Every year around this time, I try my hardest to treat my family with a traditional meal they can enjoy during the week of Dia de Muertos on November 1 and 2. The holiday honors the memories of our loved ones who have passed on. During the holiday, we spend most of our day at the cemetery and end the peaceful evening at home reminiscing through old photographs, relics and memorabilia of those friends and family we miss dearly. For dinnertime, we feast on tamales, hot chocolate, tamales, pan de muerto and mole.
Mole is my all-time favorite traditional Mexican dish to prepare. It’s comprised of so many ingredients simmering over a hot stove for hours on end. Different in every region in Mexico, ingredients, protein and serving style vary from state to state and even from family to family.
This Dia de Muertos, I decided to make a mole that is simpler than the others. Similar to a vegetable-packed stew such as mole de olla, papas en mole highlight the starchiness of the potato with the sweet and smoky spice from the ancho and guajillo chiles. Sprinkled with sweet corn kernels, this rich dish is a mouthful of textures and flavors.
If you are new to preparing mole. This is the best mole to start out with. It takes just about an hour from start to finish and requires minimal prep. The perfect dinner that leaves time to finish decorating Dia de Muertos altars and adding the finishing touches to your sugar skulls. Enjoy!
Papas en Mole
2 cups corn kernels off the cob
6 cups water, divided
½ teaspoon salt
2 epazote leaves
3 ounces pork loin, chopped in 1/2 –inch pieces
3 large Yukon Gold Idaho Potatoes, rinsed and chopped in ½-inch pieces
1 bay leaf2 dried ancho chiles, tops removed and seeded
1 dried guajillo chile, tops removed and seeded
1 Roma tomato
1 medium onion, sliced in half, divided
3 garlic cloves, divided
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 large lime, quartered
In a large stockpot, combine corn, 2 cups water, salt and epazote leaves. Cook covered for 10 minutes. Drain and reserve water.
In a separate pot, combine pork, potatoes, 4 cups water, an onion half, 1 garlic clove and bay leaf. Cook for 35 minutes or until pork meat is tender.
On a large skillet or comal, toast chiles, tomato, the other onion half, the tortilla and remaining 2 garlic cloves. Turn to toast evenly with tongs. Tomato and onion should be partly charred. Tortilla should be toasted, stiff and partly charred.
Transfer toasted chiles, tomato, toasted onion, tortilla and garlic and cumin into a blender container. Add 1 cup from the water the corn was boiled in. Blend until smooth.
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add chile mixture, decrease heat to low, cover and cook for 7 minutes, stirring constantly.
Drain pork and potatoes, reserve broth. Stir in pork, potatoes and corn into chile mixture. Gradually add pork broth until the consistency is soupy.
Serve and garnish with parsley, green onions and lime juice.