January 9, 2010

Mole de Olla

I don’t know about you, but it’s cold down here. Temperatures in the teens for a week now and that folks, is very cold for us. The weather person says it hasn’t been like this in over 20 years. All week long, I’ve been making soup, chili, sausage gumbo and stews like this one, a hearty beef stew simmered in an earthenware pot or olla. That’s what the name means, literally ‘stew in a pot’. There are many variations but the one key ingredient beside beef is the peppers. Hope it will warm you up as it did us. Enjoy!

Mole de Olla

1 -2 pound beef roast (I used a shoulder roast)
Cooking oil
1 -14 oz can beef broth
Salt & black pepper to taste
2 or 3 dried ancho peppers -see note
2 cups chopped, peeled tomatoes (or 1-14 oz can diced, undrained)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large ear of corn, cut into 1-inch sections (or 1 cup frozen corn kernels)
1/2 pound fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch sections (or frozen)
1 medium zucchini, cut into 3-inch strips

In a large olla or Dutch oven, heat some oil over medium high heat and brown the meat on all sides. Remove and wipe away the oil. Add the broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Return the meat and simmer covered on low for 45 minutes.

Cut the ancho peppers open and place in a small bowl. Cover with boiling water and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain, coarsely chop and set aside.

Combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppers and cumin in a blender or food processor. Cover and pulse to a somewhat smooth consistency.
After the beef has simmered for 45 minutes, stir in the tomato mixture. Add the potatoes, corn and green beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Stir in the zucchini, return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are tender.

I served this with simple a pan of thin cornbread or you can make corn pones.

Note: Although varying from the customary dish, I used 3 chilpotle peppers in adobo sauce and really enjoyed the flavor. But watch out, it brings out a lot more heat.


  1. This looks great!! Could go for some spicy on this cold winter day!

  2. apparently there is an arctic chill here in NY so I think I'll need to make this also! Looks like it warms you up right away!

  3. You know I love the chipotle!!

  4. Fifteen below zero this a.m. so you can imagine how good your roast looks to me right now! Very good! I love all the vegetables you included which I will do.

  5. Roast with some chilpotle heat sounds great right about now! Weatherbug on my desktop says it's 37 here in SW Florida. Holy cow it feels like snow!

  6. man it snowed in Florida today and I made a slush snowball off my windshield. The corn looks awesome in this to make it such a comforting warm dish of goodness! Wow this has to be awesome as it sure looks great!

  7. I hear you! It's ridiculously cold for Florida too. It's 31 degrees right now and it is just 6 PM. Not even in the deep of night yet.

    This really good - and it will heat up the kitchen. Good one!

  8. Drick, I need something hot like this now to warm up my stomach. I love the sweet corn there. It adds sweetness to the soup. This is a very lovely soup to have in this freezing weather.

  9. Oh my! that looks amazing and Im just in the mood for stews1 Yum!

  10. So cold over there and so hot for us down under. Crazy weather. I will have this in winter.