My family has been making pozole since I was a kid. I never liked it all that much since it had big hunks of meat. Before I was vegetarian or even vegan I never liked meat. I found it all too disgusting to be eating an animal especially when I had to look at the bones and flesh stirring around in this giant pot. A few years ago I started making my own small pot of pozole sans meat at family parties. I never made a recipe I just sort of substituted veggie stock for water and kept similar ingredients to the traditional recipe. I've tried it with beans, and tried to follow other recipes online but it never tastes as good as mine (and beans just dont belong in pozole!).
Since I sort of just intuitively add ingredients or 'eyeball it' these are a basic outline. If you see that you need to add more veggie stock or less onion do it to your taste.
Ingredients Serves 4
8-10 California Chiles
1 can of hominy
1 medium yellow onion
1 large can of diced tomato (or fresh)
2 cloves garlic (optional but it gives it more flavor)
1 container of vegetable stock (apx 32 oz)
1 Tbsp dried oregano
salt + pepper
Spike vegetable salt (optional. I add this to give it a little extra flavor sometimes)
radishes (sliced thin)
California chiles are traditionally used for this recipe. They are called Anaheim peppers when fresh and when dried they are called California or New Mexico peppers. I never knew chiles had different names when dried until I saw an episode of Good Eats on the food network (I love that show so much). I don't know if you can buy a premade version of this chile sauce but my mom always makes it fresh. This recipe will make much more than you will need for the pozole but you can freeze it and have it on hand for the next batch.
Soak the peppers overnight to soften them or if you forget you can alternatively cook them over medium heat for approximately 20 minutes to soften them. Just scoop them out with a fork after 15 minutes to see if they are soft yet if not keep them in the pot until they're done. Blend the chiles with the water used to soak them in. It should be a liquid consistency not thick or chunky so just add enough water to get them to this consistency. Add the water in increments.
Dice the onion and mince the garlic (if you are using it) and saute it over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent. Add the onion, garlic, tomato and vegetable stock into a large pot and cook over medium heat. Add in the can of hominy and about 1/2 a cup of the chile sauce. Add more or less chile depending on how spicy you like your food. Season with the oregano, salt and pepper to your taste. If you are finding that your vegetable stock is too bland kick up the flavor a bit with a few shakes of the spike seasoning.
Simmer over low heat for approximately 2 hours. I never have timed it I just leave it on the heat as long as the meat cooks in the other pot for the 'regular pozole'. This allows all the flavors to meld together. Taste it once the two hours are approaching and add more salt or seasoning if needed.
Pozole is always served with lime wedges, cabbage and radishes. Since there's no meat in this recipe I like to bulk up the nutrition value with half an avocado sliced up per bowl. More recently I have also been adding on cilantro on the top which takes it to another level. Slice up the radishes and cabbage finely and add as much as you like on top. You can add more of the chile sauce on top or use tapatio or any other hot sauce to add a kick.
You can easily freeze any left overs and it keeps pretty well. You can make a huge batch for a party just double or triple this recipe and use a huge pot. Enjoy!!