Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Magic mole.

Not mole, the small blind, below ground dwelling mammal or mole the unit of measurement, but mole, the really yummy, chili and chocolate based sauce.

I swear the stuff is magic. Chili and chocolate on top of turkey or chicken or pork? Sounds good to me.

My local Mexican market carries their own blend of mole paste. Very convenient for when you want mole but don't have the time to make your own. Which I don't personally.

So, being that today is the first day of fall, and for today and today only, we are having slightly cooler weather, I decided chili was in order. Also, I am fighting a head cold and I think my sinuses could benefit from the spiciness.  I discovered an absolutely yummy sounding chili featuring mole recipe over at Epicurious.

Part of the magic that is mole is one of the types of chili often found in it, ancho chili. It adds a dark, smoky flavor.

Ancho is one of my must haves in the spice cabinet. Besides flavoring chili, I use it in my dry rubs and any sauces that could use a little kick. I alternate between ancho and chipotle, depending on my mood.

This being chili, I used a chuck roast, trimmed and cubed.

I tried to make the recipe a little more figure friendly, so I didn't use bacon that was called for in the original, but I added a bit more mole, not enough to really alter the calorie/point count, but enough to make it more tasty if I do say so myself.

Beef Chili with Mole

Ten servings, for 12 WW points a serving without your garnishes. Not too shabby.
Adapted from this recipe at

1 4-pound boneless chuck roast, trimmed, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 1/2 cups (or more) beef broth, divided
1/2 cup dry red wine (I had a Baco Noir that I used)
1/4 cup pure ancho chile powder*
1/4 cup chipotle or plain chile powder
3 tablespoons mole paste
2 teaspoons (or more) salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled

Warm, freshly cooked or drained canned black beans or pinto beans
Chopped white, red, or green onions
Grated cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, or queso fresco
Sour cream, chips, jalapeños, whatever sounds good

Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Working in 4 batches, sauté beef in 1 tablespoon oil in pot until browned, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer beef and most drippings to bowl. Add onion and garlic to pot. Sauté until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add red wine to pot to deglaze. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Return beef and any accumulated juices to pot. Mix in ancho chile powder, chipotle or plain chili powder, mole paste, 2 teaspoons salt, vinegar, oregano, and cumin. Add broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to very low and simmer gently uncovered until beef is very tender, stirring occasionally and adding more broth by 1/2 cupfuls if chili is dry, about 2 1/2 hours.  Season chili with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle chili into bowls and serve with garnishes.

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