Recipe for ridiculously delicious chocolate mole sauce with chocolate stout. Smother it over grilled meats, tacos, tamales, nachos and even ice cream! Rich, complex flavors yet amazingly simple to make.
A good Mexican mole sauce (pronounced mo-lay, like olé) is a harmonious blend of various tastes and aromas, married over low heat.
Neither savory nor sweet it has layers upon layers of flavor – earthy, tangy, with whispers of heat and quiet songs of cocoa, delicate nuttiness, aromatic spices. I might be getting carried away, but mole is that tantalizing of a mixture.
There are all kinds of regional mole sauces however the origins are linked to the Mexican states of Oaxaca (where the best Mexican dark chocolate comes from) and Puebla.
One legend says that once a few nuns in Puebla had to make dinner for an archbishop who unexpectedly visited their convent. They only had a few ingredients on hand so they mixed them all and simmered a turkey in the mixture. The holy man loved the mole (mole is an old Spanish word that meant ‘a mix’).
So the title words of this paragraph are well deserved:)
It is fair to say that Chris knows what he is doing when it comes to mole sauces. The one he made while he worked at the Vail Valley Westin Maya Restaurant of Richard Sandoval Hospitality took two days and had a gazillion ingredients. He truly honed his mole making skills learning from the ‘father of modern Mexican cuisine’.
A Simplified Chocolate Mole Sauce
An authentic chocolate mole sauce is a labor of love and patience and requires numerous ingredients (some recipes call for nearly four dozen different ones).
Ourselves included, few people have the time to follow such recipes in order to achieve the landmark complex layering of flavors. So Chris created this delightful chocolate mole sauce in keeping with tradition but using select flavor bomb ingredients and chocolate stout.
It is possibly the easiest mole sauce recipe ever. And the flavors are epic!
Ingredients for Chocolate Mole Sauce
Despite the myriads of variations mole sauces come in, the green, the yellow, the red etc., they always have peppers in the them. So does this one.
You will need:
- Dried Guajillo chiles – you can substitute with other mild chile de ristra such as ancho chiles (dried poblano peppers). The goal is not heat, so buy the mild dried chiles available near you.
- Chocolate stout – the star ingredient – contributes rich chocolaty flavors and eliminates the need of using cocoa. It also adds a malty, roasty dimension. You can go around using a stout (see recipe card) but we recommend that you use it. The depth of flavor it contributes is not to miss. An English porter will also be suitable in lieu of stout.
- Beef stock – adds umami and helps the rest of the ingredients blend together.
- Prunes (pitted) – bring rich, earthy fruitiness and a touch of acidic tang – most moles have a fruit ingredient.
- Almonds – add texture and a delicate nutty flavor dimension (nuts are an essential mole ingredient).
- Brown sugar – for a delectable touch of sweetness.
- Cinnamon – to infuse the sauce with its rich aroma and a touch of spice (best to use a stick).
- Chili powder – the earthy, non-spicy kind used in chiles in the US.
- Salt – coarse sea salt is best.
- Vinegar – for a bit of acidity, we recommend a mild vinegar such as rice or sherry.
Step by Step Process
It all amounts to the following easy work.
Remove the seeds from the dried chiles then toast them in a dry skillet for a few seconds per side until they puff up. Soak them in hot water for about 10 mins. Discard the water and reserve the re-hydrated chiles.
In a cold deep sauce pan (about 8 to 10 inch) add the chiles, chocolate stout, prunes, cinnamon stick, almonds, chili powder, brown sugar, beef stock and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the liquid reduces by half.
Take away from the heat, remove the cinnamon stick and puree everything else with an immersion blender. Alternatively use a food processor or blender but be careful with the hot liquid.
Transfer the sauce to a bowl and add 1 tsp sea salt and 2 tsp mild vinegar such as rice or sherry vinegar (or a bit less of white wine vinegar).
That’s it – your chocolate mole sauce is ready – use it in any way you like. We looove it on ribs.
Favorite Uses for Chocolate Mole Sauce with Chocolate Stout
- Pork ribs or pork shoulder steaks – we might be partial, but slow cooked pork is destined for this mole. Or the other way around.
- Beef ribs or beef brisket – highly recommended.
- Chicken – either use it as BBQ sauce or take cooked, shredded chicken breast and simmer it in the mole for a couple of minutes, then serve over rice and refried beans.
- Nachos – drizzle over pork, chicken or beef nachos, mmm.
- Tacos – use instead of salsa roja (by the way this salsa borracha with dark Mexican lager deserves your attention).
- Tamales – turns even the most plain tamales into an exquisite dish.
- Enchiladas – use in lieu of enchilada sauce.
- Ice cream – I am not kidding. Warm up the sauce a bit before drizzling over a bowl of vanilla ice cream. Divine combo! Or if you are up for it make Mexican fried ice cream.
- 4 Dried Guajillo chiles or other mild dried chiles such as ancho
- 12 oz chocolate stout*
- 1/2 cup pitted prunes
- 1 cinnamon stick (sub with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp raw almonds (use slivered or chop whole ones small)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp mild vinegar such as rice or sherry
- Remove the seeds and tops of the dried chiles and dry toast them in a hot skillet for a few seconds per side until they puff up. Soak them in hot water for about 10 mins, then discard the water and place the reconstituted chiles in a cold sauce pan.**
- Add the stout, prunes, cinnamon, beef stock, brown sugar, chili powder, almonds, stir and bring to boil.
- Lower the heat to low and simmer until the liquid reduces by about half. This should take in the vicinity of 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from heat, remove and discard the cinnamon stick and blend the mole with immersion blender. (Alternatively use food processor or blender, but be careful as you are dealing with hot liquid).
- Add the salt and vinegar to the blended chocolate mole and stir to incorporate. Enjoy!
*The alcohol from the stout will cook off during the simmering leaving you with concentrated chocolaty, roasty malty goodness. If you really cannot use a chocolate stout or porter, increase the beef stock by 10 oz and add 1 1/2 tsp of organic cocoa.
**Choose a pan that is at least 4 inches deep and about 8-10 inches in diameter. A larger surface area will help the mole sauce reduce faster.
If you have leftover mole sauce you can store it covered and refrigerated for about a week. When you need to use it again reheat it with a couple of tablespoons of broth in order to loosen it.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 3 tbsp
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 10mg Sodium: 441mg Carbohydrates: 45g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 31g Protein: 6g