Monday, December 29, 2008

The 9th Annual Pozole Party

This year was the 9th Annual Pozole Party - the ultimate "Last Christmas Party" historically held on Christmas Eve Eve (December 23) regardless of the day of the week. In the intervening years since December, 2000, much has changed, both for the party and it's participants. It's grown for one thing - from five original guests to over thirty, and as you might expect, the guests have, shall we say, "matured." Instead of a bunch of twenty-somethings slurping margaritas before going home to mom and dad's for the holidays, we now have moms and dads who can't slurp too many margaritas because they have to get home to relieve the babysitter. It's traditionally been a bit of a raucous party, and while it's been an absolute blast, I think we may be ready to acknowledge the effects of the passage of time. James is lobbying for one last go round with the old format for the 10th Annual, but after that I forsee a revamp - perhaps an earlier time slot and a different day. It would be kind of nice after all to be able to cook on Christmas Eve - something we haven't been able to do, well, ever.
Last year I shared the formula for the margaritas (which were still a pretty big hit this year, babysitters be damned) and this year - yes - this year, I have the Posole recipe. (We've always called it the Pozole Party, with a "z", so for the sake of continuity I'm sticking with that, though we spell the name of the soup with an "s." Don't ask too many questions.) James has kept this pretty close to his chest in the past - but I watched him this time, and I have the two recipes that he cobbles together to make it - so I think I can do a pretty good job of replicating it here. It's certainly not complicated - that's the beauty of it really. It's just pork and chicken soup with hominy - the mix-ins and garnishes are the seasoning, and everyone can customize his or her own bowl.
Posole Party 08
Of course, if you don't live in San Diego you won't have access to the El Indio tortilla chips or the Las Cuatros Milpas tortillas, or the salsas from the Farmers Market taco stand. Sorry 'bout that. I would take mail orders - but I'm afraid the shipping costs would be prohibitive.
Pozole 2007 039
A more or less original recipe, adapted from versions in Mexico -the Beautiful Cookbook and the NY Times

1 whole organic chicken
3 cloves garlic smashed
2 medium carrots - cut into 3 pieces
2 stalks of celery - cut into 2 pieces
1 onion, cut into eighths
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
small bunch of cilantro stems, tied together with twine or tied in a cheesecloth bag
(chop the leaves for garnish.)
roughly 10 cups of water

3 pounds of lean boneless pork - any combination of shoulder or butt
1 tablespoon of salt
2 carrots - cut into four pieces
2 celery stalks - cut into two pieces
1 onion - cut into eighths
1 tablespoon of peppercorns
10 cups of water

1 pound dried hominy (we used Rancho Gordo )
1 onion

Garnishes: chopped onion, chopped cilantro, dried oregano, chopped fresh and/or dried chiles, limes, and sour cream mixed with a few drops of hot sauce.

Prepare the hominy by soaking overnight in enough water to cover by one inch. Drain the hominy and place it in a large pot with 1 onion cut into quarters. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender - about 2 hours.

Place the chicken in a large pot or dutch oven and add the garlic, onion, 1 tablespoon of salt and cilantro stems. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered over medium to low heat for about 30-45 minutes, just until the meat is cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Pull the meat off the bones, remove the skin and shred the meat, keeping the carcass intact. Return the carcass to the pot and simmer the stock over low heat for another hour.

While the broth simmers, cook the pork. Place the pork in a pot with salt, onion, celery, peppercorns and water, and bring to a boil. When the water boils, skim the surface and reduce the heat. Simmer over medium heat for one hour. Remove and shred the meat and strain the pork broth. Remove the bones from the chicken broth, and strain if necessary. Combine the pork broth, chicken broth, hominy, shredded pork and chicken in one pot, and bring to a simmer for twenty minutes to combine flavors. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with the dried oregano, peppers, sour cream, lime wedges, shredded cabbage and additional salt and pepper. Pass tortillas on the side.

Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo also has a wonderful sounding Posole Verde recipe here that can be made vegan with the use of vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. James also made an experimental batch of the Verde with some pepitas, tomatillos, etc. this year, but it needs a little more work before we can post it!


  1. I have hidden some of the key steps from Alice Q. Foodie - to enusre her dependence on me for her annual batch of pozole. I apologize in advance to any of her readers that try to follow the recipe that she has posted.

    Jimmy the Pozole Master

  2. Posole!

    I caught wind of Rancho Gordo, and decided to order up some beans. When I saw they had hominy I had to buy some and used it to make a posole not that long ago.

  3. I can't believe Jimmy let his secret out! I personally swear by using country style pork ribs when making the broth.

  4. I use the recipe from Cafe Pasqual in Santa Fe. I love your idea of having a posole party!

  5. Oh jeez, now you're making me crave posole!

  6. Yeah for finding another blogger who has Posole Parties! (we spell it Posole). Posole is delish, and yours looks lovely. Yeah for posole!