Red Mole with Shredded Beef

Tender shredded beef with a rich earth red mole made from nuts, seeds, fruit, chiles and chocolate.
Course Entree
Cuisine Mexican
Level Intermediate
Main Ingredient Beef
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 8 people


  • 500 grams tomatillos (~3 medium )
  • 200 grams tomatoes (~1 medium tomato)
  • 400 grams onions (~2 medium , slice into rings)
  • 30 grams garlic (~6 cloves, peeled)
  • 1.8 kilograms beef chuck (cut into 5-centimeter cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cups water
  • 40 grams dried Guajillo chiles
  • 40 grams dried Ancho chiles
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 75 grams pumpkin seeds (~1/2 cup)
  • 30 grams toasted sesame seeds (~1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • salt (to taste)
  • dark brown sugar (to taste)
  • 50 grams dark chocolate (70%)


  1. Place the oven rack in the top position and turn on the broiler.
  2. Score an "x" on the bottom of the tomatillos and tomato, and then place them on a baking sheet along with the sliced onion and peeled garlic. Broil the vegetables until they are starting to char. Flip them over and continue broiling until the other side is lightly charred.
  3. Dry the surface of the beef with paper towels and then generously salt and pepper on all sides.
  4. Heat a dutch oven until hot and then add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the beef in one layer and allow it to form a brown crust on one side before flipping and browning the other side.
  5. Add the charred vegetables, oregano, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick and pour the water in.
  6. Bring the water to a boil and skim any foam that rises to the surface until you don't see any more foam coming up. Turn down the heat to maintain a bare simmer, cover the pot with a lid and simmer until the beef is very tender (about 2 to 2.5 hours).
  7. While the beef is cooking, use kitchen shears to cut the tops off all the chiles and cut down the side of the chile from the open end to the tip. Open up the chiles and remove all the seeds and any pith. Use a damp paper towel to wipe down the outsides of the chiles.
  8. Place the chiles flat on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until fragrant, but be careful not to burn them as they will get bitter. Remove them from the sheet pan and let them cool on a heatproof surface.
  9. Spread the raisins on the baking sheet and roast until they puff up.
  10. Add the pumpkin seeds to a stainless steel or cast iron frying pan and roast the seeds. Once you hear the seeds start popping, you'll need to toss them constantly or they will burn. Roast them until they are golden brown, then transfer them to a metal bowl to cool down.
  11. Add the sesame seeds to the hot pan and toss continuously until they are golden brown, and then add them to the bowl with the pumpkin seeds.
  12. Add the coco powder and cinnamon to the hot pan and stir around continuously until they just start to turn fragrant and add them to the bowl with the seeds (this should only take a few seconds).
  13. Crumble the cooled roasted chile peppers into the food processor. If they are still too moist to crumble, return the pieces that won't crumble to the oven and roast a bit more. Process the peppers until they're a fine powder.
  14. Add the cooled seeds to the chile peppers and process until the mixture is finely ground. The oils in the seeds will probably make the mixture clump, so scrape down the sides of the work bowl a few times until it's finely ground.
  15. When the beef is fall-apart tender, use some tongs to remove it from the stock. Strain the stock into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much flavor as possible. You should have about 5 cups of stock. If you have more, just boil it down until you have 5 cups of stock. If you have less, add water.
  16. Let the beef cool enough to handle and pull it and cover it with a lid or aluminum foil to keep it moist.
  17. Add the raisins along with some of the stock to the food processor with the seed and chile mixture and process until smooth.
  18. Pour the mixture back into the pot with the rest of the stock and simmer, stirring constantly until thick. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt and sugar to taste.
  19. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until it's completely melted and then pour the sauce over the beef and stir to coat evenly.
  20. Serve with warm tortillas, shredded cabbage, and cilantro.