SLOW-COOKED MOLE PORK
I made this satisfying dish recently on a Thursday night when my family expands from cooking for myself + four, to myself + ten or twelve or sometimes fourteen guys. I served this delicious mole with warm flour tortillas, Mexican corn, and fresh mango – creating a meal that was comforting and full of rich flavors.
To prepare this dish for a crowd, I adapted a recipe for “Slow-Cooker Mole Pork” that appeared in the March 2015 issue of “Food Network Magazine”. My morning that day was too busy to get the ingredients into my crock pot in time to slow cook for 8 hours before dinner. So instead of using my crock pot, I simmered this dish for 3-4 hours in two large dutch ovens. The results were juicy and tender with plenty of flavor.
The finished dish served twelve hungry guys, with enough leftovers to give to a friend and her family of four later in the week.
SLOW-COOKED MOLE PORK
- 10 white corn tortillas
- 12 dried ancho chile peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 cup sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
- 1-1/2 cups raisins
- 1 onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 3 Tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder
- 3 cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 6 cups chicken broth, divided
- 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plush more for garnish
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-8 lb bone-in pork butt, trimmed of skin and excess fat
- Coarsely ground salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup of crumbled feta
- Cut the tortillas with a bread knife into small pieces. Toss in a medium bowl with the chiles, raisins, onion, garlic, and five-spiced powder. Set aside.
- Heat a large dutch oven on medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and stir frequently to toast, about 3 minutes.
- Add the tortilla mixture. Cook and stir occasionally until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the liquid evaporates.
- Add 2 cups of the chicken broth, cilantro, peanut butter, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Working in batches, transfer to a blender of food processor, puree until smooth, and return to the pot. OR use a hand blender and puree in the pot (the method I prefer). Add the additional 4 Cups of chicken broth and stir to blend.
- Season the pork on all sides with salt & pepper. And add to the pot with the sauce.
- Note: My large dutch oven (7-1/4 quart pot) was not big enough to hold the sauce and the meat. So I cut the pork into two large pieces. Transferred a third of the sauce to my smaller dutch oven (5-1/2 quart) with the smaller cut of meat. And put the larger piece of pork into the larger dutch oven. I covered the pots, and simmered both on low for several hours. The larger portion with the bone-in piece if pork was perfectly cooked in 3 hours. The smaller portion without the bone took closer to 4 hours to be tender.
- Before serving, pull the pork apart with two forks into large bite-sized pieces. Combine the sauce and meat from both pots. And top with cilantro, feta, and/or additional sesame seeds.