Mole de Olla

10 Feb

Although this has been a very mild winter in the Northeast, Winter still has New England firmly in its grasp. I cannot think of a better way to warm one’s soul than some delicious, comforting, beef stew. Not just your average, everyday beef stew, but an authentic Mexican stew made in a broth of chile pasilla that originates from the state of Oaxaca. Mole de Olla!

Mole de Olla

Mole de Olla

This is a recipe that my wife taught me when we first married and I have used ever since. This recipe has a unique ingredient that many of you may not have heard of. It is called Epazote. Epazote is a herb used in many dishes in Mexico. It adds a unique flavor to dishes, but its best quality is its ability to control  intestinal gas! In Mexico, they use fresh epazote branches in Mole de Olla, but since we do not have any here, I have to use dried epazote. A good rule of thumb is to use 1 teaspoon of dried epazote for each fresh branch of epazote. You can source dried epazote here!

Mole de Olla is rather simple to prepare. The only thing to be mindful of is the order that you cook the vegetables in, which will ensure they are all the proper tenderness at the same time. We start by slowly simmering the beef short ribs and the beef. My recipe uses short ribs as well because I like the added flavor that the beef bones bring to the stock. Just be sure to de-bone the beef after it is cooked! After the beef is pretty much done, we start adding the vegetables. First we add the corn and potatoes, then the beans and the carrots. We add the chile pasilla puree, simmer until all the vegetables are the desired tenderness, serve in large bowls with fresh limes and fresh corn tortillas and maybe a delicious Malbec! 

Mole de Olla

  • 1 lb beef short ribs
  • 1 lb lean beef, cut into small chunks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10-12 cilantro stems, tied with butchers twine
  • 2 teaspoons dried epazote
  • 2 corn cobs
  • ½ white onion
  • 1/2 head of garlic
  • 1/2 lb. green beans
  • 6 medium red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 large carrots sliced quarters
  • 5 chiles pasillas
  • salt to taste
  1. Cook the all the beef in about 3 quarts of water, along the onion, the garlic, salt, bay leaf, and cilantro stems on low heat for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut the corn cobs into 1 inch slices, wash the potatoes and quarter them. Slice each of the green beans in half, then quarter the carrots.
  3. Once the meat is cooked, add the corn and potatoes.
  4. About five minutes later, add the carrots, the beans, and the epazote.
  5. While this is all simmering away, toast the chiles on a comal, then soak them in water for about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the seeds and veins, then add the chiles to the blender with about ½ cup of the stock, a slice of white onion, and a clove of garlic.
  7. Blend this to a nice puree, then strain into the pot through a medium mesh sieve.
  8. Simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about another 30 minutes.
  9. Remove the beef short ribs and de-bone the beef and put the beef back into the pot.
  10. Serve in large bowls with lime slices and fresh corn tortillas!

    Mole de Olla

    Mole de Olla

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2 Responses to “Mole de Olla”

  1. arealfoodlover February 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    I made this last night. Delicious! My boyfriend Rob, who is 50%-ish Mexican loved it! I will definately keep this one on his short list. Thank you.

    • cjdelgrosso February 18, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

      That is great to hear! I am glad you liked it!

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