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For Memorial Day story outdoor grilling MercadiExecutive Chef Patricio Sandoval shows how he prepares dish with his mole barbecue sauce

For a Memorial Day story on outdoor grilling, Mercadito Executive Chef Patricio Sandoval shows how he prepares a dish with his mole barbecue sauce on Wednesday, May 16, 2012. | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times

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Updated: July 1, 2012 11:48AM


This sultry slather is currently used to sauce costillas tacos, built from mole barbecue-braised short ribs with grilled celery root and crispy leeks.

2½  dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn

2 ½ dried mulato chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn

2 ½ dry pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

5 pounds short ribs, cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 large Spanish onion, chopped

7 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 bottle red wine

1 (32-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 medium-size cinnamon stick

3 chipotles en adobo, minced

6 tablespoons dried mustard

¾ cup Worcestershire sauce

1 cup apple cider vinegar

½ piece piloncillo (unrefined sugar) or ½ teaspoon raw sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¾ teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds

1 sprig of fresh thyme

½ sprig of rosemary

Stack of soft corn tortillas

Toast the ancho, mulato and pasilla pieces a few at a time in a dry, heavy-bottomed pan or on a griddle set to medium heat, pressing them flat with a metal spatula until they are aromatic (about 20 seconds per side).

In a bowl, cover chiles with boiling water, allowing them to rehydrate for 20 minutes while you proceed.

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed, oven-safe dutch oven set to high-heat. Lightly season the ribs with salt and pepper. When the oil is shimmering, add the ribs and brown evenly on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the ribs to paper towels to drain briefly. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion and garlic to the pan. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Deglaze the pan with red wine, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge browned bits. Bring to a boil and simmer for two minutes. Drain chiles, Add them to pot, along with hand-squished tomatoes and all remaining ingredients, except the tortillas.

Stir to combine, and return meat to pan. Bring to a boil, cover and place in oven to cook for 2½ to 3 hours, until meat is tender. Remove meat, and cover to keep warm. Discard thyme and rosemary sprigs and pour sauce into a blender. Puree until smooth. Pass through a strainer and discard any solids. Shred meat, and serve immediately with sauce, warmed tortillas and desired condiments for topping.

Adapted from Chef Patricio Sandoval of Mercadito

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