This is an easy recipe for a classic red mole sauce that we’ve paired with strips of venison steak. This Mexican mole rojo would pair just as well with beef.
Choosing Mexican Chilies
A while back, we picked up some ancho and guajillo chilies. We’ve been waiting for a special occasion to use them and start delving more seriously into the world of chilies.
Now, this was our first endeavor into using chilies, so those of you who know chilies will probably be laughing or rolling your eyes at us, but we thought “Ok, they’re chilies, so they’ll be hot.”
Turns out ancho and guajillo chilies are pretty mild.
The guajillo did offer a slight heat compared to the anchos, but in the fire realm, we were left disappointed. Luckily, we had a jalapeno on hand that we could throw in to kick things up a bit.
But, jalapenos lose their spice during cooking, so by meal time, we found ourselves with a very flavorful and tasty sauce, but not the fire we were looking for.
Making a Mole Rojo or Red Mole Sauce
This was also our first attempt making a mole. (No, there’s nothing like taking new adventures one at a time in this house.) Once we started researching, the sheer number of types of moles had our heads spinning. We ended up choosing a red mole, or Mole Rojo, simply because the recipes we found called for ingredients we had on hand.
As we typically do when attempting a very new dish, we gathered a few recipes and found the common methods and ingredients. Then, we used their differences as suggestions for altering our mole to our tastes and ingredient availability.
The Flavor of a Mole Rojo
Despite the spice disappointment, this was a fantastic dish. The peanuts and almonds gave a rich nutty flavor to the sauce, while the raisins added a perfect dark sweetness.
Now that we’ve started, we’ll be on the lookout for more chilies so we can work our way through the different mole varieties.
Mole Rojo (Mexican Red Mole) with Venison
For the Red Mole Paste
- 1 large dried ancho chili (.5 oz)
- 1 medium dried guajillo chili (.25 oz)
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ c raisins
- ¼ c tomatoes, diced
- 2 Tbsp onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp almonds
- 2 Tbsp peanuts
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- Dash cloves
- ¼ c chili soaking liquid
For the Mole Rojo Sauce
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tsp piloncillo or brown sugar
- 1 c water
For the Meat
- ½ lb venison steaks (or beef sirloin steaks), cut into strips
- 2 Tbsp jalapeno, minced
For the Mole Paste
- Place chilies in a large bowl and cover with warm tap water. Place a plate or other item on chilies to keep them submerged. Soak for 30-45 min, until soft and pliable.
- Remove chilies from soaking water. (Don’t throw the water out just yet.) Discard the stem of the chilies and place chilies in the bowl of a food processor. Add remaining Red Mole Paste ingredients. Blend until mostly smooth. (If your mixture is too thick, add a little of the chili soaking water to loosen it to a smooth paste.)
For the Mole Sauce
- Pour paste into a medium, non-stick frying pan. Add chocolate, piloncillo, and 1 c water. Mix well and simmer, uncovered, until thick (20 min).
- Remove mole sauce from the pan to a bowl, and set aside.
For the Meat
- Sear venison strips in the same non-stick frying pan you just used for the mole sauce. Once the sides are nicely browned, add mole sauce and jalapenos. Simmer 10 min, or until the meat is cooked through.
- Serve with rice, beans, and tortillas.
This week’s spice is being hosted by Amy of Kimchi MOM. Thanks Amy!
Snappy Starters & Snacks
Hatch Chile, Grape & Grilled Onion Salsa from Shockingly Delicious
Sriracha Popcorn from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Cheese, Smoked Paprika and Fennel Crackers from What Smells So Good?
Baked Banana Pepper Poppers from Daily Dish Recipes
Spicy Black Bean and Corn Stew from Mama’s Blissful Bites
Caldo de Camaron y Pescado (Shrimp & Fish Soup) from girlichef
Shredded Buffalo Chicken Salad from Casa de Crews
Sriracha and Parmesan Fries from Mess Makes Food
Smoky Salmon Chowder from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Hummus with Spicy Turkish Ezme Salad from Neighborfood
Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppedew Peppers from Healthy. Delicious.
Tofu Hariyali Kebabs-(Tofu Kebabs in Cilantro Sauce) from Soni’s Food
Fiery Main Dishes
Spicy Stuffed Mexican Peppers from Peanut Butter and Peppers
Jalapeno Popper Fettuccine Alfredo from Chocolate Moosey
Baked Tilapia en Escabeche from La Cocina de Leslie
Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings with Two Dipping Sauces from Runner’s Tales
Chorizo and Scallop Skewers from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Buffalo Chicken Pizza from Cookin’ Mimi
Thai Cashew Chicken from Doggie at the Dinner Table
Skillet Jambalaya from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Firecracker Chicken from Juanita’s Cocina
Spiced Turkey Burger Patties from Cook the Story
Savory Tomato & Poblano Pie from An Appealing Plan
Venison Mole Rojo from Curious Cuisiniere
Za’atar Chicken with Fattoush from Food Lust People Love
Crispy Oven Fried Buffalo Chicken Tenders from In The Kitchen With KP
Skinny Buffalo Chicken Strips from Webicurean
BBQ Chicken Pizza with Poblano Peppers and Pepitas from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Spicy Thai Beef Salad from Magnolia Days
Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Spicy Lemon Paprika Chicken Thighs from Family Foodie
Searing Sauces & Seasonings
Homemade Buffalo Sauce from Growing Up Gabel
Whole grain Mustard recipe – Moutarde à l’ancienne from Masala Herb
Homemade Sriracha Sauce from kimchi MOM
Zesty Sweets & Sips
Cinnamon Streusel Scones from Killer Bunnies, Inc
Fiery Pomelo from My Other City By The Bay
Cinnamon Monkey Bread from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Cinnamon Peanut Butter Skillet Blondies with Ice Cream from Vintage Kitchen Notes
Goldilocks and the 3 Asian-Fusion Bars from NinjaBaking.com
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