Mole Poblano Sauce
Authentic Mole Poblano
My in-laws are from Texas, and they have been making enchiladas for Christmas as long as my husband-to-be can remember. Whenever we have wanted to make enchiladas mole poblano, we've gone to a nearby restaurant for the sauce. My father-in-law stated that the recipe required dozens of ingredients and was a long process to make.
I saw this as a challenge to try making the sauce. Turns out, the sauce does require dozens of ingredients, but I would say that collecting those is the hardest part. Once you have what you need, the recipe proceeds rather smoothly.
No Poblano Peppers in Mole Poblano
They are Anchos!
Until I tried making the sauce myself, the only way for us to get good mole poblano sauce was to buy it at a restaurant. We were at an amazing produce store, and found some lovely poblano peppers and figured, hey, the basis for mole poblano sauce. However, it turns out that the sauce uses Ancho peppers, which are the dried version of poblanos. The word poblano in the name of the sauce refers to the region where the sauce originated. I dried my starting peppers in the oven, and included them in the great mix of peppers used to make this sauce.
The Ingredients for Aunthetic Mole Sauce
- The heart of a mole sauce, the chili peppers: pastilla, mulato, ancho and chipotle. I was afraid of making the sauce too spicy, so I left the chipotle peppers to just powder, rather than adding the whole peppers to my sauce.
- Pepper Seeds. This version of the recipe had you save the seeds from the peppers to include in the sauce. They didn't add much spice (as I had feared), but they did make it more difficult to puree at the end. Therefore, I may avoid these next time.
- Roasted Tomatillos and Tomatoes. I couldn't find tomatillos while I was at the supermarket, so I decided to supplement with an additional roasted tomato (Fresh (left) and after roasting (right))
- Chocolate. Surprisingly, chocolate is not a major ingredient of mole poblano sauce, even though it is sometimes referred to as a chocolate sauce. I was unable to find Mexican chocolate, so I substituted bittersweet chocolate. The final sauce was slightly bitter, so I added brown sugar to taste to counteract the bitterness.
- The remaining ingredients include pumpkin seeds, peanuts, raisins, bread (!), tortillas (!), chicken broth and numerous spices.
Cooking the Sauce
The mole poblano recipe has fantastic step by step instructions with photographs. The actual cooking is easy, you slowly add ingredients in a specific order and simmer. I took step by step photographs while I cooked, which I will let speak for themselves.
After pureeing the sauce in batches, I had 6 cups of mole sauce. I love the fact that you freeze a concentrated sauce, and then dilute it with chicken broth before serving. This makes it much easier to prepare in advance. The sauce was a hit with my in-laws, and my husband-to-be wants to make it a part of our Christmas tradition!