With a new batch of venison to work with, I decided to make a Mexican style mole, a spicy, savoury chocolate sauce usually served with chicken. Once I worked out a version of this which included some of my own local ingredients, I thought it too good not to share with vegetarians too, which is why today I am bringing to Fiesta Friday two dishes, one vegan and one using meat. The mole is not as complex as many of the authentic Mexican recipes out there in that I only used one kind of chili pepper. However, the other spices, dried fruit and chocolate resulted in a delicious addition to the simplest of meals, and it is so easy to prepare that you could make it and figure out how you want to serve it a few days later. Just beware that after a couple of days the heat increases, so if you don’t want it too hot you might want to reduce the amount of peppers you use.
Mole a la Canadienne
5 dried chilis serranos
1 cup hot water
1 dozen dried apricots
2 Tbsp sumac powder
3 allspice berries
1 star anise 1 2-inch cinnamon stick
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate
herbs and roasted hazelnuts for garnish
Method Soak the chilis in hot water for about 15 minutes in a saucepan. Grind the cloves, anise and allspice and add them along with the cinnamon and sumac to the chilis in water and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon and pour the mixture into a blender. Add the apricots and blend until it forms a smooth paste. Return to the pan and add the grated chocolate. Heat until the chocolate is melted. This will keep several days in the fridge but might need a little extra water when reheated.
To serve it with cornbread, any savoury recipe works for this, but I highly recommend this one from The Breakfast Drama Queen. Not only is it vegan and gluten free, but it is super tasty and nutritious with the addition of squash. Coriander leaves would make a perfect garnish along with the hazelnuts, but I used some sweetened, dried dandelion leaves.
For the venison, I used a rump roast. I sliced it so that the marinade would penetrate completely. A simple marinade was all that was needed, as the spices in the mole were sufficient. I apologize for not having pictures of the finished product – not too sure how that happened. Perhaps with the excitement of this birthday dinner I neglected to check the camera had its bit, so I will try to make another and add photo when I am focussed.
Venison with Mole
1 1/4 lbs venison
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
fat for frying salt and pepper to taste
toasted nuts and herbs for garnish
Slice the meat to a thickness of about 1/4 in. Place in a dish and cover with the garlic, oil and vinegar mixture. Allow it to sit several hours in the fridge. When ready to cook, drain and pat the slices dry and season with salt and pepper. Fry on a medium high heat a couple of minutes on each side, or longer if you want them well cooked. Garnish with toasted hazelnuts and herbs.
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December 26, 2014 at 6:16 pm
I love mole! Such a labor of love usually when I make it, but you make yours sound so easy. Will have to give it a try. No venison though. Haven’t had any since moving away from Kansas. My uncle used to hunt and gave me the best, tender parts. I need to befriend a hunter 😀
December 26, 2014 at 6:48 pm
Thanks, Angie. It is a pity this meat is not readily available to all, but I often meet people with plenty and they don’t know what to do with it, which is even more of a pity. Hope you find a nice hunter to befriend.
December 26, 2014 at 6:44 pm
Mole is one of my favorites, oddly enough I was recently thinking I must try to work on a simplified version and you have beaten me to it with one that sounds great! Like the pairing with venison as well, though we don’t get too much here, sadly.
December 26, 2014 at 7:27 pm
Hilda, that mole looks wonderful! I love making chili sauces and this one looks right up my alley 😀
December 27, 2014 at 10:05 am
Sounds flavorsome Hilda. …
December 27, 2014 at 10:53 am
It sounds like it’s a lovely dish, and full of flavor 🙂
December 27, 2014 at 1:42 pm
It looks quite wonderful Hilda. I love all the fruit and berries going on in your mole sauce 🙂
December 27, 2014 at 5:54 pm
I’ve never had mole before, but it looks and sounds delicious! I love how resourceful you always are hilda x
December 27, 2014 at 10:07 pm
What a delicious sounding dish! I grew up eating venison but it was never this special!
December 28, 2014 at 2:38 am
Agree with Julie, it is such a delicious sounding dish 🙂 almost lyrical ! I would have loved to recreate this in my kitchen, but alas, most of the ingredients will not be available here
December 28, 2014 at 3:58 am
I have been promised some venison from brothers who caught 3 deer this season so your recipe is timely. Hope you had a lovely Christmas Hilda!
December 29, 2014 at 8:27 am
I’ve never prepared mole before, but it sounds really delicious!
December 29, 2014 at 10:41 am
Your mole sounds so delicious! I have seen so many recipes and they all seem quite complicated and yours look so straight forward and full of flavour! I just ordered some sumac so I can try your recipe! 🙂 Happy New Year!