Mexican cuisine is home to the most complex sauce in the entire world – mole sauce. You might be asking yourself what mole sauce is doing on a blog about bizarre foods when every taqueria in the world serves it. The answer is simple; no dish in any cuisine or culture is more complex than mole, and good mole is very hard to come by. No other sauce requires more labor or care than mole. In fact, any store-bought and just about any mole at a restaurant is not good. For the most part, the only good mole you will find is from the kitchens of Mexican families where the recipe has been passed on through several generations. The ingredients that go into mole are also completely random items you would normally never put in a sauce. I am passionate about Mexican food. Rhonda is to Asian food and culture as I am to Mexican. I’ve lived in Mexican neighborhoods nearly my entire life, and I have fallen in love with their food and culture.
As common as mole sauce is, there is nothing common about how it’s made, and every mole is completely different from the rest. It’s made from some of the most random ingredients including: nuts, seeds, cinnamon, cloves, bread, and tortillas. It is simmered and reduced several times over, and takes several days to make. Sometimes it’s sweet, sometimes spicy, sometimes tangy, and sometimes robust. It can be green, red, brown, white, or black depending on its preparation. Sometimes it is thick, and sometimes it is thin. It is a magical sauce that is usually made completely wrong. It truly is one of the most bizarre sauces in the world.
Mole Poblano Negro Sauce Recipe:
This recipe is from Master Chef contestant David Martinez, who hails from right here on the south side of Chicago. This recipe has been passed on through his family for several generations, and is quite possibly the best mole sauce I have ever had.
- 2T sesame seeds
- 1T pumpkin seeds
- 1T peanuts
- 1T blanched almonds
- 2t black peppercorns
- 2 cloves
- 1/4 of a star anise bud
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4t coriander seeds
- 1/2 of a cinnamon stick
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2T raisins1 roll of french bread cut into 1″ slices
- 1 corn tortilla
- 1 large yellow onion
- 4 plum tomatoes
- 8c chicken stock
- 2t salt
- 7 mulato chiles seeded and stemmed
- 5 pasila chiles seeded and stemmed
- 4 ancho chiles seeded and stemmed
- 1/4c Mexican ibarra chocolate
In a large skillet, pan-roast the seeds, nuts, peppercorns, anise, cloves, bay leaf, coriander, and cinnamon stick in 1 tablespoon of lard. Once roasted, remove the bay leaf and set aside. Transfer the mixture into a blender. In the same pan, roast the garlic, onion, and raisins in 1 tablespoon of lard, then add the mixture to the blender. In the same pan, roast the tomatoes until you are able to peel off the skins, then add the pulp to the blender. Then pan roast the bread in the same pan, and add to the blender. Pan roast the tortilla and add to the blender. Pan roast the chiles and add to the blender.Blend the ingredients until smooth. A little chicken stock can be added to unstick the mixture in the blender.
Melt 2 tablespoons of lard in a large stockpot, and add the mixture in from the blender. Cook the mixture until it thickens into a paste. Add 2 cups of chicken stock and the bay leaf. Simmer until reduced by half. Taste the mixture and add salt as needed, but don’t add much. Add two more cups of stock and reduce by half once again, and check the saltiness and add salt as needed.
Add in the chocolate and let it completely melt. Once the mixture reduces by half again, check the saltiness once more and add more as needed. Add two more cups of chicken stock and simmer until reduced by half once again. Test and add the salt once more. Reduce by 1/8th, and test the salt one more time.Let the mole simmer until it becomes smooth and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. It shouldn’t be pasty or soupy, but right in-between. Smother this sauce over any favorite Mexican dishes including tamales, enchiladas, tortas, or just eaten with chips.