THIS IS NOT A SPICY MEAL!!
Mole de Olla is a rich soup with a little bit of mole flavor. It has many variations across the country but is more popular in the central states of Mexico, where it is a common main dish in the mid-afternoon. Even though here in America soups are enjoyed during the wintertime, in Mexico this Mole de Olla soup is cooked year around. In most regions, it is usually made with a mix of bone-in beef cuts and pork meats, accompanied with vegetables native to the area.
Cooked slowly over the stove, this dish is a robust meal; the bone-in pieces of meat create a nutritious broth, and the vegetables like carrots, chayote, squash, corn, green beans, and xoconostles form a perfect combination of flavors. For a faster way to cook this meal, you can use your pressure cooker.
This soup brings me happy memories from my time as a school teacher in the State of Tabasco. I worked in two schools right in the middle of the cacao plantations: during the mornings I was teaching middle school, and in the
afternoons I would teach elementary school. Since my works were far away from where I lived, I usually packed my lunch to eat between classes. One day, one of my students asked me what my favorite meal was, and I told her “Mole.” One week later, she told me that she had a surprise for me and that she wanted me to go to her house for lunch because her mom had prepared my favorite meal.
I was obviously really excited about the great meal I was about to have, my mouth was watering just thinking about it on my way to her house. All this time, I was thinking about Mole Poblano, the famous dish from the state of Puebla, and I couldn’t hide my surprised face when I was served a huge bowl of steamy Mole de Olla. My student’s face had a smile from ear to ear, honored with having her teacher sitting at her table for lunch. She said, “you told me that your favorite meal is Mole.” I smiled and said that indeed it was. I didn’t have the heart to tell her! Either way, it was a delicious meal and bittersweet moment.
“Xoconostles” are a close relative of the cactus fruit “sweet prickly pear,” known also as “tunas.” Xoconostles are not as sweet and have a sour-tart taste. I’ve given some ideas for substitutions in the notes below, in case you can’t find them in your area.
There is another recipe for Mole de Olla in the region of Chapala, Jalisco, made with salted beef steaks and ancho peppers.
RUMBA® Meats sponsored this post. Foods of the Soul