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Mole Sauce

To learn more about this recipe, see our related story, Mexican in Marin, in our San Francisco edition. 

Mole Sauce

Adapted from Veronica Salazar, El Huarache Loco, Larkspur, CA

Yield: Makes about 12 cups

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


2 cups vegetable oil

1 slice white bread, torn into pieces

1 six-inch corn tortilla, torn into pieces

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

1 black (ripe) plantain, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds

12 peeled garlic cloves

1 plum tomato, finely chopped

4 ounces dried chile negro (16 dried chiles)--stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces

4 ounces dried mulato chiles (8 dried chiles)--stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces

4 ounces dried ancho chiles (8 dried chiles)--stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces

¾ cup raw almonds

1½ tablespoons raw peanuts

1½ tablespoons raw walnuts

1½ tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup tahini (sesame paste)

One tablet Mexican chocolate (preferably Ibarra brand), roughly chopped

¾ cup raisins

2 tablespoons Kosher salt

Pinch ground anise seeds

Pinch ground cinnamon

Pinch freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup sugar

6 to 7 cups chicken broth or water


1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot set over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering but not smoking, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the bread, tortilla, onion, plantain, garlic and tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate. 

2. Add the dried chiles to the oil and fry until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove and set aside to drain.

3. Meanwhile, use a food processor to grind the almonds, peanuts, walnuts and pumpkin seeds until finely ground. Pour out and discard the oil, reserving ¼ cup. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil back into the pot and place over medium-high heat. Add the reserved bread, tortilla, onion, plantain, garlic, tomato and chiles back into the pot. Stir in the ground nuts and tahini into the chile mixture and cook until the nuts turn golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the chocolate, raisins, 2 tablespoons salt, the anise, cinnamon, black pepper and sugar. Stir in 2 cups chicken broth and continue to cook the sauce, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot often, until the sauce thickens and turns a rich mahogany brown, 20 to 30 minutes.

4. Turn off the heat and cool the sauce for 10 minutes. Transfer about half of the sauce to a blender jar, add 1½ cups chicken broth and blend until smooth, adding more chicken broth or water if needed. Pour into a large, clean pot and repeat with the remaining sauce and more chicken broth.

5. Add enough chicken broth or water to thin the mole to a ketchup-like consistency. Set over medium heat to rewarm. Season with salt to taste. Bake with enchiladas or serve over roast chicken or other roast meat.


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