(ChatGPT made me do it…)
But for real, one bite into this pork mole and you will agree… it is fiesta-licious! And completely worthy of serving at any family get-together.
It’s that good.
How to make it
First thing you need to know: this recipe is for both the pork, and the mole that goes on it.
You’ll be cooking them both at the same time – but, don’t worry, you’ll start on the pork after you get the mole to a simmer.
To make the sauce, it’s actually really easy.
First thing you’ll do is cook the celery, raisins, and pecans, and all the spices, until it’s all well combined and the celery is tender. Then, put that in a food processor along with the chicken broth, and blend until smooth (or smooth-ish, depending on the strength of your food processor.)
Return it to the pot, add the peanut butter, and let it all cook down until you have a nice thick mole, at which point you’ll add just a little cream to make it oh so perfect…
Meanwhile, once the mole is simmering, you’ll cook the pork, beans, corn, onion, etc.
About the time the pork is ready, the mole will be ready, too.
The hard part is over. Now it’s just a matter of how much willpower do you actually have? (Can you stop after one healthy serving, or will you be fighting your family to see who gets seconds – and thirds?)
One bite and you’ll see why artificial intelligence agrees the only appropriate prefix for this recipe is “Fiesta-licious.”
Why I like this recipe
I really, really, really like this recipe because it’s one of a few that I can say, “I made it all up on my own.”
(Okay, I looked at other mole recipes, but when they all had ingredients I can’t find in my kitchen, I decided it was time to make my own recipe.)
But I also like it because, compared to traditional Mexican cooking, it’s fairly quick and easy. Working alone, you can have it ready in just under an hour. (If you bring a friend and you each tackle one part, you could maybe have it done in thirty minutes.)
And because it still presents an enormous depth and breadth of flavor.
And, since you didn’t have to buy a jar of mole at the grocery store, you can tell your friends and family that it was all made from scratch.
(It may not measure up to your abuela’s cooking – but few others nowadays will be able to tell the difference.)
But mostly I like it because it’s easily as good as some of the Mexican restaurants I’ve been to, even here in West Texas… but it’s homemade, meaning it tastes better and it costs less.
But don’t take my word for it; go ahead and make this dish tonight! And then come back tomorrow, and tell me how you like it.
(P.S. This also makes amazing smothered burritos! Simply put the pork mixture in the burrito, roll it up, and cover it with mole and your favorite shredded cheese. Be sure to serve some guac and sour cream on the side!)
Fiesta-licious Pork Mole
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 Tbsp cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 14.5 oz can cooked pork
- 1 15 oz can corn
- 1 15 oz can black beans
- 1/2 lb baby potatoes diced (optional)
- 1 yellow onion thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup Tostitos salsa or whatever brand you like
For the mole sauce
- In a 2-quart saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the celery, raisins, pecans, and garlic, cook 5-10 minutes.
- Add all spices (including the cacao powder) and a few tablespoons of chicken broth, cook an additional 10 minutes, or until all the flavors have blended together, and the celery is soft and tender.
- Remove from heat. Add remaining chicken broth and stir well.
- Empty contents of saucepan into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Note: in a food processer, you may end up with very small bits of nuts, raisins, and celery. That's fine. By the time the sauce is done it will seem as though you planned it that way from the beginning.
- Return contents to the saucepan. Add peanut butter.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 25-30 minutes, stirring often to prevent it from boiling over. (This is a good time to start cooking the pork.)
- Once the sauce is the desired thickness, remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of heavy cream.
For the pork
- In a large 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onion, potatoes, and garlic, cook 5-10 minutes.
- Add corn, black beans, pork, and spices, cook an additional 10 minutes or so.
- Reduce heat to low, stir in Greek yogurt and salsa, keep warm until mole sauce is ready.
- When the sauce is ready, plate the pork and ladle the sauce liberally over each serving.