Mole Sauce – for Michael

Mole sauce.  One of the great Mexican sauces.  This sauce is as diverse as Mexico itself.  Just like your Italian grandmother’s Sunday gravy, this sauce is passed down from generations, and each village and region has its own version.

I absolutely love mole sauce.  I love making it, I love smelling it, I love eating it, and I especially love the transformation is makes when combined with other ingredients.

It’s a highly complex sauce, comprised of ingredients such as dry peppers, sesame, chocolate, chicken stock onions, garlic and so on.  Traditionally, it’s made from a mix of powdered peppers, spices, chocolates, nuts and seeds and simmered in stock until thick and pungent.  My version is more practical.  Made like a highly seasoned broth, it’s a lot easier and to make and still packs a punch.

Mole Sauce:

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time:  4 hours
Makes 2 qts


1 tbsp whole toasted cumin
1 tbsp whole toasted corriander
4 dried chipotle peppers
4 dried pasilla peppers
4 dried anaheim peppers
4 dried de arbol chiles
1/8 cup toasted almonds
3 bricks mexican chocolate, shredded
1 large yellow onion, rough chop
4 cloves garlic
1/8 cup raisins
prepared chicken stock
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 ripe plantain, peeled, 1 in dice
1 8oz can coca cola
1 stick cinnamon
3 bay leaves
vegetable oil
kosher salt
black pepper


Blanch the dried peppers in salted boiling water.  Remove stems, seeds and excess skin.

In a heavy bottomed stock pot, begin sweating the onions and garlic in vegetable oil.  Add all the dried spice, nuts and seeds and continue to toast for 1 minute.  Add the chicken stock and coke.  Whisk in the chocolate.  Add all the peppers and raisins.  Add the plantain.  Simmer over low heat until slightly thick.  Season with salt and pepper.  Let cool to room warm and puree, in batches, in a bar blender.  Strain.  Recheck seasoning.  Finished with additional sesame seeds.

Sauce should be thick, dark red, and highly flavorful.

What a great sauce.  Try it with any grilled meat, cooked ground beef, sauteed chicken, anything smoked, and so on.  It can also double as enchilada sauce, though due to its complex flavor profile, it’s not a perfect fit.


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