Looks like Mole, right?
Well, is it a little similar, but it’s actually a Red Pipian (pipián rojo), a dish made with dried peppers and seeds. After all these years blogging, I don’t know why, I didn’t post this recipe before, a classic dish from my hometown, where you can go to the central atrium of the municipal market and find two or three ladies selling red pipian paste, ready to make this dish. They sell the paste in small patted balls. They grind all the dried peppers, seeds and spices to form the paste. You just have to go home and roast the tomato, onion and garlic, and blend it with the pipian paste to form the sauce.
Pipian or pepian is commonly made using pumpkin seeds and using chicken as protein, but there are other recipes that include a mix of several seeds, and use pork, beef or nopales with shrimp (cactus paddles) for the protein. There is another pipian recipe here on the blog, the green pipian, and a very similar dish called Mole verde. Both use the same process of roasting and grinding dried peppers, seeds and spices. The recipes are many, and some more complex than others. I hope you get some inspiration from this pipian rojo to make your own creation.
SERVES ABOUT 4-6
FOR THE MEAT:
- 1 ½ Pork loin, cut into large cubes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup water
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 2 Ancho peppers
- 2 guajillo peppers
- 1 chipotle pepper
- ¼ cup peanuts
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ sesame seeds
- 1-in cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 2 allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 small tomato
- 1/3 medium white onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- Salt and pepper to season
- · Don’t over stir the sauce in the final cooking period, to prevent curdling the sauce.
1. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat the oil at medium high heat in a large saucepan. Once the oil is hot, add the meat, and sear both sides, turning once when the meat gets a light golden color. This step will take about 5 minutes total. Add one cup of water to the saucepan and cover to simmer and cook until the meat is almost fork-tender.
2. While the meat is cooking, let’s prepare the sauce. Prepare a medium size saucepan with 2 cups of water where you are going to be placing all the toasted ingredients. Toast the peppers over medium high heat for about 30 seconds per side. Place in the saucepan.
3. Lightly toast the seeds in a skillet or frying pan. We’ll start with the larger seeds: first the peanuts, then the pumpkin seeds and finally the sesame seeds. Toasting the peanuts will take about 1-1/2 minutes, afterwards remove and place in a bowl. Toast the pumpkin seeds, being careful not to burn them. Once they start to get a golden color, they will begin to jump; use a wooden spatula to stir. This step is a very quick one, and the same process applies to the sesame seeds that will be roasted in a matter of seconds. Place roasted seeds in the bowl with the water.
4. Now, slightly roast cinnamon, cumin seeds, cloves and allspice berries. Place them in the bowl with water once toasted.
5. Finally, roast the tomatoes, onion and garlic, turning occasionally to obtain an even roasting. Place in the bowl with the water.
6. Place the bowl's contents in saucepan over a medium high heat and cook for about 8 minutes; set aside to let the ingredients soften.
7. Check the meat for doneness, and add more water if needed.
8. Place all the sauce's ingredients in your blender pitcher and process until you have a smooth and robust sauce. Do not process it for a long period of time, just enough to blend the ingredients.
9. Pour the sauce into a large skillet and turn up the heat to medium high and slowly cook the sauce. Add the pieces of meat and stir occasionally. Keep cooking for about 10 minutes. The fats will float over the surface by now. If the sauce seems too thick, add a little chicken broth or water. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with rice and warm corn tortillas.
Don't forget to come back and share you experience with the recipe!