Slow-Cooker Mole Pork

Pork Mole over Rice - 1

Pork Mole over Rice

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Written almost 1 year ago, this is another “source-less” recipe, for I’ve long since lost those links. I do recall that the original protein was chicken but, to my way of thinking, things go better with pork. (See Notes)

Much like last week’s goat, this dish is all about comfort from the first whiff of its aroma, and perfect for these dreadfully cold winter days. Cooked long and slow, the pork grows more tender with each passing hour. When time to serve, you can serve it as-is over rice, or shred it. If you choose the latter, tacos or tasty sandwiches result. Versatility is its best feature and I take full advantage of all 3 options before the pot is empty.

I have prepared this dish several times with no 2 meals alike. I’ve little experience preparing mole, so, I’ve played with the amounts of Mexican chocolate, peanut butter, and chili pepper. This recipe represents my last — and best, for me — attempt. Feel free to adjust them to suit your own tastes. In fact, please come back and share your changes. With so little experience with Mexican cuisine beyond tacos and chili, I am open to any suggestions.

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Pork Mole Taco 2

Pork Mole Taco

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Slow-Cooker Mole Pork Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 lb (1800 to 2300 g) pork shoulder (see Notes)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic gloves, smashed
  • 1 c chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Arbol chile powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ⅓ c light brown sugar
  • 1 small can (7 oz, 196 g) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • ¼ tablet (23 g) Mexican chocolate
  • ¼ c peanut butter
  • ½ c raisins

Directions

  1. Coat the slow-cooker container with cooking spray.
  2. Place the onions and garlic in an even layer on the bottom of the slow-cooker,
  3. Cut the pork into large chunks (see Notes) before placing in slow-cooker.
  4. In a bowl, combine the chicken stock, spices, light brown sugar, chipotle peppers, chocolate, peanut butter and raisins. Stir before emptying bowl into the slow-cooker, fully covering the pork.
  5. Set slow-cooker to LOW and timer to 8 hours (see Notes).
  6. When finished, remove pork and reserve.
  7. Using a stick blender, food processor, or blender, purée the sauce until as smooth as you prefer.
  8. Serving options:
    1. Return pork to slow-cooker before serving over rice, garnished with sour cream and cilantro leaves.
    2. Shred the pork before returning to the slow-cooker.
      • Prepare tacos with shredded lettuce/cabbage, onion, sour cream, cilantro, and/or whatever toppings you prefer.
      • Use to make pulled pork sandwiches with lettuce, onion, and whatever condiments you prefer

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Mole Pulled Pork Sammich - 1

Pulled Pork Mole Sammich

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Notes

This will produce a fair amount of sauce, particularly if you use a pork shoulder roast smaller than 4 lbs. (Been there.)  In fact, too much sauce may be produced for tacos or sandwiches. Then again. some may love a good, messy taco or sandwich. If so, have extra napkins on-hand and go for it!

While cutting the pork roast, remove any bone(s) and trim away as much fat as possible. Reserve the bone(s) for use in your next pot of tomato sauce.

If you prefer to use chicken, substitute 4 to 5 lbs of skinless, boneless chicken thighs for the pork. (This is not a recipe for chicken breasts.) Cut the thigh meat into chunks, flour, and lightly sear before proceeding with the recipe.

If you haven’t 8 hours to wait for your dinner, you can set the slow-cooker to HIGH and cook for 4 hours. In short, 1 hour on HIGH equals 2 hours on LOW.

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Mex Choc

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About that Mexican Chocolate (ETA)

When writing this, I didn’t consider that not everyone has access to Mexican chocolate. I hope the following helps.

I use the brand pictured above principally because it is the most readily available. There is another popular brand, Ibarra, that I have yet to find in the groceries that I frequent. If all else fails, you can make your own, the recipe being found on The Balance website. In it, use semi-sweet or milk chocolate equal in amount to the Mexican chocolate indicated in the recipe. To that, add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a drop of almond extract (optional). If nothing else, it makes a great cup of hot chocolate!

 

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It’s déjà vu all over again …

I’ve made no secret of my love for tart cherries, buying bags of them every summer. In fact, for a number of years, I drove 100 miles to a Michigan farm to get the little red beauties directly from the farmer.  Although I’ve plenty of uses for them, I always save some for this time fo year. A cherry muffin in February tastes almost as good as a piece of cherry pie in January. Both serve to remind me that the falling snowflakes will soon give way to cherry blossom petals.

My recipe for cherry pie can be found HERE and the cherry muffin recipe HERE.

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Pork Belly Ramen

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51 thoughts on “Slow-Cooker Mole Pork

  1. That looks delicious and perfect for the cold weather. It just went cold again here and no doubt it’s 10º colder in Chicago. I’m looking forward to the Ramen – it’s a good excuse to watch Tampopo again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our cold is now accompanied with “waves” of snow. It’s currently clear and sunny but the next wave is due in about an hour. I’ve got Ramen simmering. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
      I’ve not seen Tampopo in ages.I need to do something abut that.Thanks, MD, for the reminder.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Living on the wrong side of the Pond my ability to cook Mexican is negligible and I have been looking for an appetizing mole recipe forever. Know I have found it and can’t wait to try. Pork suits just fine, most ingredients are no problem, ‘chipotle peppers in adobo sauce’ I hope Mr Google will find for me 🙂 ! Delighted also that your latest interests will be bringing you closer to us . . . could live on pork belly ramen and am glad Mad reminded one of ‘Tampopo’ . . . thanks a million . . . . .you and Max stay warm!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, we’re keeping warm all right. The overnight snow has been cleared and I’m prepared to do the same with whatever tonight may bring.
      I’ve been tempted to prepare mole in the past but changed my mind when I saw the time and ingredients needed. This recipe is relatively easy and the slow-cooker takes care of the time element. Yes, I know you’ll be using your oven (smile).
      Chipotle are dried, smoked jalapeños and adobo is a red sauce. I believe adding it is a shortcut to both the ingredients and time required to prepare a traditional mole. It works for me. 🙂

      Like

  3. Is it even possible to have too much sauce? 🙂 I’d vote for pork, too — one of my favorite meats. This looks excellent — tons of flavor, and just ideal for the cold we’re experiencing. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I couldn’t agree with you more about the sauce. In fact, once the photos were shot, I ladled more sauce atop both the taco and sandwich. Yes, I made a mess but it was worth it!

      Like

  4. We adore mole and I’m intrigued by your recipe, it has peanut butter! The moles ive experimented with all have orange juice, and chocolate, of course! Looks and sounds like the perfect meal for our snowy winter days. I jhave to agree with John (kitchen riffs), is it even possible to have too much sauce?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so agree about the “1000 ingredients”, Amanda. That’s what drew me to this one. Love that I can just throw everything into the slow-cooker and forget about it until the timer dings. Now, that’s my kind of dish!

      Like

    • Oh, yes ,Sally! Whoever invented the slow-cooker must have had pork shoulder in mind. It’s truly a match made in heaven. From what I’ve read, a true mole requires hours of simmering on the stove. Once again, it’s the slow-cooker to the rescue! For me, this recipe works on so many levels — not the least of which is providing great sandwiches! 🙂

      Like

    • I’d no idea that you had issues with peanut butter. I’m glad you mentioned it. There shall be no peanut butter cookies in your welcome basket.
      Even so, I think you’ll enjoy the dish without the peanut butter. It’s certainly worth trying. Promise!
      Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I keep telling myself that I should prepare this with chicken — until I get to the butcher and a pork shoulder calls my name. The chicken had better learn to speak up or it will always be a bridesmaid. 🙂

      Like

  5. I’m off to buy pork now! I suppose I can make this in a Le Creuset Dutch oven, since I don’t have a slow cooker? As for the cherry pie, I must try and find frozen cherries. You’ve really inspired me today😍👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, you can cook this in the oven and the internet has many conversion tables. I hesitate to recommend one since I’ve not used it. I suggest doing a search and choosing the website you trust. Good luck!

      Like

  6. You know John, I’ve never made Mole but have always wanted to. Now that the weather is really cold here, the slow cooker is out permanently on the worktop so dishes like this are perfect! And as Eva says above, I don’t think you can ever have too much sauce 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was my first attempt, Tanya. I’ve always felt the time and ingredients involved to be too much. This recipe, however, is so much easier than others I’ve perused. I like, too, that I can play with the amounts of chocolate and peanut butter and get noticeable results. Seems that some recipes empty my spice rack and for what? I want to taste that I’ve added X, Y, and Z. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Love tasty spicy meals you can just throw in the slow cooker and forget about until dinner time. However, I don’t think you could forget about the delicious aroma in your home for several hours. Now that could be torturous. Hope you are doing well John!

    Liked by 1 person

    • And therein lies my problem with slow cooker, Bobbi. It was wonderful when I was working. Fill it in the morning and come home to an aroma-filled home and a hot dinner. Now, though, I don’t work. Some days I’m ravenous by the time the 8 hours is up, having remained home the entire cook time.
      I am doing much better now, Bobbi, thanks, and hope that you can say the same. I’m getting ready to go out and clear the snow yet again. Looks like “snow” is going to remain at the top of my to-do list for the next few days. 🙂

      Like

    • I remember, Dale, but didn’t know that we also shared a love of slow cookers. I think you’re going to like a couple recipes i’ll be publishing in the near future.
      As for the Mexican chocolate, I use “Abuelita”, which is a Nestle product. Fact is, it’s the only one I can easily find in our groceries.
      I’ve inserted a photo of the chocolate and a substitute into the post that may prove helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, Judy, This dish may take a couple attempts to suit your preferences. I must say, though, in my experience, it was a mighty tasty set of “tests”. 🙂 Good luck!

      Like

  8. There is nothing better IMO than a slow-cooked pork that just pulls apart with the touch of the fork, but smothering it a mole sauce it just over the top wonderful! Now I’m wishing I hadn’t used up that pork shoulder piece last night.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. John, my wife still speaks about her first-hand experience with that Mexican chocolate as a friend of hers is from there and made her Mexican hot chocolate back in the day. That, and everything else here, sounds like it is time for me to try them all out. Slow-cooked pork is the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Another commenter share her recipe and it calls for an entire tab of chocolate. ( used 1/4 of that). I do intend to try that — once I’ve enjoyed the pork mole in my freezer. So, be sure to taste your mole and adjust if you feel it’s not chocolate-forward enough. Good luck!

      Like

  10. Hi John, at long last I’ve returned, and not only does this Mole Pork look totally tempting (time for me to try mole, don’t you agree?) but your mention of a cherry cupcake has my mouth watering. I’ve been thinking about making muffins this morning, and I have sour cherries in the freezer … hmmm. It’s been very quiet in my part of the blogosphere in recent months, which always means there’s a lot going on IRL. Now that I’ve got another round of Major Life Changes behind me, I’m hoping I can get back to blogging. I’ve missed it! And I’ve missed checking out your blog too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • So good to see you’re back, Mar. I hope all is well IRL for you. Yours is one of the blogs I really missed. As you know, I, too, have been away and am still settling back into the routine. Ah, yes, the cherry muffins. Last night I went into the freezer in my basement and there they were. Right on top was a bag of tart cherries. Too small for a pie, I immediately though of muffins. Great minds really do think alike. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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