Quick red mole

Quick red mole

500 ml
Chris Middleton

This is one of my favourite moles because it’s so versatile. Carefully grilling (broiling) to almost burn your ingredients is a must, as you’re not really cooking mole unless you’re roasting, charring and caramelising. I always have this mole in my refrigerator and so should you. The vinegar and sugar caramel is known as a gastrique; it adds balance and harmonises the flavours of the chocolate, spices and chillies in the mole.


Quantity Ingredient
250g tinned or fresh tomatillos, drained if tinned, outside leaves removed if fresh, (see Latin Larder)
2 garlic cloves
100g sesame seeds
40g blanched almonds
75g dried mulato chillies, (see Latin Larder)
30g dried pasilla chillies, (see Latin Larder)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
40g raisins
1/2 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1/2 star anise
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 litre chicken stock
1 thick slice day-old, crusty white bread
15g dark bitter chocolate, minimum 50% cocoa solids, roughly chopped
1 large handful oregano leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
sea salt, to taste


  1. Preheat an overhead grill (broiler) to high.
  2. Place the tomatillos and garlic cloves on a grill tray and grill (broil), turning occasionally, for 10–15 minutes, until soft and charred black. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Dry-fry the sesame seeds in a medium frying pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until golden. Repeat with the almonds. Combine with the tomatillos and garlic.
  4. Remove the stalks and roughly chop the chillies, retaining the seeds.
  5. Heat the oil in a medium heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Gently fry the chillies for 2–3 minutes, until they begin to colour. Add the raisins and spices and cook until fragrant. Pour in 750 ml of the stock, add the charred tomatillos, garlic, sesame seeds, almonds, bread, chocolate and oregano. Gently simmer for 45 minutes, or until reduced to a thick sauce.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and process, gradually adding the remaining stock, to make a smooth sauce. Strain through a finemesh sieve, pressing and rubbing with the back of a spoon to ensure all of the sauce passes through.
  7. Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium– low heat, until reduced to a caramel. Add the caramel to the sauce and stir to combine. Season with salt. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
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