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Oaxacan Chichillo

Monday, 26 May 2008


This is the legendary seventh mole from Oaxaca.


At a glance
Cooking Method
Heat Level
De Arbol
Main Course
4 to 6
  • 1½ pounds beef bones with meat; meat cut off the bones into 1-inch cubes

  • 2 quarts water

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 8 cloves garlic

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 chile de árbol or substitute large piquin or santaka chile

  • 5 whole peppercorns

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped

  • 1 whole allspice berry

  • 1 whole clove

  • ½ pound pork butt, cut in 1-inch cubes

  • 5 chilhuacle negro chiles, stems and seeds removed, save the seeds, or substitute anchos

  • 6 guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed, save the seeds, or substitute dried red New Mexican chiles

  • 1 corn tortilla, torn into strips

  • 1 sprig fresh oregano

  • 1 sprig fresh thyme

  • 2 allspice berries

  • 1 whole clove

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 2-inch stick cinnamon, Mexican preferred

  • 4 large tomatoes, quartered

  • 3 fresh tomatillos, halved

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 small onion, roasted

  • 2 chayotes or substitute zucchini, sliced thin

  • ½ pound green beans, chopped

  • 5 small potatoes, peeled and quartered

  • 3 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil

  • 2 to 3 avocado leaves, or substitute bay leaves

  • Salt to taste

  • Garnishes: sliced onion and lime slices


In a large stock pot, cover the beef bones with cold water, bring to a boil and boil for 20 minutes skimming off any foam that forms. Lower the heat and add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, chile de árbol, peppercorns, carrots, celery stalks, cloves, allspice, clove and cook for 5 minutes. Add the beef and pork cubes, lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Strain the stock, cool in the refrigerator and skim off any fat that rises to the top.

In a large frying pan or comal, toast the chiles, turning once until darkened, but not burned. Place the chiles in a bowl and cover with hot water to soak for ½ hour to soften.

Toast the tortilla strips on the comal until they blacken, remove. Toast the saved chile seeds on the comal and heat until the seeds are blackened. Remove the seeds and place in water to soak. Change the water after 5 minutes, and soak again for another 5 minutes. Drain.

Drain the chiles and place in a blender or food processor along with the tortillas, blackened seeds, oregano, thyme, allspice, clove, cumin, cinnamon, and a little water and puree to a paste.

Roast the tomatoes and tomatillos on the comal until soft, remove. Then roast the onion and garlic. Place them in the blender and puree.

Bring 3 cups of the reserved stock to a boil and the chayote, beans, and potatoes. Reduce the heat, and simmer until the potato is easily pierced with a fork. Drain and reserve the vegetables.

Heat the lard or oil in a heavy pot or cazuela and fry the chile puree. Add the tomato mixture and fry for a couple of minutes. Stir in just enough of the beef stock to thin the mixture and salt to taste. Toast the avocado leaves and add.

Add the vegetables to the mole and heat through.

Garnish the mole with the onion and a lime slice and serve.


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