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Bone-In Pork Chop with Mole and Tomato and Corn Rice

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr (includes resting time)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings
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Pork Chop with Mole:

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon cumin seeds 

1 stick cinnamon 

1 dried ancho chile, stemmed and a majority of the seeds tapped out 

1 dried guajillo chile, stemmed and a majority of the seeds tapped out 

1 dried pasilla chile, stemmed and a majority of the seeds tapped out 

Olive oil, for the pan

4 corn tortillas

3 Roma tomatoes 

3 tomatillos, husks removed 

3 cloves garlic 

1 jalapeno, stemmed and seeded 

1 Spanish onion, sliced into 1/2-inch rings 

8 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed

1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts

1/4 cup blanched almonds 

2 chipotle chiles in adobo 

1/2 cup brown sugar 

2 ounces Mexican chocolate, roughly chopped 

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Two 1 1/2-inch-thick bone-in pork chops 

2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Corn and Tomato Rice:

Olive oil, for the pot

1/2 Spanish onion, small dice 

1 1/2 cups chicken stock 

1 cup basmati rice 

1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes 

1 bay leaf 

Kosher salt 

1 ear corn, kernels removed 

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. For the pork chop with mole: To a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, add the fennel seeds, cumin seeds and cinnamon. Toast, swirling the pan frequently, until fragrant. Remove from the pan and set aside. Then, add the ancho, guajillo and pasilla chiles (you may have to work in batches depending on the size of the pan) in an even layer and toast on all sides, continuing to move the pan frequently, until fragrant, about 5 minutes per batch. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. To the carafe of a spice grinder, add the toasted fennel and cumin seeds and pulse until a fine powder is formed. Remove and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush lightly with olive oil. Grill the tortillas, tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno and onion in batches until charred with grill marks on all sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the carafe of a bender.
  4. To the blender, add the chicken stock, peanuts, almonds, chipotle in adobo and 1 tablespoon of the fennel-cumin mixture and blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepot over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, chocolate, bay leaf and toasted cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Cook for at least 30 minutes, but longer is always better, so up to 2 hours. Adjust the consistency with more chicken broth if the mixture is too thick.
  5. For the corn and tomato rice: Coat a small saucepot with olive oil and turn the heat to medium. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, rice, tomatoes and bay leaf and season with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the cover, fluff the rice and stir in the corn and cilantro.
  6. Meanwhile, season the pork chops with the remaining fennel-cumin mixture and some salt. Heat the large cast-iron pan used to toast the spices over medium-high heat and coat generously with olive oil. Sear the chops on all sides until brown (brown food tastes good!), about 6 minutes per side. Cook to medium, until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F or to desired doneness. Remove from pan and allow to rest on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes.
  7. To serve, ladle a spoonful of mole on the bottom of the plate, place a pork chop on top and garnish with the cilantro and rice on the side.