Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rosie's Most Excellent Mexican Moreovers. From Braised Short Ribs To Mexican.

The other day, I made braised short ribs
and served them on a bed of polenta.
This was oh-so-very-good.

I had a few short ribs leftover.
And I wanted to take those ribs 
and run with them in an entirely different direction.

And I did just that.
Remember, Rosie doesn't do leftovers.
She does Moreovers.
In this case Mexican Moreovers.

I took the beef short ribs and chopped them.
(I'm saving the vegetables for more Moreovers,
perhaps a tomato soup fortified by pureed veggies.)
I seared the beef,
deglazed the pan with pineapple juice,
and added some chopped onion, peppers, and pineapple.
 I served the meat on top of a fried corn tortilla
with homemade salsa and a kick-ass, intense mole sauce.
And don't forget cilantro blossoms.

Let's start with the mole first,
pronounced mo-lay.
As I said, this is an intense sauce, flavor-wise.
I would best describe it as "dimensional."
It's layered.
It's rich.
Although it has dried chiles in it, it is not a hot sauce,
but I prefer to use it sparingly, not heavily.

Mole is the generic name
for a number of sauces used in Mexican cuisine.
Moles come with various ingredients and flavors,
but dried chili peppers are the common factor
in all mole preparations. 
Other ingredients include seeds, nuts, fruits, 
various herbs and spices, and chocolate.
For a mole, there are as many recipes as
there are imaginations.

According to Rick Bayliss:
The famous Pueblan specialty, originally called 'mole de olores' (fragrant mole), took its place of origin as a surname, but today one need only say mole to be understood as meaning mole poblano....

Some sort of dark red (roughly Pueblan-style) mole is made all through Mexicao.  In Yucatan, it's known but certainly not indigenous;  there is, however, a local chirmole (literally chile plus sauce) - a pungent, black chile stew/sauce - but its flavor is very different from that of any other mole.  Many regions know a green mole made with tomatillos, green chiles, herbs and nuts or seeds to thicken and add flavor.  And some have the simple clemole (literally hot or cooked plus sauce), though it isn't really a public-food offering.  Then comes Oaxaca with its seven moles: black, two brick-red ones (one simpler and sweter, the other more complex, green, yellow, a dark, gravylike one called chichilo and the popular fruit-filled mild red manchamanteles. 

I had guajillo and pasilla chiles on hand.

Three guajillo chiles.
Two pasilla chiles.

I stemmed and seeded the chiles
and put them in a dry hot pan.

Let the chiles cook and steam a bit.

Cook on both sides for several minutes,
using a spatula to press the skin down
against the hot pan.

Pour in water to cover, bring to a boil,
then turn off and let the chiles steep for thirty minutes.

After thirty minutes of steeping,
I pureed the chiles and steeping liquid.

Oregano, whole cumin seeds, onion, and garlic.

In a dry pan, over medium heat,
toast a heaping tablespoon of cumin seeds.

Add toasted cumin seeds to chile mixture.

I minced 5 cloves of garlic and 1/2 a large onion.

Add a little oil to the hot pan and ...

... cook the onions and garlic for a few minutes.

Add in a can of diced tomatoes.

I rinsed out the can with 1/2 cup turkey consomme,
because it's what I had on hand.
I had used the consomme in a soup the other day, 
so I had a little leftover for Moreovers.
You could use chicken broth or water.

Freshly ground salt and pepper.

A tablespoon of oregano.

Let it bubble for a few minutes over medium low heat.

Add to blender with chile mixture.

Scrape out all the goodness.


Return puree to pan and cook over low heat
 for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

Stop to admire titty sprinkles on ceiling.

Prepare a quick salsa
using tomato, red onion, jalapenos, cilantro,
a little sugar and vinegar,
and freshly ground salt and pepper.

Chopchopchop the braised beef short ribs.

Chop some red onion and peppers;
some cilantro is in there too.

I am ready to assemble.
My mise en place:
fried corn tortillas
mole sauce
chopped onions, peppers, cilantro
pineapple and juice (3 slices and maybe 1/3 cup juice)
chopped braised ribs

Chop the pineapple slices.

I sauteed the meat in a little butter and oil
over medium high heat.
When you start getting some goodie bits
in the bottom of the pan,
deglaze with the pineapple juice.

Add the onion and peppers and ...

Heat through.


I served the meat on a fried corn tortilla,
with a stripe of mole sauce on one side
and salsa on the other,
with flowering cilantro and a leafy lettuce.

I loved this.
That is all.

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