Mole (pronounced moh-lay, is a rich, fragrant sauce that is usually associated with Puebla or Oaxaca, Mexico.
There are so many varieties of mole available today – and historically, mole is very labor intensive and requires a huge list of ingredients. It’s not uncommon to find mole with 30+ ingredients,. I have been married for close to 20 years and in my husband’s Mexican family, his mom has only maybe made traditional mole once or twice.
My husband’s aunt is Azteca and she makes the traditional mole – unlike many who rely on recipe books or online Pinterest recipes, she does not – it’s by memory. A little of this, a lot of that — and in just minutes, she has me dazzled and confused.
When I need to make mole, I rely on a wonderful mole recipe that is easy to put together ….this mole is what inspired this Mole Chili – what if I could transform the bitter cocoa flavor, combine with deep, rich spices and pair with a beautiful chili?
And so it began – a little of this, a little of that, and before you know it, a beautiful and delicious Mole Chili. Bitter cocoa balances the zesty salsa and chipotle chili powder in this Mole Chili – made easily in the Instant Pot or on the Stove Top.
Even better? Serve it as Chili next to a side of Hatch Chile Sweet Potato Cornbread (or, classic corn tortillas) on the first night, then use it to change up dinner on the 2nd night by topping this chili over rice.
One meal, two ways.
I call it a 2-for-1 and what’s better than a dish that can save you time in the kitchen?
Start by browning your ground beef in a little olive oil – add in your garlic and onions towards the end, and saute just until soft. Add in your beans, tomatoes, salsa, beef broth, spices, and salt – once the soup is done cooking (stove top or Instant Pot), taste test – does it need more salt? Seasonings?
If you think it does, then add those in — a little extra salt, perhaps a pinch of additional chili powder. This chili has some kick but it’s not too overly spicy – I think it’s a perfect combination.
Once your seasonings have been perfected, toss that cilantro in there and ladle into bowls — garnish with Mexican crema, mozzarella and additional cilantro. You may not have much left, but if you do, save it for the next day and dump it on top of some steamed white rice!