Smoky Peanut Mole Sauce
Haley requested this mole recipe that I served over roasted pork loin. It’s a Rick Bayless recipe that’s not complicated, but is time-consuming. It really is worth it though and makes enough mole that you have some leftovers. I served this spooned over the pork loin and with garlic mashed potatoes and spicy turnip greens. You can make a vegetarian dish but substituting vegetable stock for the chicken stock and making this recipe for Enchiladas with Greens and Potatoes: (http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/aspen-2002-peanut-mole-enchiladas-with-braised-greens-and-potatoes)
- 2 medium (about 1 ounce) dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded (can be found at the DeKalb Farmer’s market)
- 1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil
- 1/2 small white onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 pound (about 1 medium-large round or 3 to 4 plum) ripe tomatoes
- 1 cup dry roasted peanuts, plus a few tablespoons chopped for garnish
- 2 slices firm white bread (or 1/2 dry Mexican bolillo roll), torn into pieces
- 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, seeded
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
- About 3 1/2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 1/2 cup fruity red wine
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt, about 1 1/2 teaspoons, depending on the saltiness of the broth
- Sugar, about 1 tablespoon or to taste
- One 2 1/2-pound boneless pork loin roast
- A little freshly ground black pepper
Tear the ancho chiles into flat pieces, then toast a few at a time in a dry skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat: flatten with a metal spatula for a few seconds, until they crackle and change color slightly, then flip and press again. (If they give off more than the slightest wisp of smoke, they are burning and will add a bitter element to the sauce.) In a small bowl, soak the chiles in hot water for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and discard the water.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy, medium (4-quart) pot (preferably a Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic cloves, and cook, stirring regularly, until well browned, about 10 minutes. Scrape into a blender jar. Set the pan aside.
Preheat the broiler. Broil the tomatoes on a baking sheet 4-inches from the heat source until blackened, about 5 minutes, then flip and repeat on the other side. Let cool, then peel, collecting all the juices from the tomato. Add the tomato to the blender, along with 1 cup of the peanuts, the bread, chipotles, drained anchos, allspice and cinnamon. Add 1 1/2 cups of the broth and blend until smooth, stirring and scraping down the sides of the blender jar; add more liquid if needed. Press the mixture through a medium-mesh strainer set over a bowl. (I kept a few tablespoons of the pre-strained liquid in the sauce to make it a little thicker)
Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in the pot over mediumhigh, until shimmering. Add the puree all at once. Stir as the nutty-smelling mixture thickens and darkens for about 5 minutes, then stir in the remaining 2 cups broth, the wine, vinegar and bay leaves. Partially cover and let gently simmer over medium-low heat for roughly 45 minutes, stirring regularly for the flavors to harmonize. If necessary, thin the sauce with a little more broth to keep it the consistency of a cream soup.Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 1/2 teaspoons, and the sugar. Cover and keep warm.
Pork tenderloin: Rub pork tenderloin with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. To grill: grill until it reaches 145° in the center, then remove, loosely cover with foil and allow to rest for 5-10 min. Oven: preheat oven to 400°. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Sear pork on all sides and transfer to the oven to cook for 10-15 minutes or until it reaches 145° on a thermometer. Remove from oven, loosely cover with foil and let rest for 5-10 min. Slice pork and spoon mole over top.