Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Ugly: Pork Mole Tacos

It didn't start off ugly.  I browned the country style pork ribs,

Added 2 T jarred mole (La Casita, but I've never used a kind I didn't like), salt, pinch of sugar, and chicken broth to come halfway up the ribs.  I covered the pan and put the heat on low until those ribs were fork tender.  This technique is formally called a braise.  It took about 1 1/2 hours.

Then I turned the heat off and went downstairs to do a quick yoga tape.

I thought I turned the heat off...

Whoa, that's ugly.  The sauce has all boiled away, it's starting to scorch on the bottom where it's stuck to the pan, and all the fat is seperated out.  Yuk.

But wait- I can fix this.  Ribs- out of the pan.  Fat- poured out (you want to get the fat off anyway).  Then I deglazed the pan by adding more liquid and scraping that browm stuff off the bottom.  Fortunately, I got to it before it actually crossed the line to burned.

The right tool for the job:  a whisk, to incorporate the coagulated bits o' flavor into the added broth.  I did end up having to strain some unredeemable black chunks out of the sauce.  

But all's well that ends well.  The meat shredded up beautifully and was reintroduced to the rich mole sauce.
Tortillas heated up right on the burner to give a fresh charred flavor, and to make them warm and pliable....

And here it is.  I like mine with (leftover) slaw, my husband prefers queso fresco and red onion.  Another day I might use avocado slices with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.  Something sharp and fresh tasting to cut the richness of the moist, flavorful meat is called for.

Try this with Turkey thigh instead of pork, if your market caries them.

Incidentally- Rick Bayless has a great recipe for real mole in his excellent book "Mexican Kitchen."  You'll have to make a trip to a Latin food store, use multiple pans, blenders, strainers, grills, etc.  You'll probably have to steel wool your stove after it simmers for the requisite several hours too.  It's worth it.  But not for a Monday night.


j-fro said...

hey, just wanted to say i've been keeping up with ya... but crepes are still the only thing i've had a good chance to try. keep up the good work!

mamagrump said...

This dish inspired me to crock pot a pork tenderloin for burritos. We're not big mole fans, so I did a fajita sauce. Unfortunately, it turned out bland, because I didn't taste it along the way. Lesson learned. Next time I'll try the braising to be different - doesn't look so bad!