Posole in a Clay Casuela

Beef pozole with condiments

Pozole is a classic Mexican comfort food dating back to Pre-Colombian times. The word Pozole comes from the Natualtl word, Pozolli, meaning foamy and refers to a stew made of maize.
Pozolli was believed to have been consumed during sacred ceremonies as offerings. Pre-Colombian pozole did focus on Maize being the ritualistic ingredient, honoring the belief that man was created from masa, ground corn. The large corn kernels, also known as hominy were particularly valued. It is believed in some interpretations of ancient texts that Pozole was eaten during these scared rituals and made with sacrificial human meat. Not the most appetizing of thoughts but it was a brutal time in Pre-Colombian history when Cannibalism was a religious practiced of domination and respect. On a lighter note, if you were originally made out of a piece of corn, wouldn’t eating corn also be a cannibalistic act?

A Codex image of a ancient pozole cooking clay pot!

A Codex image of a ancient pozole cooking clay pot!

This Codex drawing portrays pozolli being cooked or stored in a Pre-Colombian clay pot. Mexico Cooks.

Modern Pozole is traditionally made in many regions of Mexico and the South West US with pork (particularly a pig head), turkey, beef, chicken, seafood or vegetables offering I wide variety of options and regional specialization. Here is one recipe I have experimented with and find offers a very satisfying and delicious pozole. Enjoy!

Beef Pozole

posole_claypot_stove

By Nathalie Published: September 24, 2012

  • Yield: 10 Cups (8 Servings)
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 3 hrs 0 min
  • Ready In: 3 hrs 20 mins

A Mexican Pre-Colombian style stew/soup with classic condiments.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Slowly saute one large onion chopped in 3 T of pork lard or olive oil for about 15 min. Longer the better to maximize a nicely caramelized flavor.
    Gently saute onions in lard
  2. Beef cut across the bone. Oxtail offers a nice flavor. Braize in about 3 T of pork lard or olive oil. Baize on both sides.
    fresh beef brazing in pan
  3. Mix the sauteed onions in with the braized beef, add 1/2 C of pepper paste, carrots, celery, poblano, 1 cup cilantro, cumin, oregano, garlic, and broth. Cook on low for 2 hours. Until beef is fall off the bone tender.
    adding all the pozole ingredients
  4. Add a rinsed packaged of prepared posole that can be found in the refrigerator section of a Mexican grocery store or add 2 cans of rinsed pozole and cook for another half an hour. Taste and add more seasoning if desired.
    pozole, beef, cooked and ready to serve
  5. While the posole is cooking in its last stages, finish preparing the all important fresh vegetable condiments. Thinly slice the cabbage, radishes, jalapenos and avocado. Use the remainder of your chopped cilantro and onions. Quarter the limes. Put each in their own dish.
    fresh condiments for the pozole
  6. Serve the pozole in 3/4 filled bowls so each person has room to add condiments to customize their pozole to their preferences.
    Bowl of beef pozole before condiments.
Please share your favorite recipes and experience cooking with clay cookware from around the world.