Pozole Rojo

If there’s a better stew, we’ve never tasted it.
Photograph by Jody Horton

“Pozole is a Christmas Eve favorite in Mexico, and on the New Mexico side of Texas pozole holds the position that chili holds in Texas.”—Linda West Eckhardt, The Only Texas Cookbook

Round about this time of year, the visions dancing in my head tend to involve big ol’ pots bubbling away on the stove, giving off aromas that evoke warm, fuzzy feelings of comfort and celebration. To that end I turn to pozole, a treasured Mexican dish at the heart of many a Texan’s holiday festivities. Restaurateur Josefina Howard once wrote of hearing the earthy stew referred to as “one of the great dishes of international gastronomy, comparable to cassoulet [and] bouillabaisse,” and it is genius, the way the tender pork and toothsome corn contrast with crunchy slices of lettuce and radish and bright hits of fresh lime and Mexican oregano.

Regional variations are numerous; what follows is

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