How to Make Mole Sauce
Master this basic mole sauce and then get creative with your own.
mole sauce is a complex mixture of chile peppers, nuts, tomatoes, chocolate,
and a variety of other unique ingredients that can make each chef's sauce his
own. Follow these steps to make a basic mole sauce, which you can then build
upon and personalize to make your own secret mole sauce.
Toast & Soak Your Chiles
Toast five or six dried ancho or guajillo chile peppers in a dry skillet over medium heat, just until they become fragrant. For a more complex flavor, use a mix of both varieties of chile pepper. Once toasted, submerge the peppers in a bowl of hot water and allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes to soften. The rest of the sauce can be prepared as the peppers soak.
Toast Your Nuts & Seeds
To the same dry skillet, add 1/3 cup sliced almonds and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds. Toast the seeds over medium-low heat while constantly stirring, until they take on a slightly golden hue. Toasting the seeds intensifies their nutty flavor. Transfer the sesame seeds and almonds to a bowl to cool.
Toast Your Bread
tablespoons of lard to the skillet. Tear one large white roll or two slices of
white bread into pieces, then fry them in the skillet with the lard until
golden brown. Transfer the bread to a paper towel to drain.
Add Your Spices
more tablespoons of lard to the skillet, along with two cloves of minced garlic
and 1/2 of a diced yellow onion. Sauté the onion and garlic in the lard until
the onion are soft and transparent. To the onion and garlic add 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2
tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, and 1/4 tsp thyme.
Continue to stir and sauté the spices with the onion and garlic for one minute
Add Tomatoes & Raisins
three diced tomatoes and 1/4 cup raisins to the skillet with the onions,
garlic, and spices. Sauté the mixture for three to five minutes, or until the
tomatoes begin to break down and the raisins plump up. Remove the skillet from
De-Seed Your Chiles
Once the peppers have softened,
remove the stems and scrape out the seeds.
Place the stemmed and seeded
peppers in a food processor along with the toasted nuts, bread, the tomato
mixture from the skillet, and one cup of water. Purée the mixture until smooth,
adding more water as needed. For a silkier mole sauce, pass the mixture through
a sieve or food mill after puréeing.
Return the sauce to the skillet
to warm through over medium-low heat. Add 2 ounces of chopped unsweetened
chocolate and one teaspoon of sugar. Melt the chocolate into the warm sauce and
stir to dissolve the sugar. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt or sugar as
Serve & Enjoy!
The deep, earthy sauce is now
complete and ready to drench your favorite dish in complex flavor. Mole sauce
pairs wonderfully with slow-cooked meat, but can also be used to smother
enchiladas and burritos, or as a condiment on tacos and huevos rancheros.