In Mexico we love to cheer: Olé….. Salud…… Ándale….. Ay ay ay! In September there’s another great occasion to cheer: Mexico’s Independence day. Now don’t get confused with Cinco de Mayo, which is sometimes mistaken for independence day. The Dancing Chefs love to cheer: Viva Mexico! Independence Day is celebrated every September 16th with parades, festivals, feasts, parties and more. Mexican flags are everywhere and the main plaza in Mexico City is packed. But what’s the history behind the date of September 16?
Back in 1810 the Spanish were the official rulers of Mexico, but many Mexicans weren’t happy with how they governed. On September 16th 1810 Father Miguel Hidalgo rang the church bells of Dolores and made a speech, now known as ‘Cry of Dolores’ or ‘Grito de Dolores’. He made a shocking announcement: he was taking up arms against the tyrannies of the Spanish government and his parishioners were all invited to join him. Within hours Hidalgo had an army: a large, unruly, poorly armed but resolute mob.
Every year, local mayors and politicians re-enact the famous Grito de Dolores. In Mexico City, thousands congregate in the Zócalo, or main square, on the night of the 15th to hear the President ring the same bell that Hidalgo did and recite the Grito de Dolores. The crowd roars, cheers and chants, and fireworks light up the sky. On the 16th, every city and town all over Mexico celebrates with parades, dances and other civic festivals.
Most Mexicans celebrate by hanging flags all over their home and spending time with family. A feast is usually involved. If the food can be made red, white and green (like the Mexican Flag) all the better! Favorite dishes include Chiles en Nogada, Tostadas or Pozole. Pozole is a delicious soup filled with hominy corn and pork meat and garnished with lettuce, onion, herbs and tostadas. For all you chefs, who want to celebrate Mexican Independence Day in style and make Pozole at home: here is the recipe!!!
4 litres of water
1 kilo pork meat
1/2 kilo pork ribs
3 cans hominy corn (450gr. each)
1 onion, quartered
8 cloves of garlic
Salt to taste
5 dried Chili Anchos, cleaned without seeds
5 dried Chili Guajillo, cleaned without seeds
6 cloves of garlic
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp oregano
Salt to taste
1 Romaine lettuce, washed and shredded
1 1/2 cup onion, diced
1 1/2 cup radishes, washed and sliced
Chile Piquin, to season
Oregano, to season
Tostadas, 2-3 per person
Limes, cut in halves
- Heat 4 litres of water in a big pan. Add the quartered onion, garlic, salt, pork meat and ribs. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer for about 2 hours or until the meat has been cooked. You can remove any foam that is formed on the soup. If neccesary you can add more water.
- Take the meat out of the stock. Remove excess grease, bones of the ribs, onion and garlic.
- Now to prepare the sauce, soak the chili ancho and guajillo in enough hot water to cover the chilis. Leave for 25 minutes.
- Once the chilis are softened, drain and place into a blender with the raw garlic, diced onion and oregano. Add a little bit of water too. Blend until you obtain a smooth consistency.
- Heat the oil in a skillet on medium high fire. Add the chili mixture to the skillet and season to taste, continuously stirring. Lower the heat and leave to simmer for about 25 minutes.
- Pass the chili sauce through a strainer into the stock. Bring to a boil and add the meat, simmer for another 10 minutes. Add the hominy corn, season with salt and pepper if needed. Heat through until the soup is completely hot.
- Serve the Pozole in a big soup bowl and place the garnish in the center of the table, so everybody can serve themselves.
Buen Provecho and Viva Mexico!!!
Dancing Chef Maaike