A MOLE ROJO RECIPE THAT IS COMPARABLE TO OUR OWN AUTHENTIC SAUCE
Mole Rojo, also known as Red Mole or Poblano Sauce, can be challenging to make.
Here's how to do it.
INGREDIENTS (Yields 96 fl oz)
• 6 ounces (12 medium) dried mulato chilis, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces
• 3 ounces (6 medium) dried ancho chilis, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces
• 3 ounces (10 medium) dried pasilla chilis, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces
• 6 garlic cloves, peeled
• 10 ounces (5 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
• 1-1/3 cup sesame seeds
• 1 cup vegetable oil, add more if necessary
• 1 cup almonds
• 1 cup raisins
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• ½ teaspoon fresh ground anise
• ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
• 2 slices firm white bread, darkly toasted and broken into pieces
• 2 ounces (about 2/3 of a 3.3-ounce tablet) Mexican chocolate, roughly chopped
• 3 quarts chicken broth
• Salt to taste
• 1/3 to ½ cup sugar
1. On a rimmed baking sheet, roast tomatillos in a hot broiler until skin is roasted black and the tomatillo is soft, about 5 minutes per side. Place in a large bowl. Toast the sesame seeds in a small pan on top of the stove with no oil, stirring continuously until golden, about 5 minutes. Place half of them in with the tomatillos, and save the remainder for sprinkling on the chicken.
2. With windows open and exhaust fan on, heat the lard in an extra large soup pot. When quite hot, fry the chilis, three or four pieces at a time, flipping them frequently for about 20 or 30 seconds total frying time. Don’t toast them so long that they begin to smoke as that would make the mole bitter. As they are cooked, remove them and place in a large bowl, being careful to drain as much fat as possible back into the pot. Cover the toasted chilis with hot tap water and let swell 30 minutes, stirring frequently to insure even soaking.
With the pot over medium heat, fry the garlic and almonds, stirring regularly until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove and place in the tomatillo bowl, draining as much fat as possible. Add the raisins to the pot. Stir for 20 or 30 seconds, until they are puffed and browned slightly. Scoop them out, draining the fat back into the pot, and add to the tomatillos. Remove the pan from the heat.
To the tomatillo mixture, add the black pepper, anise, cinnamon, cloves, bread and chocolate. Add 2 cups water, then stir to combine.
3. Blend, strain, cook. In a large measuring cup, tip off the chiles’ soaking liquid. Taste the liquid: if it’s not bitter, keep 6 cups of the liquid. (if you don’t have enough, add water). If bitter, discard and measure 6 cups water. Scoop half of the chiles into a blender jar, pour in half of the soaking liquid (or water) and blend to a smooth puree. Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a large bowl; discard bits of skin and seeds that don’t pass through the strainer.
Repeat with the remaining chilis. Place the soup pot or cazuela on medium heat. When quite hot, pour in the chili puree—it should sizzle sharply and, if the pan is sufficiently hot, the mixture should never stop boiling. Stir every couple of minutes until the chili pure has darkened and is reduced to the consistency of tomato paste, about a half hour.
In two batches, blend the tomatillo mixture as smoothly as possible (you may need an extra 1/2 cup water to keep everything moving through the blades), then strain it into the large bowl that contained the chilis. When the chili paste is reduced, add the tomatillo mixture to the pot and cook, stirring every few minutes until considerably thicker and darker, 15 to 20 minutes. Simmer. Add the broth to the pot and simmer the mixture over medium heat for about 2 hours. If the mole has thickened beyond the consistency of a cream soup, stir in a little water. Taste and season with salt (usually about 4 teaspoons) and the sugar. You're now ready to make a roasted chicken, or other recipes. You can cool, cover and refrigerate, then reheat the mole when you are ready to use it.