bean steak molé with queso fresco polenta

February 10, 2014 § 80 Comments

Several weeks ago I acquired an appetite for spicy Mexican flavors and it has yet to be satiated.   If you have visited my blog recently you may have noticed the “heat is on”!   But that’s ok because the recipients of my cooking happen to love spicy latin cuisine.   Taco’s of various sort have been on high rotation as well as loads of guacamole and homemade salsas.  Nontheless, last Sunday was a big day for us here in the Seattle area.  Our home team, the Seahawks, made it to the Super Bowl and I really wanted to prepare something special to celebrate.  Here it is.  Bean steak molé.

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To truly appreciate Mexican cuisine, you must embrace the chile.  The piquant peppers enliven dishes with their sweetness and heat.   The heat in this molé surfaces from two types of chile’s.   This recipe calls for chipotle in adobo, which is smoked jalapeños in a tangy sauce and pasilla, a dark colored medium hot chile.  Pasilla is a rich flavored chile, perfect for sauces and can be found dried and after rehydrating blended into a paste.  The sauce is thickened with black beans, and little bits of crushed toasted almonds provide a gentle crunch for texture, and to top off the heat is a hint of dark chocolate.  Molé is wonderful served with warm homemade tortillas.  We served ours with a creamy polenta seasoned with green chiles and queso fresco.   Success!  Both the molé and the Seahawks!

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I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 1 dried pasilla chile pepper
  • 1 – 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup toasted almonds
  • 2 chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds skirt or flank steak
  • 2 green onions, sliced

M e t h o d

In a small bowl pour boiling water over the pasilla chile pepper.  Let stand for 30 minutes.  Drain chile pepper; remove and discard stem and seeds.  Transfer chile to a blender or food processor.  Add black beans, almonds, chipotle chile peppers, adobo sauce, and chocolate.  Blend or process until smooth. Add chicken stock, a little at a time, blending well after each addition; set aside.

In a skillet heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook about 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring often.   Transfer onion mixture to blender/processor with molé  blend/process 1 minute more.  Transfer molé sauce to a saucepan; set aside.

Preheat broiler.  Score a diamond pattern on both sides of steak.  Rub steak with olive oil and sprinkle a little salt & pepper on each side.  Place steak in an ungreased baking pan.  Broil steak 4 or 5 inches from the heat for 5 minutes, turning once.  Transfer steak to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes.

Bring molé to a simmer stirring often.   Thinly slice steak across the grain;  add slices to the molé and simmer for 30 minutes or so.

Serve molé over warm queso fresco polenta.  Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro or green onions.

Q u e s o    F r e s c o    P o l e n t a

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I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (I use whole)
  • 1 – 4 ounce can diced green chiles, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon freshly diced oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup polenta or coarse cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup crumbled quesco fresco cheese

M e t h o d

In a saucepan combine chicken stock, milk, diced green chiles, oregano, salt and bring to boiling.  Gradually add polenta, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to low.  Cook, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in quesco fresco.  Add a little more milk to achieve desired consistency.  Remove from heat.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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