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Make Ahead Mole

This rich Mexican dish uses nuts, spices, and chocolate to create a unique savory sauce. Different chile powders have different heat levels; choose one to suit your taste. Ancho chile powder is a good choice for people who don’t want to singe their tongues!
Course: Entree
Keyword: dark chocolate, make ahead sauce, mole, raisins, sauce
Servings: 5 cups
Author: From The Make-Ahead Sauce Solution by Elizabeth Bailey


  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup shelled sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup lard
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder (cayenne, ancho, pasilla, or a combination)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup ground almonds
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 4 cups beef broth


  • Combine the raisins with ½ cup hot water in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Heat a medium, dry saucepan over medium heat. Toast the sesame and sunflower seeds, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a plate or bowl. Reduce the heat to low and, in the same pan, combine the lard, chile powder, salt, cinnamon, cumin, and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is hot and very fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the raisins with water, toasted seeds, almonds, and chocolate to the lard mixture. Stir in the broth and cook, stirring, until the chocolate is melted, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Blend in the pan with an immersion blender, or transfer to a stand blender, purée, and return to the pan. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes.
  • Cool the sauce in the refrigerator, then freeze in a sealed freezer bag. The sauce will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • To serve, defrost the night before in the fridge. Then simply pour the sauce from the bag into a saucepan and warm over medium heat until it is hot throughout. Enjoy it on your choice of base.


Mole Meals to Make:
Chicken (1 cup sauce per pound of chicken): Spoon sauce over sliced chicken. Serve with white rice and roasted mixed bell peppers.
Pork (1 cup sauce per pound of pork)Spoon sauce over sliced pork. Serve with tortillas and steamed corn.
Beef (1 cup sauce per pound of beef): Spoon sauce over sliced beef. Serve with boiled potatoes and baked winter squash.