An Easy Mole Recipe You Can Use Three Ways

My family really loves spicy food. We took a trip to California a few years ago and there was a Mexico city style restaurant (vs. Tex Mex) we ate at several times that had the most amazing Mole. It was the kind of thick sauce that you want to use up every last drop.

I’ve been searching for a recipe that had the same flavor and this is the closest I’ve come. I adapted this recipe from the Genius Kitchen cookbook. Do you ever buy a cookbook just to get one recipe?

This recipe is ingredient heavy – there are lots of ingredients and they aren’t in some grocery stores. It’s a dish that you make for special occasions. It’s not labor intensive, but it takes a long time to simmer. But the great thing is that once you cook it you can use it for multiple meals.

Ingredient List

  • 3 dried ancho chiles
  • 3 guajillo chiles
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 TB avocado oil
  • 2 white onion chopped
  • 2 lb of brisket
  • 10 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 TB chile powder
  • 1 TB cumin
  • 1 TB oregano
  • 29 oz fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef bone broth

Authentic mole sauce is made with bittersweet chocolate. My family doesn’t like much chocolate in Mexican food, so I didn’t add this to ours, but I think it would add to the depth of the flavor. The original recipe called for 1//4 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate. I grated some into my bowl. The dark chocolate gives it a more complex flavor

Steps

Chop the dried chiles and add to the blender. Add the boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes. Blend and set aside. If you don’t have a blender, this step can be done in a food processor. You might need to add more oil when you add the second batch.

In a heavy dutch oven, add avocado oil and bring to medium heat. Add the salted, cubed brisket and onions to the pan in two batches. Toss each batch in the large pot until browned.

Add all the meat and onions back to the pan. Add the chopped garlic and cilantro stems (did you know the stems have more flavor) and cook for 2 more minutes. Add all of the spices (chili powder, cumin, oregano), dried chili puree, tomatoes and broth (you can use either chicken broth or beef broth). Stir to release the tasty bits on the bottom of the pan.

Reduce heat to a medium-low heat and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours until tender enough to break up the meat with a fork.

If you want to add in the chocolate, add it in once the meat is fully cooked. Add salt to taste.

You can adjust the heat level by either using more broth or adding a bit of sour cream.

Three Ways to Serve Mole

The first way you can serve the mole is in a bowl with a few garnishes like pickled onions and jalapenos and some warm corn tortillas. This is the most traditional way to serve it.

The second option is to serve it more like a stew in a bowl. I served it over Mexican rice because I like to soak up all of the delicious mole sauce. You could also serve it over potatoes.

finished mole over rice

This Mexican rice is white rice with salt, a little bit of olive oil, lime juice and chopped cilantro. Some people like to sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top for a bit of crunch.

The third way to serve it is inside of a taco with cheese and grilled onions. I used some of the leftover meat to make these on the griddle.

brisket mole tacos

I recommend making at least this much and perhaps more. This freezes well in an airtight container. I saved a whole container of just the leftover mole sauce and added it to cooked chicken. The dried chilis the sauce so much flavor, that it made a good fourth meal as chicken mole enchiladas.

I also used the leftover meat to make brisket tacos.

Can You Make Mole in a Slow Cooker?

You absolutely could make Mole sauce in a slow cooker. It would be easier in a slow cooker or instant pot that has a saute feature. You really want to cook the sauce in the pan where you brown the meat so you can get all the delicious flavors from the brown bits.

If you make the Mole in a slow cooker, cook it on low. I cooked mine in my Le Creuset dutch oven. I can’t say enough good things about this pan. I’ve owned it for 30+ years and it has stood the test of time.

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Can I make Mole with Chicken?

I would definitely try this recipe using 2lb of boneless skinless chicken thighs. You don’t need to brown the thighs, just the onions.

I really think that using dried chiles is what gives the sauce its rich flavor. I’ve seen other recipes that use adobo sauce instead of the dried chiles, but I don’t think it would be as tasty.

finished mole

Easy Mole Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 45 minutes

this recipe has so much flavor that you'll want to eat it for days

Ingredients

  • 3 dried ancho chiles
  • 3 guajillo chiles
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 TB avocado oil
  • 2 white onion chopped
  • 2 lb of brisket
  • 10 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 TB chile powder
  • 1 TB cumin
  • 1 TB oregano
  • 28 oz fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef bone broth

Instructions

Chop the dried chiles and add to the blender. Add the boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes. Blend and set aside. If you don't have a blender, this step can be done in a food processor. You might need to add more oil when you add the second batch.

In a heavy dutch oven, add avocado oil and bring to medium heat. Add the salted, cubed brisket and onions to the pan in two batches. Toss each batch in the large pot until browned.

Add all the meat and onions back to the pan. Add the chopped garlic and cilantro stems (did you know the stems have more flavor) and cook for 2 more minutes. Add all of the spices (chili powder, cumin, oregano), dried chili puree, tomatoes and broth (you can use either chicken broth or beef broth). Stir to release the tasty bits on the bottom of the pan.

Reduce heat to a medium-low heat and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours until tender enough to break up the meat with a fork.

If you want to add in the chocolate, add it in once the meat is fully cooked. Add salt to taste.

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