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Roast Pork Loin with Red Chile Peanut Mole


Roast Pork Loin with Red Chile Peanut Mole

Serves 8 to 10

2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons freshly toasted cumin seeds
2 teaspoons freshly toasted coriander seeds

4 to 5 pound boneless, center-cut pork loin
3 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Grind all spices in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Rub the spice mixture over the surface of the pork loin. Wrap the loin in plastic and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Sear the pork on all sides until browned. Transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet and roast in the oven until the internal temperature reads 160°, about 1-1/2 hours. Allow the pork to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.

Red Chile-Peanut Mole

12 dried Ancho chiles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 unpeeled garlic cloves, roasted, then peeled
4 large, ripe tomatoes, roasted, then peeled
3/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds, ground to a powder in a spice grinder
1 or 2 teaspoons espresso powder, or to taste
1 to 2 teaspoons each freshly ground cumin, coriander, canela and allspice, or to taste
4 tablespoons lard or olive oil
Salt to taste
Chipotle chile powder to taste

  1. In a preheated skillet over medium, press the chiles, 3 or 4 at a time, onto the bottom of the pan until fragrant and pliable. Be careful not to burn them. Remove the stems and tear the softened flesh into large pieces, removing the seeds that stick to the flesh. Soak the chile pieces in hot water for 30 minutes, until softened.
  2. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a small skillet and sauté the onion until softened. Place the sautéed onion, the garlic cloves and the tomatoes in a blender and puree. Pour mixture into a bowl and set aside. Return 1 cup of this mixture to the blender and add the peanuts, almonds and sesame seed powder. Puree, adding a little of the tomato liquid, if necessary. Combine the puréed tomato mixture and the peanut mixture, and add the espresso powder and spices.
  3. Drain the chiles, reserving the soaking liquid. Place the chile pieces in a blender and add 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid, or more if needed. Puree until thoroughly blended. Add the chile puree to the other purees and stir to combine thoroughly.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat the lard. When it is hot, add the puree all at once. You may want to use the lid of the pan as a shield, as the liquid will splatter. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, season with salt and chipotle chile powder, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you have a sauce with the consistency of thick cream.
Sidebar-What is mole? This should be in the most frequently asked questions section of the book, but we didn’t add it there as it is not a brief answer. Typically, people think of a sauce made of chocolate and chile. This is not entirely wrong but probably not the best explanation either. Mole literally means sauce. Moles are often thickened with ground nuts or seeds. Moles usually have chiles in them. Moles often have chocolate in them, but not always. Moles are generally made for special occasions. Does this confuse you more? You can’t over simplify what mole is. There is red mole, black mole, green mole and yellow mole. Even though there are so many different recipes for mole, all of them will have some or all of the components of the above mentioned items.

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