Rick Bayless’ Brick Red Mole & Beef Enchiladas

Rick Bayless Brick Red Mole over Shredded Beef Barbacoa Enchiladas

Rick Bayless’ Brick Red Mole is deep, rich and smoky and so good over just about any enchilada. Choose garnishes of choice to top your enchiladas.



6 medium ancho chiles (about 3 ounces total)
3 medium dried guajillo chiles (3/4 ounce total)
6 ounces ripe tomatoes (1 medium-small round or 3 small plum)
4 unpeeled garlic cloves,
2 tablespoons sesame seeds or 68 almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela freshly ground
1 generous teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, preferably freshly ground
3 tablespoons Mexican chocolate (about 3/4 ounce) coarsely chopped
3 to 3 1/2 cups chicken broth (divided)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil or rich-tasting pork lard
About 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Olive oil
12 warm corn tortillas
2 3/4 cups (12 ounces) cooked, coarsely shredded, boneless chicken, pork or beef (this is a good place for a rotisserie chicken or leftover roasted or braised meats)


Make the Mole:

On an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet heated over medium, toast the chiles a few at a time until they start to crackle and puff up a bit, even send up a faint wisp of smoke, then flip and press down to toast the other side. Be careful not to burn the chiles; that will make your Mole bitter. Let the chiles cool until they can be handled, then break them open and remove the seeds and stems. In a medium-size bowl, cover the chiles with hot water and let rehydrate 30 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure even soaking. Drain and discard the water.

While the chiles are soaking, lay a piece of foil over part of your hot griddle or your hot skillet and lay the tomatoes on it; on the uncovered part, place the garlic. Roast, turning everything occasionally until blackened in spots and soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly, then peel off the tomato and garlic skins. On the hot surface, toast the sesame seeds or almonds for a minute or so (the sesame seeds will pop around), then scrape them into a blender along with the tomatoes and garlic. Add the chiles, cinnamon, oregano, pepper, chocolate and 1 1/2 cups of the broth. Blend to a smooth puree, then press through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl.

Heat the oil or lard in a heavy, medium-size (2- to 3-quart) saucepan over medium-high. When hot enough to make a drop of the puree sizzle fiercely, add the puree all at once and stir for several minutes as it sears and thickens. Stir in another 1 1/2  cups of the broth, partially cover and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Taste and season highly with the salt, usually about 1 1/2 teaspoons, and the sugar.

Soften the Tortillas:

Turn on the oven to 350 F. degrees. Spray or brush with oil on one side of the tortillas then stack them up on a baking sheet and slide into the oven for just long enough to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Filling & Finishing:

In a medium skillet set over medium-low, add the filling of choice and ladle in some of the sauce, about 1/2 cup. Lay out the warm tortillas on a counter, top them each with a portion of meat, roll them up and place them, either:

  • On a plate, seam side down. To serve the enchiladas, spoon a generous amount of sauce over the tortillas.
  • In a casserole, seam side down. Ladle the filling over, then bake in a 350-degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Garnish the enchiladas with the topping(s) of your choice: crema, white onion, and cilantro or parsley leaves would be nice here.


If you can’t get the dried chiles for this recipe, use about six to seven tablespoons of a one ingredient chile powder. You’ll want a mild one, Ancho is usually pretty easy to find. Theb don’t toast as directed for the chiles. When you get to the part of the recipe where the oil is heated, add the chili powder and let toast for about a minute and then add the pureed ingredients. Don’t burn the chili powder!

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