"Shannon O'Hara"
Hugo Ortega’s Mole Oaxaqueño en Verde
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Mole Oaxaqueño en Verde

Hugo Ortega, Hugo Ortega's Street Foods of Mexico / July 2012

For 8 to 12 servings

Meat:
• 1  4-lb. bone-in pork butt roast
• 2 1/2 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 2" chunks
• 1 lb. pork bones
• 1 cup navy beans, rinsed
• 1 onion, cut into sm. dice
• 6 cloves garlic, minced

Place pork butt on a cutting board; remove meat from bone with sharp knife; reserve bone; cut meat into 2" chunks; place in a Dutch oven; add remaining ingredients, reserved bone, and 8 cups water; bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium; simmer gently, adding water as needed to keep cooking liquid at least 1/2" above meat (about 2 hours), until meat and beans are tender; remove from heat; strain through fine chinois into large liquid measuring cup (cooking liquid should equal 4 cups; add water if needed); remove bones; discard; place meat in large bowl; reserve; strain cooking liquid through fine chinois into another bowl; reserve; reserve cooking pot.

Assembly:
• 2 1/2 lbs. tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
• 4 whole serrano chiles, stemmed
• 10 cloves garlic
• 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
• 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
• 1/4 tsp. whole cloves
• 1/4 cup lard
• 1 chayote, cut into 1/2" cubes
• 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1"-long pieces
• 1/2 cup fresh masa, mixed with 1 cup water to create a slurry
• 2 1/2 tsps. kosher salt
• 1 1/2 cups (about 3 leaves) hoja santa, chopped (see note below)
• 1/2 cup huaje seeds, toasted for 2 minutes under broiler (see note below)
• 1/4 cup epazote leaves, coarsely chopped (see note below)
• 1 Tbsp. pipicha, chopped (see note below)

  1. Heat broiler to high.

  2. Spread tomatillos in single layer on baking sheet; broil 5 minutes; remove from broiler; flip tomatillos; add chiles and garlic; broil, turning halfway through, 10 minutes; remove from broiler; place tomatillos and chiles in a blender; puree until smooth; add cumin seeds, peppercorns, and cloves; puree until smooth; reserve.

  3. Melt lard in reserved Dutch oven set over medium heat; cook 2 minutes; carefully add sauce (it will splatter); stir sauce; reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes; stir in chayote; cook 1 minute; stir in green beans; cook 2 minutes; stir in reserved cooking liquid; bring to a boil (about 2 minutes); remove from heat; add masa slurry; stir continuously until masa is completely dissolved (about 1 minute).

  4. Set over medium heat; add reserved meat and beans; bring just to a boil (about 2 minutes); stir in salt; reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes; remove from heat; reserve (keep warm).

  5. To serve, blend hoja santa, huaje seeds, epazote, pipicha, and 1/2 cup water in a blender until smooth; stir into stew until well combined; ladle stew among warm serving bowls.

What to drink: Tecate beer
Chef’s Note: Huajes, or guajes, are pungent seeds, similar to pumpkin seeds but a bit larger and stronger in taste. When toasting under the broiler, keep a close eye, as they tend to burn quickly. As soon as the seeds puff up, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool. They are sold in their pods and by the bunch in Mexican farmers’ markets, as is fresh epazote, pipicha, and hoja santa.