Mole Verde -- Mexican Green Sauce

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Total Time
55mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 45 mins

Recipe excerpted from My Mexico by Diana Kennedy: Clarkson N. Potter, Publishers, 1998 courtesy of Food Network. Epazote is a Mexican herb that has a very strong taste and has been used in Mexican cuisine for thousands of years dating back to the Aztecs, who used it for cooking as well as for medicinal purposes. Hoja Santa (sacred leaf) is an aromatic herb with a heart-shaped, velvety leaf growing in tropical Mesoamerica and is also known as yerba santa, hierba santa, Mexican pepperleaf, root beer plant, and sacred pepper. It is an essential ingredient for mole verde.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 6 ounces pumpkin seeds, about 2 cups (raw, unhulled)
  • 2 cups chicken broth or 2 cups beef broth
  • 6 ounces tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
  • 6 large leaves sorrel, rinsed, stems removed, and coarsely chopped (lengua de vaca)
  • 4 leaves hoja santa, stems and veins removed, coarsely chopped
  • 8 large sprigs epazote (5 coarsely chopped, 3 left whole)
  • 4 jalapenos (to taste) or 6 serrano chilies, coarsely chopped (to taste)
  • pork fat (approximately 1/4 cup) or vegetable oil, for frying (approximately 1/4 cup)

Directions

  1. Toast the pumpkin seeds in an ungreased pan, turning them over and shaking the pan from time to time to prevent them from burning.
  2. Set them aside to cool.
  3. Grind them in an electric grinder or blender to a fine powder.
  4. Put 1 1/2 cups of the broth in a blender, gradually adding the tomatillos, sorrel, hoja santa, chopped epazote, and chiles, blending as smooth as possible.
  5. Heat the lard in a flameproof casserole in which you are going to serve the mole; fry the blended ingredients, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking for about 25 minutes.
  6. Add the rest of the epazote.
  7. Stir 1/2 cup of the broth into the pumpkin seeds until you have a smooth consistency and gradually stir into the cooked ingredients.
  8. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring constantly for 10 more minutes.
  9. Take care that the pumpkin seed mixture does not form into lumps; if this happens, put the sauce back into the blender and blend until smooth.
  10. Add any remaining broth and salt, to taste.
  11. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water to dilute.