What is mole de jamaica? Most of us are familiar with agua de jamaica, hibiscus water prepared with dried hibiscus flowers. Not many people know that the hibiscus used to prepare agua fresca is totally edible! Once rehydrated. the hibiscus flower is a little tart in flavor and has the texture of tender mushrooms. Once blended with dried chiles, spices and aromatics it becomes this delicious sauce with deep flavors.
Hibiscus in mole?
Forget for a moment that hibiscus is a beautiful flower. Think of of as a food ingredient that can be transformed in so many ways. It has all the flavors and aromas of Oaxaca-Style Mole and Puebla-Style Mole, but with a twist.
More Than Agua de Jamaica!
Tacos, quesadillas, chamoy, cocktails, snacks and salsa are the recipes recipes that I have used the dried hibiscus as the star ingredient!
How many varieties of dried chiles have you cooked with?
The three must have chiles in my pantry are ancho, guajillo and chile de arbol! But then, I also love morita, piquin, pasilla, puya, cascabel, chiltepin, california and chipotle! I enjoy them all for their unique flavors they add to recipes.
Mole de Jamaica. Pork in a Hibiscus Mole Sauce
- 4 pounds pork butt/shoulder or chicken pieces
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup oil or pork manteca
- 2 full cups dried hibiscus jamaica flowers
- 4 chile morita
- 4 chile ancho/mulato
- 4 chile pasilla
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 4-6 cloves garlic
- 2 oz dried plums or craisins
- 1 oz blanched almonds
- 1 necatarine, peach or large plum washed, pit removed
- 1 oz unsalted peanuts
- 1 oz pecan halves
- 1 oz unsalted pepitas pumpkin seeds
- 1 oz sesame seeds
- 3 oz mexican chocolate
- 1/4 cup piloncillo, brown sugar optional
- Season the meat with salt and pepper on all sides. Cover and refrigerate until later.
- In a large pot, add 8 cups of chicken broth. Heat to medium/low.
- In a skillet, add 1/2 cup oil(or manteca) and heat to medium
- Transfer the dried hibiscus to a pot and cover with 5 cups of water. Heat to medium. When it comes to a boil, remove from heat ant let it sit for 20 minutes.
- Remove the stems and seeds from the large dried chiles(ancho and pasilla). If the morita has stems, remove them as well. If the chiles looks dusty, wipe them clean with a wet paper towel.
- Quickly fry the dried chiles in the skillet with preheated oil. As soon as they begin to blister and become aromatic, transfer them to the large pot of broth that is heating.
- Next, fry the sliced onion and cloves of garlic until translucent and aromatic. Transfer to pot with chiles.
- You will lightly fry all of the remaining ingredients, minus the nectarine, sesame seeds, Mexican chocolate and piloncillo in hot oil. Once fried, transfer all fried ingredients to the pot of broth that is heated.
- Drain the hibiscus. Reserve the hibiscus water. Transfer the softened hibiscus to the large heating pot with all the other ingredients.
- Once you are done frying, pour oil out of pan and lightly wipe out excess oil. Return to heat and add sesame seeds. Heat to medium. Continue toasting until seeds become aromatic and brown lightly. Set aside.
- I let my ingredients soak for a few hours, but that is optional. You can begin to blend your mole sauce. If ready to blend, pull the pork from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for 20-25 minutes.
- To the blender, add chopped nectarine and half of the ingredients, including broth, from the pot of softened ingredients. Add the sesame seeds. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Blend on high until very smooth. Strain sauce into a bowl. Repeat with remaining ingredients. If the mixture is too thick, you could add a little water.
- In a large pressure cooker pot, heat 1/4 cup of pork manteca to medium/high heat. Brown the seasoned pork, turning as needed. Once it’s browned, pour in the strained mole sauce. Also pour in 4 cups of reserved hibiscus(jamaica) water. Stir well to combine. When it comes up to a simmer, lock and secure the lid and cook on high until it comes up to high pressure. Lower the heat to medium/low and cook for 45 minutes.
- Once the 45 minutes is up, let pressure cooker cool down or you can release the pressure carefully. Remove lid and continue cooking at medium heat. Add Mexican chocolate and piloncillo. Once they melt, season with salt, to taste. Continue cooking for 30 minutes at a steady simmer. Srve mole with a side salad, rice and warm tortillas.