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Gallina Pinta or Pozole de Pobre

Categories: Ask Zarela,Meats,Mexican Basics,Recipes


Pozole is soup-stew traditionally made with a special variety of dried corn called cacahuazintle that is soaked in a solution of calcium hydroxide to remove the outer skin and meat, usually  pork  and the best includes the pig head, and/or chicken and served with assorted garnishes such as shredded lettuce, radishes, chopped onion, oregano and fresh lime.  But most states have their own versions with slight variations and in some places the word is used for the treated corn itself which is somewhat like hominy.

In Jalisco the pozole rojo is  flavored with a red chile sauce though it can be served without it and it is then called pozole blanco, white pozole.  The state of Guerrero is famous for its  pozole verde made with green chile, pumpkin seeds and epazote.  The Sonora version uses wheat berries with or without the corn.

Another dish similar to pozole is made with flank steak and beef soup bones beef and with pinto beans and the pozole and is known as gallina pinta (speckled chicken).

I recently got the following query.

Hello,  my name is Yvette and my family is from Sonora, when I was growing up I remember my Grandmother used to make this soup called gallina pinta, do you or your mother have the recipe for this dish?

Here you go Yvette.  This is a recipe adapted from Josefina Velazquez de Leon’s classic book  Cocina de Sonora.

Recipe: Gallina Pinta or Pozole de Pobre

Summary: This is a type of pozole but, in my opinion it is misnamed , unless flank steak was much cheaper there and then!


  • 1 pound flank steak 1 pound beef soup bones
  • 1 pound nixtamal, well washed ( see recipe in recipe section)
  • 1 pound half-cooked pinto beans (see recipe)
  • 1 whole head unpeeled garlic
  • 1 unpeeled medium-sized onion
  • 2 medium tomatoes 1 dried red chile, preferably a Sonora or Texas smooth-skinned chile
  • 1 tablespoon lard
  • Salt


  1. Place the flank steak and bones in a large soup pot. Add water to cover by a good 4 or 5 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and remove the scum that accumulates.
  2. Add the nixtamal, cover the pot, and bring to a boil; lower heat and continue to cook until the nixtamal flowers or bursts. This may take up to an hour or two. Check the meat periodically and remove when easily pierced with a knife. Cover with a little stock to keep it from drying out.
  3. Add the beans, garlic, onion,whole tomatoes and salt to taste. Simmer until beans are cooked through.
  4. Heat the lard and fry the whole chile taking care not to burn it and add to the soup. Let it cook for 5 or 10 minutes and serve hot.

Number of servings (yield): 8

Meal type: supper

Culinary tradition: Mexican

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