Pork is much-loved in Mexico and it really is the perfect protein to soak up all those spices, the rojo chocolate mole and the smoked creme. Take your time to turn around this Mexican beauty and you will be rewarded in richness. The Chefs' Line
- 650 g rack of pork, 3 points
- 150 g masa harina (white corn flour)
- 180 ml hot water
- 10 spring onions, cut from the ends into 20 cm lengths
- 14 g dried ancho chillies
- 18 g dried mulato chillies
- 16 g dried Pasilla chillies
- 12 g raw almonds
- 15 g pumpkin seeds
- ¾ tbsp sesame seeds
- 12 g golden sultanas
- ½ star anise
- 3 cloves
- ¼ cinnamon stick
- 5 black peppercorns
- 2 medium tomatillos, core removed
- 1 small tomato, core removed
- ½ onion, peeled and halved
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ tsp Mexican oregano
- Pinch dried epazote
- 25 g masa harina (white corn flour)
- 600 ml chicken stock
- 50-60 g la Soledad Mexican chocolate, finely grated
- Lime juice, to taste
- Sugar, to taste
- 100 ml white vinegar
- 2 tbsp Jamaica flowers (hibiscus flowers)
- 20 ml mescal
- 6 French radishes, trimmed, tops still attached, halved lengthways
- Sugar and salt, to taste
Spice granola mix
- 3 tbsp buckwheat, fried and dried on paper towel
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (pepitas), roasted
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds, roasted
- Ground cumin, to taste
- Ground coriander, to taste
Mojo de ajo
- 100 g peeled garlic
- 100 ml vegetable oil
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 150 ml sour cream
- Wood chips
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.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Heat a cast iron frying pan over high heat.
Score the fat side of the pork rack with a small knife, then season all over. Cook the pork in the preheated pan until browned on all sides. Transfer to a baking tray and roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes, then slice.
Meanwhile, for the rojo mole, remove the stem and seeds from the chillies, reserving the seeds from the ancho chilli for later. Dry roast the chillies in a frying pan over medium heat until darkened. Place in a bowl, cover with hot water and stand for 10 minutes to rehydrate. Drain and reserve some of the soaking water to blend with later. Place the almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sultanas and the reserved chilli seeds in a frying pan over medium heat. Toast gently until the sesame seeds are golden, then transfer to a blender and blitz into a powder. Leave in the blender. Place the star anise, cloves, cinnamon and black pepper in the frying pan and shake over medium heat for a few minutes or until fragrant. Pour into a spice grinder and grind to a powder, then transfer to the blender. Heat the frying pan over high heat. Cook the onion, tomatillos, tomatoes and garlic until lightly blackened (these will take different amounts of time). Add to the blender with the drained soaked chillies, dried oregano and epazote. Blend into a smooth paste, adding some of the reserved chilli soaking water as necessary (don’t put too much in at the start or you will not get a smooth paste). Place the masa harina in a saucepan with 150 ml of the chicken stock and stir until dissolved.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chilli and onion paste and stir for 4-5 minutes. Add 250 ml (1 cup) of the remaining stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring regularly to prevent the mixture catching on the base of the pan. Add the masa harina mixture and bring to the boil, stirring regularly. Adjust the consistency as required with the remaining chicken stock. Stir in the chocolate and adjust the seasoning with lime juice, salt and sugar. For the pickled radishes, place the vinegar, flowers and mescal in a saucepan with 100 ml water and bring to the boil. Adjust the seasoning with sugar and salt. Add the radishes and allow to sit as long as possible.
For the spice granola mix, dry roast the pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds in a frying pan until golden. Transfer to a mortar and coarsely crush. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients.
For the mojo de ajo, place the garlic and oil in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until the garlic is cooked through and golden (you are looking for a pretty deep brown colour). Remove from the heat, add the lime juice and salt and blend until well combined. Add more salt and lime juice as needed. For the smoked crème, spread the sour cream in a bowl so it is only about 1 cm deep. Cover with plastic wrap 2-3 times, then use a domestic smoke gun to smoke the cream to your taste. Season and refrigerate until needed. For the tortillas, place the masa harina and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add enough of the hot water to make a soft but not sticky dough. Roll ping pong ball-sized pieces of dough into rounds and press in a tortilla press. Cook in a dry hot pan until dry on both sides. Place in a tortilla warmer until ready to serve.
Brush the spring onions with some of the garlic oil. Char-grill until just tender.
To serve, slice the pork and divide between plates, Spoon the rojo mole over the top. Top with the charred spring onion and spice granola mix. Place a quenelle of smoked crème and some drained pickled radishes to the side. Serve with the warm tortillas.
This recipe is from Series 2 of The Chefs' Line airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Episodes will be available after broadcast via SBS On Demand. Join the conversation #TheChefsLine on Instagram @sbsfood, Facebook @SBSFood and Twitter @SBS_Food. Check out sbs.com.au/thechefsline for episode guides, cuisine lowdowns, recipes and more!