Mar 29, 2017

Pork Pozole Verde

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
This Mexican soup has a spicy base featuring tomatillos, jalapeños and poblano peppers and also includes hominy and tender pork shoulder.

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Pork pozole verde is a Mexican stew with a spicy base featuring tomatillos, jalapeños and poblano peppers and also includes hominy and tender pork shoulder. The soup is served hot with various topping options such as cilantro, cotija cheese, sliced jalapeño, radish, avocado, shredded cabbage, crispy tostadas (or tortilla chips). The accompaniments can be adjusted according to preference.

Pork Pozole Verde

More About Pozole

There are three different types of pozole, green, red or white. Green or verde, like this recipe features a tomatillo sauce. Rojo or red pozole is made with a combination of Guajillo and ancho chilies which give it a bright red flavor. White pozole is made without a chili sauce for a more delicate stew.

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Hominy – Hominy is a chewy, puffy version of corn and is made from dry corn kernels that are then treated with a lye or lime solution to soften the outer shell. They add texture and a nutty corn flavor to the soup.
  • Pork shoulder –  This cut can be referred to as the pork shoulder, picnic shoulder or picnic ham. Because this cut gets a lot of work, it is a very muscle-heavy cut, making it ideal for simmering or braising. Slowly cooking the meat at a low temperature helps to break down the tough meat, resulting in tender, succulent pork. 
  • Tomatillo – Tomatillos grow with a thin, papery husk on the outside which can be easily removed. They look similar to smaller green tomatoes (their name translates in Spanish to little tomato) though they have a more acidic flavor and denser texture than green tomatoes.
  • Chicken stock – I use chicken stock in this recipe because it has a richer, more robust flavor than chicken broth, though either can be used in this soup.
  • Cotija – Cotija cheese is a type of hard, crumbly and salty Mexican cheese made from cows milk that has a consistency between feta and Parmesan. Locate it in the cheese sections at large markets such as Whole Foods or Hispanic markets.
pork pozole verde

How to Make Pork Pozole Verde

For the pork pozole:

  1. Sear pork. Heat a large heavy bottomed Dutch oven or pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat through. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, sear the pork on all sides, about 8 minutes. Return the pork to the pot and add 4 cups of water to the pot.
  2. Cook and shred pork. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Remove the pork from the pot and set aside. Skim the fat from the pot and reserve the cooking liquid. When the pork is cooled, shred it and discard any excess fat.
  3. Cook tomatillos and peppers. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat, add the tomatillos, jalapeños and poblano pepper and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  4. Sauté the onions and garlic. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the remaining olive oil and heat through. Add the onions and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 8 minutes.
  5. Blend the mixture. Remove from heat and add to a blender with the tomatillo mixture cumin and oregano. Blend the mixture until completely pureed.
  6. Add the pork to the puréed base. Add the puree mixture and the chicken stock to the Dutch oven with the pork cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer then add the cooked pork and hominy to the pot. Simmer until pork is fork tender and hominy increases in size, about an additional 45 minutes.

To serve:

  1. Assemble and serve. Ladle the pozole into soup bowls and top with cilantro, cotija cheese, jalapeño, radish and avocado as desired. Serve immediately with lime wedges on the side.
closeup pork pozole verde

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this pork pozole verde recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Pork Pozole Verde

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1” cubes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and halved
  • 2 medium jalapeños, cored, seeded and halved
  • 1 large poblano pepper, cored, seeded and halved
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (29-ounce) can hominy, drained and rinsed

For serving:

  • ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 2 medium jalapeños, thinly sliced
  • 2 radish, thinly sliced
  • 2 avocados, thinly sliced

Instructions:

For the pork pozole:

  • Heat a large heavy bottomed Dutch oven or pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat through. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, sear the pork on all sides, about 8 minutes. Return the pork to the pot and add 4 cups of water to the pot.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Remove the pork from the pot and set aside. Skim the fat from the pot and reserve the cooking liquid. When the pork is cooled, shred it and discard any excess fat.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat, add the tomatillos, jalapeños and poblano pepper and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the remaining olive oil and heat through. Add the onions and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 8 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add to a blender with the tomatillo mixture cumin and oregano. Blend the mixture until completely pureed.
  • Add the puree mixture and the chicken stock to the Dutch oven with the pork cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer then add the cooked pork and hominy to the pot. Simmer until pork is fork tender and hominy increases in size, about an additional 45 minutes.

To serve:

  • Ladle the pozole into soup bowls and top with cilantro, cotija cheese, jalapeño, radish and avocado as desired. Serve immediately.

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