“Mole” roughly translates as “concoction”, the best known recipe of all being guacamole. The classic mole verde from Oaxaca is given its distinctive flavour by locally grown herbs, such as hoja santa and epazote, that are hard to find outside of the region. This delicate twist uses pistachios and cos lettuce to give a wonderful bright colour.
- 50 ml vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅓ cup finely diced white onion
- ⅓ cup roasted cashews
- ¼ tsp toasted, ground cumin seeds
- ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- ½ cup peeled unsalted pistachios
- 4 green tomatoes
- 6 cos leaves, centre ribs removed
- 4 serrano chillies
- 1 tsp black pepper corns
- 2 cloves
- 400 ml chicken stock
- 1 lime, juiced
- 4 x 150 g pieces lamb fillet
- olive oil, to brush
- sea salt, to taste
- 2 cobs corn, boiled in salted water until tender
- 1 bunch watercress
- 100 g pickled red jalapeño chillies (see Note)
- ¼ cup julienned white radish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 5 minutes
Heat a heavy-based 22 cm saucepan over medium heat. Add oil, garlic and onion. Cook gently for 5 minutes, without colouring, until translucent.
Meanwhile, place all remaining mole ingredients, except the salt and lime juice, in a blender. Blend until very smooth.
Add garlic and onion to the blended sauce and stir through. Transfer to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 7–8 minutes over very low heat. Do not overcook, as the sauce will lose its bright green colour. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve, add seasoning and lime juice, and set aside.
Heat a chargrill over high heat. Brush the lamb with olive oil, then season well with sea salt and place on the grill. Brush the cooked corn with olive oil and season, then place on the grill. Cook, turning the corn as it colours to ensure even heating, for 4–6 minutes or until lamb is rare and corn is lightly coloured. Rest lamb for 5 minutes before serving.
To serve, stand the corn upright on its flat ends and cut downwards to remove the kernels. Slice the lamb pieces against the grain into six equal size slices. Dress a warmed plate with the green mole. Arrange the corn on the base of the plate, then the watercress. Arrange the sliced lamb on top. Garnish with pickled red jalapeño and white radish.
• If pickled red jalapeños are unavailable, roasted red pepper strips are a great substitute.