Chef, restaurateur,and cookbook author, Aaron Sanchez offers us his favorite preparation of mole using chiles, dried fruit, and of course, Mexican chocolate. This recipe makes a large amount which can keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator or up to three months in the freezer.
AARON SANCHEZ’ PERFECT MOLE
Makes: 1 gallon
½ lb guajillo chiles, (about 32), stemmed, seeded and deveined
½ lb pasilla chiles (bout 24), stemmed, seeded an ddeveined
½ lb ancho chiles (about 16), stemmed, seeded, and deveined
2 medium yellow onions, quartered
4 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
10 fresh tomatillos (about 1 lb), husked and rinsed
8 large whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup pitted prunes
1 cup dried apricots
½ cup raisins
1 bottle red wine
2 TBSP dried whole oregano (preferably Mexican)
1 TBSP cumin seeds
1 TBSP fennel seeds
2 TBSP black peppercorns
5 whole cloves
2 large canela (Mexican cinnamon) or 4 cinnamon sticks
4 quarts chicken stock (low-sodium)
2 sweet (black) plantains (about ¾ lb)
1 oz Mexican chocolate
5 corn tortillas, charred over an open flame until blackened in spots
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- Preheat the oven to 500°.
- Spread the guajillo, pasilla, and ancho chiles on a baking sheet an dput in the oven. Cook fo 2 minutes, or until they are fragrant. Take the pan out of the oven (leave the oven on), transfer the chilies to a large bowl or pot, and pour in enough water to cover them. Let the chiles soak until they are soft, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the onions, tomatoes, tomatillos, and garlic on a clean baking sheet and roast in the oven until the vegetables are slightly charred, about 7 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and set it aside. Combine the prunes, apricots, and raisins with the red wine in a medium saucepan. Bring it to a strong simmer and cook until the fruit has absorbed most of the wine and the remaining liquid is syrupy, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat a dry medium skillet over medium-low heat. Sprinkle in the oregano, cumin, fennel, peppercorns, cloves and canela. Cook, stirring constantly so as not to burn the spices, until they just begin to smoke. The moment the do, transfer them to a spice ginder and grind to a fine powder. Drain the chiles and discard the soaking water. Combine the chiles, vegetables, fruits and ground spices in a very large heavy-bottomed pot. Pour in the chicken stock, gring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, until the flavors meld.
- Meanwhile, peel the plantains (just as you peel a banana) and slice them crosswise into 1-inch thick pieces. Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep skillet over medium heat and fry the plantain slices until they’re golden. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon or a skimmer and add them to the mole pot along with the chocolate and tortillas. Simmer for 15 minutes more.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Puree the mole in batches in a blender until it’s very smooth. Season with salt to taste. Store in airtight containers.
This recipe was originally published in Simple Food, Big Flavor (Simon & Schuster) and is available for purchase Here.
Learn more about Aaron Sanchez.