Mole Tacos | Adventures in Cooking
The 4th of July is just around the corner, and while most people are firing up their grills, I always enjoy a little slow-cooking on the 4th. Get something going in the morning, let it cook for a few hours, and when people start to congregate around lunch time, boom! It’s ready to go. Plus, if you’re having guests over, the time it’s spent simmering away gives you ample opportunity to tidy up around the place and get the kitchen all cleaned up so it looks as if you haven’t just been chopping up a bunch of beef and chocolate. Yes, you read that correctly. Beef. And chocolate. While they may sound like they belong at opposite ends of the flavor spectrum, in truth they unite perfectly, but only in a specific type of dish, and that dish is mole. Mole is an old Mexican sauce that has been traditionally prepared for centuries. There are many, many variations of mole, but it always contains chile peppers and, more often than not, chocolate (although chocolate was a recent addition to the mole family, and by that I mean within the past 300 years or so. Seriously, this sauce goes waaaaaay back.)
Mole Tacos | Adventures in Cooking
I found this mole recipe using McCormick‘s FlavorPrint recipe profiler. It’s a recipe-finding tool that suggests recipes for you based on your personal tastes. To get started, you basically answer a brief questionnaire and then it suggests recipes you’d be interested in. You can either thumbs up or thumbs down recipes as you go along to get results further tailored to your flavor preferences. It’s very straight-forward and I’d definitely recommend using it if you’re looking for a new recipe to try but want to make sure it’s something that fits with you or your family’s taste preferences (very helpful if you have a picky eater in the family).
Mole Tacos | Adventures in Cooking

After filling out the questionnaire and thumbing up and down a few suggestions, I came across this mole recipe. I’d made mole once before with chicken and liked the flavor, but was intrigued by the thought of rich beef chuck paired with the thick, spiced sauce. I gave it a whirl and was sooooo happy with how well the flavors all come together. The chile, the chocolate, the beef, the tomato, everything just flowed together in this thick, creamy, savory and deeply flavorful sauce. The fresh cilantro and crumbled queso fresco topping paired really well with it, too, adding a fresh and cool kick to the light heat packed by the mole. I am craving these tacos again *so badly* just putting this post together, and am most certainly going to be making them again this weekend. You’re always more than welcome to join in on the fun, perhaps we can start a mole 4th of July block party…. šŸ˜‰

Mole Tacos | Adventures in Cooking

Braised Mole Beef Tacos with Cilantro & Queso Fresco

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Author Eva Kosmas Flores


Spice Blend

  • 1 tablespoons McCormick Ancho Chile Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Chipotle Chile Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Mexican Oregano Leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mole Beef Tacos

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lbs boneless beef chuck trimmed and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 ounce semi-sweet baker's chocolate broken into two pieces
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas


  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Mix together all the spice blend ingredients in a small bowl and then set it aside. To prepare the mole, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large sauce pot and lightly brown half the beef on all sides. Remove the beef from the pan and set it aside. Repeat with the remaining half of the beef.
  2. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and then add the onion. Cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the water and stir, then add the beef, beef stock, tomato paste, and the spice blend and stir until combined. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chocolate and stir until it is completely melted, then allow the mixture to simmer, this time uncovered, for about an hour or until the beef becomes tender and the sauce has thickened.
  3. Towards the end of cooking, lightly brush each tortilla with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Cook each tortilla on a skillet over medium heat for about 1 minute on each side, or until the tortilla is hot but pliable. Set each tortilla on a plate lined with paper towels as it's done cooking. Spread about 1/4 cup of mole in the center of each tortilla and top with a light sprinkle of the queso fresco and cilantro. Fold and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from

Mole Tacos | Adventures in Cooking
Mole Tacos | Adventures in Cooking
Mole Tacos | Adventures in Cooking
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