30-Minute Mole 32.000

Renee Comet for The Washington Post; styling by Bonnie S. Benwick

Plate Lab Pressure Cooker May 5, 2016

A pressure cooker makes quick work of the beloved Mexican sauce that normally takes hours to prepare. Here, the chefs at Nopa Kitchen + Bar began with a Mexican mother's recipe and added peanuts, allspice, brown sugar, black peppercorns and pork fat (lard). The result is rich-tasting, with a fruity medium heat.

At the restaurant, the mole is served with chilaquiles at brunch.

Serve with chips and guacamole, on meats and with roasted vegetables.

Make Ahead: The mole can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 32 servings; makes 8 cups

  • 3 ounces dried guajillo chile peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 1/2 ounces dried ancho chile peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 1/2 ounces dried pasilla chile peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 1/2 ounces dried chipotle chile peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 ounce dried arbol chile peppers, stemmed but not seeded
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) lard
  • About 1/4 cup packed (1 ounce) dark raisins
  • Scant 1/2 cup (2 ounces) white sesame seeds
  • One 2-inch-long heel of a baguette (2 ounces)
  • Scant 1/2 cup (2 ounces) roasted, salted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) hulled, roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (64 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
  • One 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 ounces light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 4 cups no-salt-added chicken broth


Combine the dried guajillo, ancho, pasilla, chipotle and arbol peppers in a large, dry skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant and slightly darker in color. Turn off the heat.

Melt the lard in pressure cooker over medium-low heat. Add the toasted peppers, raisins, sesame seeds, baguette piece, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, bittersweeet chocolate, cinnamon stick, brown sugar, tomato paste, onion, garlic, cumin, allspice and black peppercorns. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times, then add the broth, increase the heat to high, lock on the pressure cooker lid and set the pressure.

Once the correct pressure is reached, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook undisturbed for 30 minutes.

De-pressurize the pressure cooker and uncover; discard the cinnamon stick. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a high-powered blender. Puree until smooth, making sure the peppercorns have broken down.

The mole can be used right away, refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

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Recipe Source

From Alberto Baisano and Matt Kuhn, sous-chef and executive chef, respectively, at Nopa Kitchen + Bar in the District.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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