Monday, April 23, 2012

Dutch Oven Mole-Style Roast

It all started because I wanted to do something DIFFERENT...

...but I didn’t know what.

That’s nothing new, really.  I find myself in that position a lot.  I want to cook, but I don’t know what I have ingredients for, and I don’t know what I’m up against, etc... I do like to push myself, though.  That’s one reason why I love to do the challenges with Andy over at

I even considered asking him if he was up for a challenge.  In the end, I thought about chocolate.  I wanted to try using chocolate in a savory dish.  I’ve done chocolate brownies, chocolate cakes, chocolate cookies, etc...  But never have I done a savory chocolate meal.

My mind went instantly to mole.  There are two nationalities who really know how to do chocolate.  One is the Mexicans and one is the Dutch.  Oh, and the Swiss, too.  I loves me my Toblerone!

As I looked at various mole recipes online, I found a lot of things in common, and, as I expected, a lot of things different. There really IS a lot of things you can do and still call it a mole.  And really, I wasn’t so much wanting a TRUE and TRADITIONAL mole. For example, almost all of the meats I’d seen in mole recipes were chicken or pork.  I could have done that, sure, but I had this small beef roast that I wanted to try.  I didn’t see any beef mole recipes.  Maybe they’re out there, maybe not.  I didn’t see any.

So, I don’t know if I’m supposed to be able to do beef or not, but I did.

I also thought it would be cool to do the roast medium rare.  I’m not sure why I wanted it that way. Maybe it just sounded fancier.  In the end, it ended up rare, because of a bad calibration on my thermometer. It truly tasted GREAT, though.

Mark’s Dutch Oven Mole-styled Roast

12” Dutch oven

20 + coals below, then
14 coals above and 12 coals below

8” Dutch oven

6-7 coals below

  • 1 2-3 lb beef roast
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ cup beef broth (you might want more)
  • 2 1 oz cubes semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons raisins or dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 3 oz (1/2 6 oz can) tomato paste

It started off by lighting up some coals.  As they were getting white, I seasoned both sides of the well-thawed roast with plenty of salt and pepper.  This was set aside to soak into the meat.

When the coals were hot, I dusted the inside of the 12” Dutch oven with a bit of oil and set it on top of the coals to preheat, and to season a bit.  After a while, I added some olive oil to it and let that heat to shimmery. I laid the roast in and seared it for a few minutes on each side, to get some good carmelization going.  Once that was in place, I adjusted the coals for the roasting and relaxed.

After about forty-five minutes, It was time to make the mole sauce.  I also made some veggies as a side dish at this point, but that’ll be a subject for a different blog, on a different day.

The mole sauce was simply a matter of mixing the ingredients in the 8”and putting it on the coals.  I let it simmer slowly, melting the chocolate and combining the flavors.  While the roast is still cooking, spread a coating of the sauce on.

Carefully watch the temperature of the roast.  When the internal temperature gets to 140, take it off the coals, but leave it in the Dutch oven to rest. The residual heat of the Dutch oven will bring the temperature up to about 145 or 150 degrees, which is a nice, comfortable medium doneness.  (Like I said earlier, I had problems with my thermometer, so it did turn out quite rare. Still, it was delicious.

I served it with the veggies on the side, and a drizzle of more sauce on top, to the rave reviews of my children.  I know it’s good when they give me the thumbs up!

Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his MoBoy blog.


  1. Mark, I'm always down for a challenge. I was thinking it would be cool to do some sort of "deconstruction" challenge where you take an existing recipe and deconstruct it using the ingredients in new ways to make something entirely different.

  2. THAT would be a lot of fun. Let's do it! Any ideas for the dish to deconstruct? Anyone? Anyone?

  3. superb dish I love it so much delicious :) Thank you :) private chef in austin



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