Authentic Pozole Rojo

Enjoy Red Beef Pozole at home with this easy recipe! The beef is simmered with spices until tender, creating a delicious broth. Add the hominy and then all comes together perfectly. It’s Mexican comfort food heaven!

Serve pozole with tostadas or tortilla chips and garnish with any of these ingredients that you like: shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro, radishes, minced onions, lime juice, hot sauce. And for a drink? Horchata is a must!

A white bowl with pozole rojo garnished with shredded cabbage & radishes
Garnish Pozole Rojo with cabbage, radishes, cilantro and a splash of lime!

Hello!!! You know what time it is? It’s Pozole and Tamales time baby! These are the most traditional Mexican dishes of the festive season and I don’t know about you, but everyone I  know associates December with Pozole and Tamales.

It’s the ideal hearty soup for chilly weather. But Mexican food lovers enjoy it yearlong and especially as a weekend dish!

A red pot with Pozole inside and garnishes around in small plates.

My mom used to make the best Pozole ever and it was always the most requested meal by family members for special occasions. She would cook a humongous pot that left us with lots of leftovers.

Speaking of leftovers, this is one of those dishes that tastes better the day after. Kind of like beef chili or meatballs in marinara sauce. So go ahead and make enough for leftovers and enjoy it even more the second day!

Hominy in Beef Pozole

What kind of meat should I use?

For this Pozole recipe I will use beef but it can also be made with pork or even chicken.

  • Beef: Use chuck roast + bone-in shank center cut with bone.
  • Pork: It can be a one of these or a combination of pork shoulder (espaldilla), pork loin or pork shoulder (lomo de puerco)
  • Chicken: A combination of chicken breast, thighs & legs.
  • Bones: These are essential for flavor and make sure to include some from whatever type of meat you’ll be using: neck or backbones are a good option.

Ingredients

This recipe will feed about 4 people while having some leftovers. If you are feeding a crowd, good news: It doubles (or triples) beautifully!

  • Meat: 1.5 pounds chuck roast trimmed and cut in 1 1/2″ chunks + 1 to 1.5 pounds bone-in shank center cut (if you’re using pork or chicken, use about 2.5 or 3 lbs of a combination of meat with bones)
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 whole garlic head
  • 12 cups hot water (plus more as needed) about 3 liters
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano preferably Mexican
  • 2 large bay leaves or 3 small ones
  • 2 beef bullion cubes
  • 2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • One large can (6 lbs & 12 oz ) Mexican style cooked hominy drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups red sauce
  • For the red sauce: 3 guajillos chiles & 3 ancho chiles (washed and with seeds removed) + garlic cloves, oregano & kosher salt.
  • Garnishes: shredded cabbage diced onion, sliced radishes, fresh cilantro, lime juice & hot sauce.

Make The Sauce: step by step

Ingredients: ancho & guajillo chiles, garlic, oregano & salt

You can make the sauce before you start cooking the pozole up to a week in advanced. Or start this process while the meat cooks. It’s up to you!

cooking chiles, onions and garlic in a medium sauce pan
  • Start by removing the stem and seeds from the chiles. Rinse well to remove any dust.
  • Place in a medium pot along with the onion, garlic, spices & water.
  • Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes or until the chiles are soft. Remove pot from heat and cool.

  • Transfer to a blender or food processor along with 1 cup of the water where the chile cooked on.
  • Puree chiles very well

How To Make Pozole

  • 1) In a large pot, add the water, whole onion, oregano, bay leaf, beef bullion, salt & pepper.
  • 2) Cover and bring liquid to a boil. Add the two cups red sauce and continue to cook on low heat for about two hours
  • 3) Once the beef is tender, remove & discard the bones, onion, garlic and bay leaf.
  • Note: You can shred the beef if you want or serve in chunks as is.
  • Add the hominy and cook for about 30 more minutes or until soft. Taste for seasoning.
  • When done, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with any of these ingredients that you like: shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro, minced onions, lime juice, hot sauce.
  • serve with tostadas or tortilla chips.
Pozole rojo in a white bowl with a tostada on the side

Reheating Leftovers

The best way to reheat leftovers is to place in a sauce pot and cook over medium-low heat until heated thru. Cooking it again in real heat (versus microwave) will help develop the flavors even more!

But if you can’t use a stove, go ahead and reheat in microwave for a couple of minutes per serving.

FAQs:

Is pozole healthy

Per this page “A half-cup of canned yellow hominy contains 58 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 276 milligrams sodium and about 1 gram each of protein and fat. A half cup of plain cooked hominy grits contains 76 calories, about 1½ grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber, and traces of sodium and fat. Hominy grits often are enriched with thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid and iron; vitamin D and calcium are added to some brands.”

Even though it may not have a major nutrition factor, it is not unhealthy per se! So go ahead and eat it without any fears 🙂

Is pozole rojo spicy

The chiles used to make the sauce are not spicy but they do have a little bit of a kick. If you don’t want it to be spicy, don’t add extra hot sauce after it’s cooked.

Can you freeze leftovers?

Yes you can! Just store in an airtight plastic container and defrost in the refrigerator.

Another sauce you can use is my delicious red sauce recipe 

A white bowl with pozole rojo garnished with shredded cabbage & radishes

Best Beef Pozole Rojo

Servings 8 servings
Ana Frias
4.76 from 29 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Pozole soup is a Mexican classic! This version is made with beef & hominy topped with cabbage, onions, cilantro, and of course, a squeeze of lime.
8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ pounds chuck roast trimmed (see note #1 below) fat trimmed off and cut in 1 ½" chunks
  • 1 to 1 ½ pounds bone-in shank center cut with bone (see note #2 below)
  • 1 large white onion remove outer skin but keep it whole (do a cross cut one the top of the onion only to help release the flavors)
  • 1 whole garlic head cut a little bit of the top
  • 12 cups of hot water (plus more as needed) about 3 liters
  • 2 cup prepared red sauce (or more to taste) ingredients to make below
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 to 3 bay leaf
  • 2 beef bullion cubes
  • 2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 6 lbs & 12 oz can Mexican style hominy drained and rinsed
Red Sauce (chile colorado) – Makes 2 cups
  • 3 dried chile guajillos seeds removed & rinsed
  • 3 dried ancho chiles seeds removed & rinsed
  • ¼ medium onion (yellow or white)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (if using table salt use a little less teaspoon)
  • 4 cups water
Garnishes
  • Shredded cabbage, finely diced onion, sliced radishes, fresh cilantro, lime juice & hot sauce.

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, add the water, beef, whole onion, oregano, bay leaf, beef bullion, salt & pepper.
  • Bring liquid to a boil then cover and simmer until beef is tender (about two hours). As water begins to evaporate, add boiling hot water to keep the broth at the same amount.
  • Once the beef is tender, remove & discard the bones, onion, garlic and bay leaf.
  • Add the hominy and 2 cups red sauce (instructions below). Cook for about 30 more minutes. Taste for seasoning.
  • When done, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with any of these ingredients that you like: shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro, minced onions, lime juice, hot sauce.
  • serve with tostadas or tortilla chips.

Make the sauce (while the meat is cooking or make ahead)

  • Remove the stem and seeds from the chiles. Rinse well to remove any dust.
  • Place in a medium pot along with the onion, garlic, spices & water.
  • Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes or until the chiles are soft. Remove pot from heat and cool.
  • Transfer to a blender or food processor along with 1 cup of the water where the chile cooked on.
  • Puree chiles and then pass thru a strainer to remove the remaining seeds and skins. If you have a lot of pulp left, you may add it back to the blender along with ½ cup of the chile water. Blend and strain again.
  • Set aside.

*Ana’s Notes:

  1. Bring meat to room temperature before cooking. 
  2. If you’re using pork or chicken, use about 2.5 or 3 lbs of a combination of meat with bones.
  3. If you need to add more water when cooking the meat, make sure it’s boiling hot as you don’t want to bring the temperature down. 

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1large bowl | Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 1199mg | Potassium: 2mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

Close up image of pozole in a bowl
Delicious Red Beef Pozole

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Recipe Rating




52 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Que delicia de receta de pozole 😀 Tradición Mexicana acorde con esta fecha de celebración 👏👏😃 Muchas gracias Ana!! 😀 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  2. What if I can’t find Ancho Chiles? What can I substitute for them? I have dried chipotle peppers will that work?

    1. Hi Crystal! That should work as they have a smoky flavor too. I would just add a couple since they do tend to be more spicy.

      Let me know if you have any other questions! Enjoy

  3. 2 stars
    This recipe more like hominy soup instead of pozole. It’s really important to use gelatin bones. Use espinazo (spine) and even hooves/foot meat. DO NOT REMOVE THE BONES.

    1. Hi Zenon, did you make the recipe? It has plenty beef! This recipe calls for “bone-in shank center cut” (chamorro en Español) with bone has gelatin inside the bones so I’m not sure why you commented that mine does not have it. Thanks for stopping by

  4. 5 stars
    This Pozole is delicious! I added just the right amount of the sauce for my family and saved the rest. I’m so glad there are leftovers! I was intimidated at first but found it quite simple. I used my pressure cooker for the meat while I made the sauce on the stovetop.

    1. This is great to hear Angela!!! I’m thrilled that you liked this Red Pozole and that you found it simple to make. I appreciate the feedback and happy holidays!

  5. Am I supposed to add 1 cup or 2 cups of red sauce? The recipe calls for 1 cup prepared red sauce, but the directions say to add 2 cups…?

    1. Hi Mari! You can use Chicken bouillon or even beef one. For soups sometimes I mix the flavors with great success! You can use the classic Knorr one or Better than bullion which is more natural.

  6. 5 stars
    I decided to make pozole for the first time to celebrate Mexico’s independence day. I used pork loin and followed the recipe fairly closely (substituting the garlic cloves with granulated garlic). I cooked the soup low and slow for 2.5 hours. My wife and I were thrilled with the result–flavorful and pleasant mouthfeel. Thanks for the recipe, Ana!

  7. 5 stars
    I was craving my mother in laws pozole bit she only makes it at Christmas. Found this recipe and it tastes arguably better? Thank you for this!

    1. Awe thanks so much for the kind review Paula! I’m so happy you found this recipe and enjoyed it. I make it several times a year (even in the summer!) since I’m like you, got to eat Pozole not just at Christmas! Hey, I’ll keep your secret safe that you enjoyed it a little better than hers lol!

      Stay well! xo, Ana

  8. hello,
    i have a beef sirloin tip whole. is that ok to use? i really want to make this with with rather than a roast.

        1. Yay!!! This makes me so happy Franchesca!! This pozole is actually easy to make once you get started. Thanks so much for coming back to give me the review. It’s much appreciated 🙂 xoxo, ana

  9. 5 stars
    I used organic meat from Whole Foods and followed this recipe exactly as written and it was soooo good. Just like my moms but better lol don’t tell her I said that. I made sure to save this recipe for years to come.

        1. Yes you can! I have done it in the past when I could not find “chamorro”. If you can add some kind of beef bone to it when cooking the meat that will be great! If you can’t that’s okay too. Enjoy!

  10. 5 stars
    Perfect, hearty, tasty winter meal! My mouth was watering looking at the pictures. I could almost taste and smell it. I added cabbage, onion, cilantro and a splash of lime. The broth is so flavorful and would be hit even by itself. This pozole will now be a regular part of my holidays and a few other times a year I’m sure

  11. 5 stars
    Hola Ana C. as you know, for me and my kids, this is our favorite dish. The one shown in the picture looks so delicious and I bet it was ?

  12. 5 stars
    Love this! I have a spice-sensitive person in the family who really enjoys posole, but doesn’t want quite so much chile flavor. I vary the recipe by using 5 cleaned New Mexico chile pods in the broth and keeping the red chile/chile colorado separate so people can stir in as much or little as they like.

    1. 5 stars
      Great idea on the separating the chile for those that want less!!! Thanks so much for the feedback Gaylon! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it. Stay well!

  13. 5 stars
    This was so delicious with only one fault. I followed the recipe as written, but will significantly reduce the salt in the future. 2 tablespoons of salt was way too much not for my taste. Thanks so much!

    1. Thanks for letting me know Claudia! I use kosher salt and I think it tastes a little less salty. I’ll add that to the notes. Thanks for the feedback and I’m so happy to hear you liked it!

  14. 5 stars
    I keep making this for my family over and over! Make sure you add enough broth so that it doesn’t taste like chili sauce only. So good!

    1. Hi Sonya! Is your chile bitter? that could be one way that may be overpowering the rest of the flavors. Just add a little more broth and that may do it. Don’t forget to add lime! it helps to balance the chili flavor too.

  15. Hi i was wondering if this recipe could be made vegetarian and what type of seasoning could you add to give some flavor instead of the meat. Thanks!

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Elizabeth! I have never made it vegetarian but I don’t see why not. I would use vegetable broth when cooking it and if possible can you still use beef bullion? If not experiment with vegetable bullion. I’m very curious how this turns out if you decide to make it. If you don’t mind I would love to hear back from you. Thanks so much for stopping by and happy holidays!

      xoxo