Main Dish

Roast Pork with Black Mole

Rodney Strong Vineyards

11455 Old Redwood Highway
Healdsburg , CA 95448

The smoky, dark fruit and capsicum elements of the 2012 Alexander's Crown Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon are highlighted by the deep, rich flavors of this take on a Oaxacan black mole. Enjoy this hearty pork dish over green rice.

Roast Pork

  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (microplaned)
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest (microplaned)
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • Leaves from 3 or 4 fresh oregano sprigs
  • 2 teaspoons toasted ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
To make the pork, in a food processor, combine the olive oil, cilantro, orange zest, lime zest, orange juice, lime juice, mint, garlic, oregano and cumin and process until blended. Season the marinade with the salt and pepper. Transfer to a sealable plastic bag, add the pork and seal the bag. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet. 

Remove the pork from the marinade, discarding the marinade. Place the pork on the rack-lined baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 160° to 165°F, about 1 1/2 hours more. Transfer the pork to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes. 

Black Mole

  • 1/2 pound ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 3/4 cup blanched almonds
  • 2/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 small white onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 large ripe tomato
  • 6 medium tomatillos, with husks
  • 7 tablespoons lard or rendered pork fat from roast
  • 1 cinnamon stick, smashed
  • Leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano
  • 15 whole cloves
  • 12 whole allspice berries
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 2 to 4 cups chicken stock
  • Salt, to taste
  • Green rice and plantains for serving
To make the mole sauce, preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Spread the chiles in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven, turning frequently, until crispy and black. Let cool, then transfer to a food processor and process until finely ground. Set aside. 

Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Repeat to toast the sesame seeds.

Heat a large cast-iron fry pan over low heat. Place the onions, garlic, tomato and tomatillos in the pan and cook, turning frequently, until the onion and garlic are somewhat softened, the tomato skin is blackened and the tomatillos are soft all over, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove each item when it is done, being careful not to pierce the tomato or tomatillo skins. Let the vegetables cool, then peel to remove the blackened skins and husks.

In another fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the lard until hot. Add the cinnamon stick, thyme, oregano, cloves, allspice, coriander, cumin, nutmeg and ginger. Fry, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

In a small fry pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the lard until hot. Add the raisins and panko and cook, stirring, until the raisins are puffy and the crumbs are lightly colored, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

In a blender, process a bit of each group of ingredients in small batches to make a paste. In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 4 tablespoons lard. Add the paste, cover and cook for 30 minutes to blend the flavors. Thin out with the stock as needed to reach a sauce consistency, then season with salt.


To serve, cut the warm pork into thin slices and top with the mole sauce. Serve with green rice and plantains.

Rodney Strong Vineyards

11455 Old Redwood Highway
Healdsburg , CA 95448