In 2018, the first year writing my blog, I shared a post about how, right after its war of Independence ended in September of 1821, Mexico adopted its National colours (verde – green, blanco – white and rojo -red), along with the tradition of featuring them in dishes to lionize patriotic feelings during this month. One of such dishes was Pozole Blanco, a rich soup with hominy kernels, a “white” (clear) broth, meat and fresh veggies. I also mentioned that there are many regional variations of pozole, depending on the different meats, seasonings and toppings available around the country (click here for full story and recipe). Last September, in turn, I posted a recipe for Pozole Verde, a version from the state of Guerrero with a green broth, including a brief History tidbit on how Mexico’s National colours acquired their current interpretation of Green for hope in the future, White as the purity of ideals, and Red, representing the blood of our heroes (click here for that story and recipe).
To complete the coloured theme of pozoles this year, I wanted to share a recipe for a red pozole. The best known is probably Pozole Rojo from the state of Jalisco but, since my last post was centred around Puebla, I decided to make Elopozole, a traditional recipe from that state, also featuring a red broth, but with an extraneous turn from classic pozoles, because it calls for fresh corn kernels from the cob (elote) instead of hominy.
Puebla Style Corn Soup – Elopozole
Ingredients (for 6 portions)
4 ears fresh corn; husks and silk removed, and washed
1 piece chicken breast, or 2 thigh/leg quarters; bone-in and skin-on
1 lb (454 g) pork shoulder
3 small pale green zucchini (called calabacitas in Mexico, or sometimes Magda zucchini) or 1 Italian zucchini; washed
4 guajillo peppers; wiped clean, stems and seeds removed
2 sprigs epazote, if available, or 1 sprig fresh thyme; washed
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 cup boiling water, plus more water, as needed
To serve: lime wedges, chopped onions
Prepare meat and broth: Place chicken and pork in a large pot, and add enough water to cover meats (photo below, left); bring to a boil over high heat, and skim and discard foam (photo below, centre). Reduce heat to medium, cover pot and continue cooking until the meat is tender and falling off the bone (photo below, right):
Remove chicken and pork from the pot; discard skin, fat and bones, and shred meat. Reserve. Strain broth and reserve (approximately three cups).
Prepare red pepper paste: Roast cleaned guajillos on a dry skillet (no oil), just until crisped, so they do not turn bitter; place in a bowl and cover with boiling water (photo below, left). Let them soak for ten minutes, transfer to a blender jar, with the soaking water, and add salt (photo below, centre); process until smooth and reserve (photo below, right):
Prepare corn: Using a sharp knife, hold one ear of corn at an angle in a large pot, and shave kernels off the cob (photo below, left); repeat with all the ears. Add two cups of water to the pot, and bring to boil over high heat (photo below, right):
Reduce to a simmer, cover pot and cook until kernels are tender (note that sweet corn will take just five to ten minutes, but Mexican corn will take longer, around half an hour.)
Prepare zucchini: Meanwhile, slice zucchini into cubes by removing ends, cutting into quarters lengthwise, then across:
My three calabacitas yielded two cups once cubed, so adjust accordingly if using Italian zucchini.
Assemble soup: Once corn is cooked, increase heat to high; add reserved broth and cubed zucchini to the pot (photo below, left), followed by the reserved shredded meats (photo below, right):
Bring back to boil, reduce heat to medium, then add epazote ( or thyme), as well as the reserved guajillo paste (photo below, left). Adjust seasoning with salt, as needed, and continue cooking just until zucchini is tender, but not mushy, between five and ten minutes (photo below, right):
Serve hot with lime wedges and chopped onions on the side:
There is a flavourful fiesta in each spoonful of elopozole:
This completes my trilogy of pozoles, representing Mexico’s National colours, and three different regions: Green from Guerrero, White (clear) Mexico City style, and Red (Elopozole) from Puebla (click on images for printable recipes):
I might have aggravated the “pozole police” for placing a sweet corn recipe next to classic hominy soups. To nip this issue in the bud, and provide a more orthodox alternative, a very decent version of Pozole Rojo may be prepared following my recipe for White Hominy Soup (pozole blanco) and simply adding a batch of guajillo pepper paste, as prepared in this recipe, during the last five minutes of cooking time, to achieve the characteristic red colour.
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I am sharing my recipe at Thursday Favourite Things #458, with Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn, Pam @ An Artful Mom, Katherine @ Katherine’s Corner, Amber @ Follow the Yellow Brick Home, Theresa @ Shoestring Elegance and Linda @ Crafts a la Mode.