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Mole Manchamantel

Mole is one of my favorite sauces, dare I call it a sauce, because it really is the star of the plate. It's origins are from Oaxaca, Mexico where there are as many different versions as there are matriarchs commanding kitchens and households. I truly believe that anyone who says they don't like mole, just hasn't found their perfect match, from yellow to black, from sweet to herbaceous notes, each one is handcrafted to a perfect balance, or at least it should be. Mole is a showcase in culinary skill, dozens of ingredients usually, are cooked using various methods and to various degrees that bring out the right flavors to all complement each other. Once this great feat is accomplished, one must simmer their beautiful sauce until cooked to perfection, being sure not to scorch the bottom. It's a practice in patience and restraint that many cooks have yet to master.

I created this mole several years ago and I still tweak it here and there, but the core recipe stays the same. I served it at the Culinary Institute of America's 10 year anniversary party in San Antonio, and it was a hit. It brings together the right amount of sweetness along with earthy and unctuous notes to be a crowd pleaser. Oh and the name "manchamantel" literally means to stain the tablecloth because you'll love it so much that it will be dripping from your tortilla. Serve with pork or chicken, I like to garnish with pomegranate seeds and slivered almonds. Enjoy!

Mole “Manchemantel”

Makes 3 quarts

*It is worth it to make this recipe once and freeze half or share with friends.


48 oz Chix Broth

½ cup sliced onions

2lbs Tomatos

2 wt oz Chile Ancho

2 Cloves of Garlic

9 wt oz ripe plantain

7.5 wt oz Chorizo

4 wt oz grilled pineapple

3 cinnamon sticks approx. 2 inches each

1.5 wt oz almonds

1.5 wt oz peanuts

1 tsp Mexican oregano

2 dried Bay leaves

1/8 tsp clove

1. Boil Chile Anchos, clean and reserve

2. Roast the tomatoes in a salamander or convection oven until the outsides are charred

3. Grill the pineapple plans and rough dice

4. Sauté the onions in a small amount of lard

5. Cook the chorizo and reserve

6. Blend the chile puree with 1 cup of chicken broth and reserve

7. Blend all other ingredients with chicken broth except for the spices

8. In a pot, melt 2 tbsps of lard and once the lard, is almost to a smoking point add in the chile puree and whisk for approx. one minute

9.Add all of the blended ingredients and spices to a large pot to simmer on low for approx. 40 minutes, Stir very often, if anything sticks to the bottom and burns the sauce is ruined.

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