Pork and Mole
Just to reassure you – this has nothing to do with small brown creatures! Mole is an amazing Mexican dish, flavoured with chillies, lime and a little dark chocolate, and it’s a taste sensation. Try any combo of chillies, such as mulatto, pasilla, ancho, guajillo, but use a mixture of mild and hot so the sauce doesn’t blow your head off. You can make the sauce ahead of time if you like and heat it up when you’re ready to serve.
- 1.5kg pork loin, boned, skinned and rolled
- juice and grated zest of 2 limes
- 1 lime, thinly sliced
- flaked sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 40g dried chillies, preferably a mixture of Mexican types or 2 tbsp chipotle en adobo sauce
- 4 cloves
- 4 allspice berries
- ½ tsp white peppercorns
- ½ tsp anise or fennel seeds
- 2cm cinnamon stick
- 20g lard, butter or vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp soft light brown sugar
- 50g ground almonds
- 50g breadcrumbs, preferably made from lightly toasted brioche
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- ½ plantain or banana
- 2 tomatoes, peeled and deseeded or 150g canned tomatoes
- 500ml chicken stock
- 15–30g dark chocolate
Put the pork in a non-metallic bowl and season it with salt and pepper. Pour the lime juice over the meat, add the lime zest, and then stir to combine. Leave the pork to marinate in the fridge for at least a few hours or overnight.
Remove the meat from the fridge at least an hour before you want to cook it so it can come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7.
Put the slices of lime in the base of a roasting tin and put the pork on top. Pour over the marinating juices and add about 200ml water to the tin. Roast the meat for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6 and continue to roast for another hour and 20 minutes, basting regularly with the pan juices. Remove the pork from the oven and leave it to rest for 10 minutes.
While the pork is roasting, make the sauce. If using dried chillies, take off the tops and remove the seeds. Dry-fry the chillies in a saucepan for a couple of minutes, then cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer them until soft, then drain.
Put all the whole spices into a frying pan and toast them until you smell their fragrant aroma. Remove them from the heat and let them cool, then grind to a fine powder.
Heat the lard in a saucepan. Add the onion and fry it gently on a medium-high heat until golden-brown and softened. Reduce the heat, add the garlic and cook for a further minute, then remove the pan from the heat and allow the onion and garlic to cool.
Put the onion and garlic in a blender with the rest of the sauce ingredients, except the chocolate. Blitz to make an ochre-coloured sauce the consistency of double cream – you can put this through a sieve if you want to make sure it is completely smooth. Pour the sauce into a pan and simmer it for about 20 minutes, then stir in the chocolate, adding it a little at a time.
Pour any juices from the roasting tin and the resting pork into the mole sauce. Slice the pork and serve it with the sauce poured over it and the sticky lime slices on the side.