A MOLE NEGRO RECIPE THAT IS COMPARABLE TO OUR OWN AUTHENTIC SAUCE
Mole Negro, also known as Black Mole Sauce, can be a challenge to make.
Here's how to do it.
INGREDIENTS (Yields 96 fl oz)
• 6 chile pasilla(1 ounce)
• 6 chile ancho negro or mulato (2 ounces)
• 5 chile guajillo (1 ounce)
• 2 chipotle chili, preferably of the meco variety (1/4 ounce)
• 1 medium white onion, quartered
• ½ small head of garlic, cloves separated
• 2 heaping tablespoons almonds
• 2 tablespoons raw peanuts
• 1 inch Mexican cinnamon
• 3 black peppercorns
• 3 whole cloves
• 1-½ tablespoons raisins
• ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
• 1 slice of bread
• 1 small ripe plantain or banana, cut into slices (about 1 cup)
• ½ cup sesame seeds
• 4 pecan halves
• ½ pound (1 medium-large round or 4 to 5 plum) ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
• ¼ pound (2 to 3 medium) fresh tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut into chunks
• ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
• 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
• 5 cups chicken, or vegetable stock if preferred, but chicken stock is traditional
• 2 tablespoons lard or oil
• 6 ounces Mexican chocolate
• 2 dried avocado leaves
• 2 tablespoons oil
1. Rinse the chilis in water, remove all stems and seeds. Put the seeds in a large griddle or frying pan and roast the chilis over medium heat until black, about 10 minutes. Place the chilis in a large bowl and cover with hot water and soak for 30 minutes. When the chilis are soft, remove from the water and put water aside. Place small amounts of the soaked chilis in a blender with ½ cup of the soaking water that was put aside (or more if needed) and blend until smooth. Put the chili paste through a strainer to remove the skins.
2. In the same dry griddle or frying pan, roast the onion and garlic over medium heat for 10 minutes. Set aside. Toast the peanuts, almonds, cinnamon stick, cloves and peppercorns in the same pan for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan.
3. Over the same heat, toast the chili seeds, taking care to blacken but not burn them, about 20 minutes. It’s best to do this outside or in a well-ventilated place as the seeds will give off very strong fumes. When they are completely black, light them with a match and let them burn themselves out. Remove from heat and place in a bowl. Soak the blackened seeds in 1 cup of cold water for 10 minutes. Drain the seeds and cover them with more water. Let them soak another 15 minutes, then strain them. Grind them in a blender for about 2 minutes with ½ cup of water. Strain them through a medium-mesh strainer. Add the blended chili seeds to the blended chili mixture.
4. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the raisins and fry them until they are plump, approximately 1 minute. Remove from pan. Fry the bread slices in the same oil until browned, about 5 minutes; remove from pan. Fry the plantain in the same oil until it is browned, approximately 10 minutes, then set aside.
5. In a separate frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil and fry the sesame seeds, stirring constantly over low heat, add salt if they start jumping too much. When the sesame seeds start to brown, in about 5 minutes, add the pecans and brown 2 minutes more. Remove all from the pan, let cool, and grind finely in a spice grinder or a powerful blender with ½ cup stock. Using a spice grinder takes a bit of time, but this is the only way to grind the seeds and nuts finely. The mixture should be very smooth.
6. Wipe the frying pan and fry the tomatoes, tomatillos, thyme and oregano, over medium to high heat, allowing the juices to almost evaporate, about 15 minutes. Blend well, using ½ cup stock if needed to blend then set aside.
7. In the blender, in small batches if necessary, place the nuts, bread, plantains, raisins, onion, garlic and spices. Blend well, adding about 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock to make it smooth.
In a large cazuela or stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons of lard or oil until smoking and fry the chili paste over medium to low heat, stirring constantly so it will not burn, approximately 20 minutes. When it is “bubbling furiously,” add the tomato puree and fry until the liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Then add the ground ingredients, including the sesame seed paste, to the pot. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until well incorporated, about 20 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock, stir well, and allow to cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8. Break up the chocolate and add to the pot, stirring until it is melted and incorporated into the mixture.
9. Toast the avocado leaves briefly over the flame if you have a gas range, or in a dry frying pan and add to the pot. Slowly add more stock to the sauce—it will keep thickening as it cooks. Continue to cook for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. Add stock as it thickens. The more time it cooks the better. There should be no gritty texture (from the seeds), it will cook out over time. Add enough salt to bring out the flavors. If you can only taste the chilis, that means you need more salt. The mole should not be thick, just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.