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    Barbecued Pork Chop with Mole Sauce

    • Serves 4 people
    • Complexity Easy
    Prep time
    15 mins
    Cook time
    40 mins
    Total time
    55 mins
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    • 4 free-range pork chops, weighing 250g each, French trimmed
    • 4 sprigs of thyme
    • 1 tsp of fennel seeds, lightly toasted and crushed
    • 2 garlic cloves, cut in halves
    • 1 lemon, cut into 4 pieces
    • virgin olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • For the crushed hazelnuts:
    • 4 tablespoons of blanched hazelnuts, toasted and lightly crushed
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 4 springs of thyme, picked and finely chopped
    • For the mole sauce:
    • 2 dried ancho chilies
    • ½ tablespoon sesame seeds
    • 3 tablespoons blanched almonds
    • 2 tablespoons raisins
    • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    • 500ml chicken stock
    • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • Salt to taste
    • 25g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)


    You cannot beat the flavour of a rare breed pork chop cooked on a barbecue. I like to bring the pork to room temperature in a marinade of olive oil, garlic, lemon peel, thyme and fennel seeds. Barbecued pork chops work well with a spoonful of Mexican mole sauce that you can make in advance and serve in a kilner jar.


    1. Marinade the pork chops in the olive oil, lemon, fennel seeds, garlic and thyme for 30 minutes before cooking.
    2. For the mole sauce, heat a frying pan over a medium heat and toast the ancho chilies for 20 to 30 seconds on both sides until they soften and become fragrant but do not allow them to burn. Remove and discard the stems and seeds, tear the chilies into small pieces, place them in a bowl and cover them with boiling water for 30 minutes.
    3. While the chilies are soaking, toast the sesame seeds in the same frying pan over medium heat until they just turn golden brown. Add to the food processor, the drained ancho chillies, along with the sesame seeds, almonds, raisins, chopped onion, cinnamon, oregano and 100ml of the chicken stock. Process the ingredients for a few minutes, adding more stock if necessary for the blender to operate. If the mixture is not totally smooth, put it through a fine sieve to remove any bits of remaining chilli skin.
    4. Heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan, add the mole paste and cook, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid has evaporated and it becomes shiny. Then, little by little, stir in the rest of the stock and the sugar. At this point, the mixture should be thinner than you want the finished product to be. If necessary, add more stock. Simmer the mole until it is the consistency of a milk shake, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and grated chocolate and set aside.
    5. For the crushed hazelnuts, melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the chopped thyme and crushed hazelnuts and cook for 1 minutes, set aside.
    6. Make sure the pork chops are at room temperature before cooking. Heat your barbecue and cook the pork for 3 to 4 mins on each side or until done to your liking. Rest for one minute, then serve on warm plates with a good spoon of the mole sauce, some crushed hazelnut butter and your choice of potatoes and salad.

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