Pork Mole Lettuce Wraps

Pork Mole Lettuce Wraps

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Credit: Jason Alley, Chef/Partner, Pasture, Richmond, Virginia
The National Culinary Review, May 2016


½ cup kosher salt
¼ cup fresh-ground black pepper
¼ cup smoked paprika
¼ cup dark-brown sugar
2 oz. ancho chili powder
2 oz. granulated garlic
2 oz. onion powder
1 fresh pork leg, outside muscle
Oil, as needed
4 small white onions, peeled, rough chop
2 garlic cloves, peeled
4 celery ribs, rough chop
4 medium carrots, rough chop
½ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
4 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise pods
1 oz. allspice berries
6 bay leaves
1 gal. pork stock
2 qt. dark beer
6 ancho chilies, soaked, seeded, stemmed
6 guajillo chilies, soaked, seeded, stemmed
2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
8 oz. Mexican chocolate
20-25 butter lettuce cups
Chopped green onion, to garnish


1) In mixing bowl, combine salt, pepper, paprika, brown sugar, ancho chili powder, garlic and onion powder; mix well to combine. Completely rub pork with mix. Let sit a minimum of 4 hours to overnight.

2) Preheat oven to 350°F. In large rondeau pot, heat oil. Evenly sear all sides of pork. Remove; set aside. Add to pot, onion, garlic cloves, celery, carrot, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cinnamon sticks, star anise pods, allspice berries and bay leaves; caramelize. Add pork back in. Add stock, beer, chilies and chocolate; bring to a simmer. Cover; put in oven and cook to 185°F internal temperature, approximately 8 hours.

3) Remove pork from oven; pull meat. Strain and skim braising liquid; reduce if necessary. Reserve. Combine pork with strained braising liquid; mix well to combine. Season, as needed.

4) Place pulled pork in center of butter lettuce cups. Garnish with chopped green onion.


20-25 servings


Main Dish, Pork, The National Culinary Review

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