Hermana Rosita’s Authentic Pozole

One of the major reasons we keep our friend Nicole around is because she frequently brings us totally authentic Mexican food that induces eye-rolling, finger-licking, and inarticulate noises of deep bliss. Nicole showed up at our door last night with a huge pot of Pozole (pronounced “poh-SOH-lay”). We had somehow managed to attain our current station in life without having ever eaten pozole. I don’t know how to explain that sad omission, but we are working to correct our negligence now.pozole.jpg

Pozole, according to Nicole, is the quintessential Mexican comfort food. Not comfort food, as in tuna casserole. Comfort food as in fried chicken, sweet potato pie, or Thanksgiving Dinner. Pozole is something that Mexican mamas make for their kids when they are sick. It’s also the thing that you MUST have for Christmas Eve dinner, or Thanksgiving (here in the States), or other holidays. Everyone loves it, and eagerly wangles invitations for dinner if they know you are serving it.

Nicole tells me that pozole has as many variations as there are grandmothers in Mexico, and there are especially pronounced regional differences, depending on what part of Mexico the cook hails from. This version is a red pozole, and comes from Hermana Rosita, who came from the Gulf state of Veracruz, and now lives here in Minnesota.



  • 3-5 guajillo chiles (dried, long, dark red chiles that come in packages in the Mexican/bulk spices aisle)
  • 1 head garlic, all cloves peeled
  • 1/2 to 3/4 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • corn or safflower oil
  • 2 large (#10–I mean REALLY large!) cans hominy
  • 3 leaves hoja de aguacate (leaves of avocado, available at Mexican markets)
  • 2-4 TBSP salt
  • 1-2 pounds chicken legs or thighs, or pork

Boil the chiles in enough water to almost cover them, until chiles are soft. Drain. In a blender, blend chiles, a cup or 2 of water, garlic, and onion (reserve a few strips of raw onion for later.)

In a large stockpot, pour in enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot, plus a bit more. Heat over medium heat. When oil starts to smoke, throw in a few strips of onion, and stir until burnt, to flavor the oil. Discard the onion strips.

Pour the chile/onion/garlic mixture through a colander into the stockpot. This strains out a spongy/chunky mass. Use a spoon to press all the liquid out.

Bring the liquid to a boil, stirring constantly.

Add the cans of hominy. Add water–enough to cover, plus a bit more (if you use the hominy cans to measure out the water, it will be about 1 1/2 to 2 cans. You are aiming for the consistency of vegetable soup, not chili.) Add 3 larger leaves of hoja de aguacate (avocado leaves.) Add salt.

Add raw chicken pieces (leave bones in, but remove skin first.)

Bring to a boil, and let cook until the chicken is just done.

Let the soup rest, then reheat.

Serve with the following (people add these things in quantities as they wish):

  • A large heap of finely shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Diced radishes.
  • Sliced avocadoes
  • Quartered limes to squeeze over the soup
  • Crunch tostada shells or tortilla chips
  • For those who like more spice, sliced serrano chiles.
  • Not sure if this is authentic, but we also drizzled in Mexican crema and sprinkled chopped cilantro over the top.
  • If you make this with pork instead of chicken, then you serve it with oregano and fresh chopped onions.

This is a soup that gets better each time you heat it up. It hits its peak of flavor the day after it’s made. It is a FABULOUS thing to serve when you have a big crowd. You can double the recipe, and feed 20 or more people!


10 thoughts on “Hermana Rosita’s Authentic Pozole

  1. Pozole was one of the foods my mom made for us while we were home in MN Homiy and those big bags of round, flat tostada “shells”, like a flat taco shell, only more flavor! And with “salsa Buffalo”. We lived in central Mexico, pork or chicken is most common there. We all love it. And only once has a guest turned down a second helping. In our region, you mounded on the raw veggies over your hot soup. People in the states always think it is wierd to put salad into your soup, but like I said, they always love it in the end. Wish I could get the stuff to make it here in Poland.

  2. Hi Spring! Maybe next year you can come over and have pozole at my house the night before Christmas Eve. I’ve decided that that’s the night I’m going to make it, since Christmas Eve is traditionally homemade pizza for us. And Christmas Day, at least this year, is going to be salmon and crab legs–mmmm!


  3. I liked this post very much.

    I am a Spanish teacher in Las Vegas and I thought I could introduce my learners to Mexican culture by presenting one of our home-cooking staples: Pozole!

    I would love to present your post in my class and also teach imperatives by showing them your recipe for Pozole.

    May I?

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  6. You wont believe how hard it is to find a good authentic recipe. There are so many ways to make it. i am definitley trying this one. let you know how it turns out =) so cal

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  9. Posole, like many Mexican foods, doesn’t always require specifically measured out ingredients. However, I think this recipe uses too much water/hominy. I follow this recipe more or less (with pork chops, omitting avocado leaves) and use one of the smaller hominy cans (29oz). Another thing to note is that if you cook this for a very long time you need to periodically add more liquid to keep the consistency of a vegetable soup (not to mention enough servings). Every time I need to add a few cups of water to the pot I also add about half a tablespoon of Knorr Caldo de Pollo powder (chicken bouillion). This way I’m not watering down or affecting the flavor too much.

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