canned hominy may be substituted, but since it's processed slightly differently the flavor isn't quite identical. Mexican-style canned hominy brands such as Juanita's and El Mexicano are processed in the traditional manner. Cooking time may be reduced if canned hominy is used. Supermarkets that stock Latino foods usually carry both canned Mexican-style hominy and fresh nixtamal, which is usually packed in 2 to 5 pound bags and found in the refrigerated section. it's also available at most tortillerias.
- 12 -16 dried cascabel chiles
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 (2 lb) package nixtamal (canned hominy may be substituted if nixtamal is unavailable)
- 6 quarts water
- 3 medium onions, divided
- 1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
- 3 lbs plum tomatoes
- 3 lbs pork, for pozole or 3 lbs pork stew meat
- 3 tablespoons salt (or to taste)
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 1 bunch radish, trimmed and sliced
- 1⁄3-1⁄2 cup dried oregano
- ground dried chile, piquin or other hot chili pepper, crushed
- 10 -12 limes, cut into wedges
- 1 (8 count) package whole crisp corn tortillas (used for tostadas)
- Cut open cascabel chiles and remove seeds.
- Heat oil in small skillet over low heat; add chiles and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Place in bowl, cover with water and soak overnight.
- Before using, drain chiles and discard water; remove stems and remaining seeds.
- Place nixtamal in colander and rinse thoroughly.
- Place in Dutch oven or heavy lidded pot and add water.
- Slice one onion and add to pot with garlic cloves.
- Bring mixture to boil, cover and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours.
- While the corn is simmering, place tomatoes in pan of boiling water and cook 2 minutes.
- Drain and allow to cool, then slip the skins off.
- Place peeled tomatoes and chiles in blender,puree and set aside.
- Remove excess fat from pork and cut into large chunks.
- When nixtamal has cooked 1 1/2 hours, add pork, tomato-chile mixture and salt.
- Cover and simmer gently another 1 1/2 hours.
- Chop two remaining onions.
- To serve, ladle pozole into large soup bowls.
- Arrange lettuce, serrano chiles, lime wedges and oregano in separate bowls, and crisp tortillas in basket or bowl.
- Add garnishes to pozole and squeeze in lime juice as desired, serve with tortillas.