Venison mole

Thomasina Miers version of the famous Mexican fruit and chocolate sauce uses two types of Mexican chillies and an array of spices
Venison mole
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 15 mins soaking
  • Effort: easy


For the mole

  • 4 dried ancho chillies, seeds and stalks removed (available from specialist Mexican suppliers or online)
  • 1 dried arbol chilli, stalk removed (available from specialist Mexican suppliers or online)
  • 50 g dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1 orange, juice and zest
  • 2 cloves, ground in a spice grinder
  • 2 petals from a star anise, ground in a spice grinder
  • 2.5 cm stick cinnamon
  • pinch dried oregano
  • 60 ml olive oil, or 2 tbsp lard
  • 2 tbsp hazelnuts, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar

For the steaks

  • 2 tbsp lard
  • 6 venison fillets, about 160g each

To serve

  • finely chopped parsley
  • wilted kale


1. For the mole: soak the chillies in a small bowl of hand-hot water for 15 minutes until softened.

2. In a separate bowl, leave the dried cranberries to soak in the orange juice.

3. Simmer the chillies, their soaking liquor, the orange zest, ground cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick and oregano in a pan for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

4. Heat the olive oil or lard in a large frying pan and fry the nuts until they are golden-brown and crisp. Remove the nuts from the pan and set aside.

5. Fry the garlic in the remaining oil or lard until the garlic is slightly browned.

6. Blend the cooled chilli and spice mixture, the chocolate and the garlic in a food processor or blender to make a smooth paste you may need to add a splash of water to loosen the mixture.

7. For the steaks: melt the lard in a heavy-based pan and fry the venison steaks for about 2-3 minutes on each side. When the steaks are cooked to your liking, put them in a warm place, covered, to rest for a few minutes.

8. Add the chilli paste to the pan used for the steak. Tip in the dried cranberries and their soaking juices and heat through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

9. Serve the steaks with a spoonful of the mole on top. Scatter with the toasted hazelnuts and serve with wilted kale topped with finely chopped parsley.

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