Lengua(pork tongue) mole with corn tortillas

I have made many moles in 2021, and this was one that I found to be perfect for the winter. By using lengua, or pork tongue, you have this rich, stewed meat that just soaks up all of those beautiful spices and chilies. I grew up eating a lot of pork and beef tongue, just because they were super gelatinous proteins, and they cook wonderfully in stews and braises. Normally with those proteins, you would usually peel off a membrane from them, as it gets tough and rubbery. However, with this recipe, I am pressure cooking the tongue in a mole, which results in the entire thing being super soft and tender! So no boiling for an hour, then shocking in ice, and then peeling off the outer layer is required with this recipe! With the mole, it is sweet, smoky, a little spicy, and super earthy and comforting. Eating it will make you feel as if you were being cradled by Mother Earth herself. Weird hippie sayings aside, I am serving the mole with homemade corn tortillas, because you always need some sort of bread or carb to go with your stew! The tortillas are made from masa harina, or corn flour, and what I love about fresh corn tortillas is that they are still soft and supple, unlike the frozen ones you could buy at the grocery store that hurt my stomach to digest(though that’s 100% on me, because I probably just bought a really bad brand of corn tortillas back in 2013).

The mole itself is essentially the star of this recipe. There are a TON of ingredients that go into it, which is typical of a mole. You have your dried chilies, your spices, and your seeds. Usually, a mole is made with those three thing, and the rest depends. I used tomatoes, garlic, and shallots in mine, just because those add a nice background of umami to the final product. Since lengua or pork tongue is relatively flavorless, packing in as many spices and aromatics is key to make it taste really good. There is chocolate in this mole, but it is more there to add a background of sweetness and earthiness that comes out from using the allspice and cloves. The key with moles is to let them stew down, as well as taste as you go, just to make sure that everything is in balance! Have a Merry Christmas, everyone, and hope you all have wonderful holidays!

For the mole:
8oz pork tongue
3 dried guajillo chilies
2 dried ancho chilies
1 dried pasilla chili
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp canola oil
1/4 cup almonds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
4 cloves of garlic
2 shallots
2 tomatoes
2 cups chicken or beef stock
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp dark chocolate

Dice the pork tongue into 1-inch cubes and season with salt. Deseed and destem the dried chilies first. In a pan, toast off the dried chilies until they are brittle to the touch, flipping them as necessary. Toast off the spices and herbs on low heat in a nonstick pan until fragrant. Transfer both the spices and the chilies into a blender. Then fry off the almonds, sesame seeds, garlic, shallots, and tomatoes in the oil first. Transfer those into a blender with the stock and some salt too. Puree everything together and pour through a sieve into either a pressure cooker or slow cooker, straining out all of the lumps. Stir on medium heat and then add in the chocolate. In a pan, sear off the pork tongue first. Transfer the pork tongue into the pressure or slow cooker. Seal the pot and then cook on medium heat for 1 1/2 hours, or until the pork tongue is completely tender. Allow the mole to cook down, uncovered, with the pork, for another 30 minutes, on low heat, while stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom of the pot from burning. By cooking the pork tongue in this method, you do not need to de-skin the pork tongue, as it will be soft enough to cut with a spoon.

For the corn tortillas:
1 cup masa harina
1/4 cup hot water
3 tbsp canola oil
a pinch of salt

Mix together to form a smooth dough(about 4-5 minutes of kneading). Keep the dough covered. Portion out 15g of dough per tortilla, and press with the bottom of a large skill to form your tortillas. Sear on each side on medium heat in a nonstick pan until the edges are almost browned.

For garnish:
Shaved radishes
Edible flowers

Pour the mole into bowls and serve with radishes, lime wedge, and edible flowers.

One Comment Add yours

  1. This is making me crave a good mole! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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