Rich, succulent, fatty pork combines with sweet white corn hominy in red pozole, an incredibly comforting, classic, cold weather dish that's usually served at New Year's. Whether you call pozole a soup or a stew, it's a satisfying bowl of food, with or without any fixings. Serve with finely sliced cabbage, diced onion, chopped avocado, sliced radishes and peppers, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and chips or warmed corn tortillas.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary test

20 mins
6 hrs 10 mins
6 hrs 30 mins
8 servings

I love tacos and burritos more than anyone should, which is why I don't have a long history of eating pozole. The handful of times I've had it, I've loved it, but no matter how amazing a particular Mexican restaurant's version was supposed to be, I'd almost always end up ordering my usual tacos al pastor or carnitas burrito. Since that habit is going to be impossible to break at my advanced age, I think I've come up with a compromise.

I'll continue to enjoy tacos and burritos when eating out, but when I'm craving comforting Mexican cuisine at home, which is a common occurrence, I'll occasionally make a big pot of pozole. This incredibly hearty soup, or "stew" if you use as much meat as I do, is very simple to make, but does take a fair amount of time, especially if you use lots of boney pieces like I did here with the pork feet and shanks.

You can do a quicker, lighter version by just using pork shoulder, but I think you'll miss out on all the rich, sticky goodness those cuts provide. Either way, make sure you have plenty of toppings ready to serve with this, since that's a big part of the fun. Speaking of fun, this dish is a great way to discover the magic of white corn hominy, which is another reason I really do hope you give this great cold-weather recipe a try soon. Enjoy!


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place pork shoulder in the refrigerator. Transfer pork shanks and feet into a large pot on the stove. Add onion, carrot, and celery, salt, pepper, cumin, and bay leaves. Pour in 3 quarts water. Turn heat to high and bring to a simmer.

  • Skim foam from the surface and add Mexican oregano, rubbing it between your hands as you drop it into the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until pork is tender and will easily come off the bone, about 3 ½ hours.

  • While the pork is simmering, place unpeeled garlic cloves in a dry pan over medium heat. Roast the cloves, shaking the pan occasionally over the heat, until slightly charred on the outside and just starting to get soft on the inside. Remove from the heat and transfer into a bowl to cool.

  • Place guajillo and ancho chile peppers into a 4-cup liquid measuring cup and set a strainer over the top. Ladle some simmering broth from the pot into the strainer until chiles are covered. Let soak until the pork is finished simmering.

  • When pork is finished cooking, set a strainer over a large bowl. Remove pork and vegetables with a slotted spoon and place in the strainer.

  • Meanwhile, peel the cooled garlic cloves and add them to the chile pepper and broth mixture. Puree chile mixture with an immersion blender until smooth.

  • Pass pureed chiles through a strainer into the pot of broth. Add a spoonful or two of the broth to the pureed chiles to help it pass through the strainer if needed. Pour the remaining 1 quart of water through the strainer, then add the pork shoulder to the pot. Simmer over medium-low heat.

  • While the pork shoulder simmers, remove bones from pork shanks, then cut shanks and feet into smaller pieces.

  • Once the pork shoulder has simmered for 1 ½ hours, add diced shanks and feet to the pot. Stir in hominy and continue to simmer until pork is very tender, about 1 more hour. Skim any fat from the surface as it cooks and season with more salt if needed.

Chef's Notes:

You can use Greek or Italian oregano but try to find Mexican since it has a unique flavor.

If your hands are sensitive, you might want to use gloves when seeding the chile peppers.

If you don't see pork shoulder in the grocery store, it's sometimes called pork butt.

I like my pozole very meaty and relatively thick but if you like yours brothier, simply add more liquid during the simmering process.

Nutrition Facts

819 calories; fat 48.8g; cholesterol 186.5mg; sodium 2058.3mg; carbohydrates 44.6g; protein 48.5g. Full Nutrition


Rating: 5 stars
Fantastic! Although it takes all day, it's an easy recipe. I love the long-simmered, rich pozole which was brightened and freshened by the raw toppings (so don't skip out on any of them!). Next time I may pump up the heat a little - maybe some arbol chiles in with the ancho and guajillo. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Never left a review on a recipe before, but this one really caught me. As a big fan of stewing/soups/etc, I was surprised this never crossed into my awareness before Chef John's video. Since I live in Podunk, USA I couldn't find trotters or shanks on a Saturday, so I subsituted half a rack of ribs from my freezer. It worked spectacularly. The shocking part was the four teenagers in my house (notoriously suspicious and picky with "new" recipes) all took seconds. This is good stuff, and the "fixins'" are very important. Read More