Recipe: Easy Mole

Does anyone else out there watch American Horror Story?  If you are in to creepy, terrifying, twisted, unbelievable, shocking horror shows, then you ought to be.  Dude and I watch it and although he has been a fan since the beginning of the first season, I was late to the game.  My friend Kelly kept encouraging me to watch, but I didn’t right away.  Finally, before season 2 started this past fall, I watched season 1.  Whoa!  It’s a crazy show and not for the faint of heart or easily scared.  Spooky!

When season 2 started we decided to make watching it a weekly event with the aforementioned friend, Kelly, and our other buddy, Liz.  It has turned into a once a week dinner party of sorts!  We rotate where we watch the show, and whoever hosts makes dinner.  The four of us gather a few hours before the show, eat, talk about the previous episode, and then get ready to have our pants scared off.  I look forward to Wednesday nights for so many reasons now!

First and foremost, I love hanging out with Kelly and Liz.  They rule.  Second on my list is the food!  These ladies have treated us to some real delights over the course of the season, and I feel challenged to make something interesting each time it’s our turn to host.  For me, AHS nights have become much more than an excellent TV show.  It’s more about food and friendship.  In fact, once the season is over, we’re going to keep getting together weekly to watch True Blood.  (Again, I’m late to the party with this show too.  I haven’t seen a single second of it, but it comes highly recommended.)

ANYWAY!  This past Wednesday, Liz hosted us and made roasted pork in mole sauce.  ERMAHGERD!

This was such an epic meal that I begged Liz to give me the recipe THAT VERY NIGHT so I could recreate it at home the next day.

Before I go on, let me say a few things about Liz and her cooking.  (You might remember Liz from previous mentions here, here, and here.) The two of us eat the same way, we like the same foods, we are both adventurous in the kitchen.  In spite of all these commonalities, we are drastically different cooks.  We could be charged with making the same dish and we would take vastly different approaches to making it and end up with two entirely different things.  I love talking food with her because she makes me think.  We run parallel paths in the kitchen.  Our paths are similar, but rarely cross.

Case in point: Mole (which, by the way, is pronounced “MOL-lay”).  Sure, I’ve heard of it, and had it in restaurants.  I love it.  But it never occurred me to make it at home.  Liz, on the other hand, makes it frequently and has experimented with a few different recipes.  Below is her recipe, but allow me to give a little mole history and background.

First of all, the recipe below is for an easy mole sauce.  It is positively delicious and you will want to make it right now.  However, historically it is a very complicated sauce that can have dozens of ingredients.  It originated in Mexico, and different regions have slightly different takes on a recipe.  An authentic mole sauce starts with chili peppers.  This quick and easy one does not.  An authentic mole sauce often uses day-old bread or tortillas as thickening agents.  This one is grain-free.

Let’s get started!

1 pork roast (I used a 3.5# pork butt, boneless)
1 cup water
3 T apple cider vinegar

Rinse the meat and pat dry with paper towels
Put meat, water, and vinegar in a slow cooker.
Cover and put on high for 4 to 5 hours, or until meat is thoroughly cooked and easily shredded.

pork butt in slow cooker
Remove the meat from slow cooker, and reserve all the remaining liquid in a glass bowl.
Shred meat and return to slow cooker, but turn slow cooker down to low.

shred pork

While the meat is initially cooking and before you shred it, make the mole sauce.

3 cups chicken or beef stock (fresh is best, but use store bought if necessary)
1 T. coconut oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 T. chopped garlic (approximately 5 cloves)
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
2.5 T. chili powder
2 T. coconut flour
3 ounces of dark chocolate, finely chopped (70% cocoa or above.  If using 100%, add 2 T. or amount to taste of maple syrup)
2 T. cocoa powder
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium low heat.
Add onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, and cinnamon.
Cover and cook until onion is almost tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.
Mix in chili powder and coconut flour.  Stir for 2 minutes.
Gradually whisk in chicken broth.
Increase heat to medium high and let the sauce comes to a boil.
Let the sauce lightly boil for about 35 minutes, or until reduced to a thicker consistency.

thick mole(This is the thickness to which I let my mole sauce get.  Notice that when I use that spatula to stir it, it is thick enough to expose the bottom of the pot. It was also thin enough to still cover that bare spot a few seconds after I took this photo.)

Remove from heat.
Whisk in chocolate and cocoa powder.

chopped chocolate
Season with salt.

Pour the mole sauce into the slow cooker with the pork in it.  Mix very thoroughly.  If the mixture is too thick, use the reserved pork juices to thin it to your liking.  When I made it, I used nearly half of the cooking juice to give it a looser consistency.  Let the newly sauced meat bubble away in your slow cooker on low for about a half hour to make sure it’s all incorporated and delish.  You will love it.

back in slow cooker

final mole

Serving suggestions:
Liz, being the creative cook that she is, served her pork mole with jicama slices.  Didn’t I tell you she was on the ball?  I never would have thought to do that.  It’s delicious.  Peel a jicama root, slice, and serve.
Another great Liz idea is to serve with cabbage leaves.  At her place we used red cabbage, but you can use anything you like.  Cabbage tends to be thicker than lettuce so it makes for a stronger delivery device that won’t break in your hand.
If you want a spicier mole sauce, finely dice  a jalapeno or other hot chili pepper and add it in the step with the onion.  Remember, pepper seeds and ribs provide the heat!
This sauce would be fab with any kind of meat you choose – chicken, beef, goat.  Simply braise or poach the meat until it is easily shredded.  Use a slow cooker or whatever method you like. Shred the meat, then mix the mole sauce into it.
No matter what meat you choose, a little squirt of fresh lime juice or even some freshly chopped cilantro is nice too.

Use this mole sauce recipe as a gateway drug.  I am.  It is fast and easy and wonderfully yummy.  My next mole foray (ha ha) will use chili peppers.  I plan to experiment with all kinds of stuff.

Rick Bayless is THE GUY when it comes to Mexican cuisine in the USA.  Here is his recipe for red mole sauce.  It is quite complicated and requires a commitment of time, but I’m sure it’s well worth it.  To make it grain-free, omit the day-old bread completely or use a tablespoon of coconut flour instead.

Here is Mark Sisson’s Primal mole sauce recipe.  I love how he serves it over a whole chicken breast.  That would save the poaching/braising step for sure!

So, who is a mole fan?  Who has made it before?  Who is trying this recipe ASAP?  What do you think is going to happen on American Horror Story this season?  What can you tell me about True Blood? Share all of your thoughts with me in the comments or on Facebook.

2 Comments

  1. Scott
    May 29, 2013 6:24 pm

    I LOVE MOLE! Thanks Jill…I’ll try this one for sure. My favorite is with shredded chicken.

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