Pseudo Mole Beef (served Taco-style)

April 28, 2007

Mole Beef

Mole paste

  • ½ cup of almonds
  • 3 allspices
  • 2 cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon of peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of whole cumin
  • 1 2” stick of cinnamon
  • 2 dried bird chilies
  • 1 fresh bird chili
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ cup of 70% cocoa chocolate


  • 2 pounds of beef chuck, in 1 to 1 ½” cubes
  • 1 onion minced
  • 1 large tomato, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 3 cups of beef stock
  • Mole paste


  • Old cheddar

As I was getting used to making those awesome tortillas that Robert Rodriguez showed me how to do (full lard tortillas are maybe a little more neutral in taste but they are easier to work with and somehow seem to have a fluffier texture), I was also looking for ways to use them. One of my favorite things to eat in Mexican restaurants is anything drenched in mole, the wonderful chocolate and nut sauce that is made in different regions of Mexico. Now, proper mole has dozens of ingredients and everybody and their mother has its own way to do it. After some research on the net there was no way in hell I was going to run all over town to get spices and the other stuff needed, so I made with what I had, which is still quite a bit of stuff.


I learned that making mole paste was first. Roast the almonds, either in a 450 degrees oven or in a frying pan, making sure to keep an eye on them so as to not burn them. Roast them on both sides. Dump the almonds, the garlic, all the spices (break up the cinnamon prior to that or pound it in a mortar), the chilies, salt and peppers in a food processor and pulse into oblivion. Once into a fine, or fine cornmeal, texture, add the chocolate and make a paste. Reserve.


In a dutch oven or a stockpot, over hight heat, add the oil and brown the beef cubes. Once browned on all sides, add the onions and garlic and cook for about a minute to brown a bit. Add the stock, the tomato, stock and mole paste. Bring to simmer, cover and cook for at least 1 hour, preferably 2. Check up on the pot every half an hour, every 15 minutes near the end because the sauce could dry up, add some stock or water to bring it back. Ideal texture after cooking should be very thick, something even thicker than Béchamel. If it is not, up the heat a bit and reduce a bit and keep stirring so that it doesn’t stick.


I served taco style by putting them in a hot tortilla and garnished with a few slices of old cheddar.


Tunes: I know absolutely nothing about Mexican music and since what I have done is not nearly as authentic to warrant some authentic Mexican music I decided to forgo any attempt to remain close to the subject matter. So, I decided to go something that makes me happy and one of the most criminally underrated Montreal band in the past few years: the Unireverse. This trio of synth enthusiast create incredibly fun and interesting originals and covers with one drum machine, a few other electronics and three vintage analog synths. On Plays the Music, the Unireverse just create eight songs that make your head bob up and down for an hour uncontrollably. Awesome.



  1. I’m Sophie, Key Ingredient’s Chief Blogger. We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. We love how unique and fun it is :). Please email sophiekiblogger@gmail.com if interested. Thanks!


  2. […] Mole Beef will satisfy anyone’s craving for a rich, meaty serving of mole. On his blog, Grub Noise, Simon explains the complexity of this dish, and how traditional mole recipes often call for a […]

  3. that music recommendation sounds spot on, exactly my taste. mexican music is traditional and blah (unless you’re in mexico or an embellished mexican restaruant).

    great recipe, btw…I’m typing this as it’s simmering.

    ~ a Texican in Montreal.

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