Mexican Mole Beef Ribs

Mexican Mole Beef Ribs

The intense + layered flavours of this Mexican Mole Beef Ribs will have you ditching Tex Mex in favour of this authentic style Mexican dish! By Meg from A Recipe Blog.

A word about Meg's Mexican Mole Beef Ribs

My Mexican Mole Beef Ribs are complex, deep and rich. It is a must try dish!

Mole is pronounced ‘Mo-lay’, but what exactly is Mole?

Mole is one of the most prized gastronomic treasures of Mexico. Since pre-Hispanic times, this delicious, thick and flavourful sauce has been prepared with a long list of ingredients.

Mole is used to flavour protein, typically chicken, turkey, pork or beef. In time Mole is a dish that has been transformed over the centuries, just like the Mexican culture.

In many regions of Mexico, it is common to serve mole as the main dish at important celebrations such as weddings, christenings, patron saint festivals and even after funerals. It is also iconic as one of the main meals to celebrate the folkloric Day of the Dead.

There are several different kinds of mole, my recipe is most akin to Mole Negro characterized by its smoked flavour and the presence of chocolate that gives it a richness and deep nutty flavour. The chocolate also influences the dark colour of the mole.


What's in Meg's Mexican Mole Beef Ribs

As per traditional Mole Negro goes this recipe calls for Ancho and Chipotle that have been stemmed and seeded.

The chillies add spice, depth of flavour and a slightly smokiness to the dish.

Cumin and cinnamon powder along with cloves and whole allspice berries give this thick Mexican staple a beautiful aromatic and layered flavour profile.

Mexican dark chocolate which is very bitter and not sweet at all adds richness, and a nutty dimension to the sauce.

Sautéed onions and garlic bring it all together and raisins add a hint of sweetness to balance the heat and acidity of the crushed tomatoes.

To thicken the sauce strips of tortilla and bread rolls that have been toasted help do the job, along with chicken stock that helps soften it all together.

For the beef short ribs, you can get these easily at the butcher. Beef short ribs are a prize-winning cut when it comes to slow cooking.

Not only is it the most tender and succulent fall apart beef you will ever taste but it costs a fortune when you’re dining out at restaurants, but can be fairly affordable when sourced at the butcher.

As with any meat on the bone, the flavour that the bones impart in the final dish is adds incredible depth of flavour.


Tools of the Trade

A blender is ideal for blitzing the mole into a smooth sauce. This is done in stages, so follow steps carefully.

A medium to large saucepan is ideal for sautéing the onions and garlic, and then the same pan can be used to finish the sauce.

I like to brown the beef robs in a large sauté pan so it gets a chance to brown on all sides before slow cooking.

For slow cooking the beef ribs with sauce a heavy based casserole dish like a Dutch Oven is ideal to keep the temperature constant and prevent the bottom from burning.


Serving Suggestions

To serve, ladle some sauce onto a platter, place some beef ribs over, drizzle with sour cream and garnish with coriander. Ideally serve it with steamed rice or tortillas and enjoy.

Fresh lemon wedges are also a great addition and really bring out the flavour of the dish.

You can also pull the meat off the ribs, shred it with a fork and serve it in tacos, enchiladas, burritos or sliders or make loaded nachos.

The meat is super flavourful and can be paired with Mexican favourites like beans, shredded cheese and avocado.


Ingredients - Serves 6

2 dried, stemmed and seeded Ancho Chillies
2 stemmed and seeded Chipotle Chillies
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 torn into pieces Dinner Roll
2 cut into strips Tortillas
200 g Crushed Tomatoes
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 onion, thinly sliced Onion
2 cloves, minced Garlic
1/4 cup Raisins
3/4 tsp Cumin Powder
3/4 tsp Coriander Powder
3/4 tsp Cinnamon Powder
5 whole Cloves
6 whole Allspice Berries
150g chopped Mexican Dark Chocolate
1 cup Chicken Stock

For the Ribs:
2 kg Beef Short Ribs
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Paprika

How to make Meg's Mexican Mole Beef Ribs

Step 1

For the Mole Sauce

Heat a skillet on medium heat.

Tear up the dinner roll into small pieces and toss it into the dry skillet along with the tortilla strips.

Stir constantly until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes.

Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 2

Place the acho chillies along with the chipotle chillies into a blender along with the toasted dinner roll and tortilla strips.

Cover it all with chicken stock and blend until it forms a smooth mixture.

Leave the sauce in the blender for later.

Heat a medium to large saucepan on medium heat.

Step 3

Add olive oil to the saucepan and heat.

Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened a few minutes.

Step 4

Add the raisins and cumin and cinnamon powder, as well as the allspice berries and cloves to the onion and stir through.

Cook and stir until the onions are soft and golden, about 6-8 minutes.

Step 5

Add onion mixture to the blender with the prepared mixture and blend until smooth.

Transfer the puree from the blender back onto the saucepan over medium heat.

Step 6

Stir in the chopped chocolate and allow it to melt through by gently stirring.

Add in the chicken stock and season with salt.

Step 7

Bring the mole up to a simmer; and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

The sauce should have thickened considerably and have reduced slightly.

Step 8

For the Beef Ribs

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Place the beef ribs onto a board or tray and sprinkle over with salt, pepper and paprika using your fingers to rub it into the meat on all sides well.

Step 9

Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add olive oil to the pan.

Place as many beef ribs as you can fit without crowding the pan ensuring the ribs can make complete contact with the pan to brown evenly.

Brown the meat on all sides of the ribs using a pair of tongs to turn the meat every couple minutes.

You may have to cook the ribs in batches to ensure they brown evenly.

Step 10

Once the meat has browned, remove from the pan and set aside.

Add a two to three ladles of the mole sauce to a heavy based casserole or Dutch oven and then place a layer of beef ribs over.

Step 11

Ladle more mole sauce over the ribs ensuring to coat them well.

Then add in the remaining ribs and ladle on more mole sauce over the top.

Add boiling water to the casserole as you don’t want the sauce to be too thick that it sticks to the pot when cooking and burns.

You want enough liquid so the beef ribs can braise and cook through till they are falling off the bone.

Place a lid on the casserole or Dutch oven and place it in the pre heated oven.

It’s a good idea to check the oven at least half way through cooking if not a few times, to ensure the liquid has not reduced too much or the meat is sticking.

Try turning the ribs to ensure they are moist and covered in sauce on all side.

When the meat is falling off the bone, the ribs are ready.

The mole sauce should be thick enough, but if you want you can remove the ribs from the pot and reduce it slightly if you prefer.

Step 12

To serve, ladle some sauce onto a platter, place some beef ribs over, drizzle with sour cream and garnish with coriander.

You can also pull the meat off the ribs, shred it with a fork and serve it in tacos, enchiladas, burritos or sliders.


To find more yum recipes, visit

Muchas gracias Meg for another vibrant and delish creation!

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