Manchamanteles de Cerdo y Pollo
from Authentic Mexican, Rick Bayless, Morrow
© 1987 )
The Oaxacans claim it as one of their seven moles, and the books list
it in chapters about Guadalajara. But the only place I've eaten it with
regularity is Mexico City. Wherever it comes from, it's always popular
with my guests: light, mild chile sauce seasoned with black pepper, cloves
and cinnamon, then simmered with fruit.
I've chosen this recipe, based on one from Tradiciones gastronomicas oaxaquenas,
because it is simple and delicious and it makes very good buffet dish.
If you're not planning to set the dish out as the main offering on a buffet,
you could serve it with a salad, after appetizers of deep-fried Masa Turnovers
(Quesadillas, page 143) and before Mexican Rice Pudding (page286) or flan
YIELD: 4 servings
1. The chiles
. Tear the chiles into flat pieces and toast them a few at a Time on griddle
or heavy skillet over medium heat, pressing them down for a few seconds
with a metal spatula, then flipping and pressing again; when they send
up their aroma and change color, they're ready. Cover with boiling water,
weight with plate to keep them submerged, and soak 30 minutes.
- 6 medium
(about 3 ounces) dried chiles anchos, stemmed, seeded and deveined
cup lard or vegetable oil plus a little more if needed
medium onion, chopped
- 5 large
cloves garlic, peeled and halved
- 1 pound
lean, boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch squares
- 1 large
(1-1/4-pound), whole chicken breast, half-boned and halved (page 225)
- 2 cloves
(or a big pinch ground)
- 3 black
peppercorns ( or a big pinch ground)
inch cinnamon stick (or about 1/2 teaspoon ground)
- 2 slices
firm white bread, broken up
- 1 teaspoon
salt, plus a little more if necessary
- 2 tablespoons
small (about 1 cup) fresh pineapple, cored, peeled and cubed
- 1 ripe,
about 1-1/2 tablespoons
2. Browning the vegetables with meat. Fry the onion with 2 tablespoons
of the lard or oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat until soft,
6 or 7 minutes. Add the garlic and fry until the onion is quite brown,
some 4 minutes longer. Transfer the onions and garlic to a blender jar,
leaving as much fat as possible in the pan.
Raise the heat to medium -high and add more fat, if needed, to coat pan.
Dry the pork on paper towels, then brown it in an uncrowded single layer,
2 to 3 minutes per face; remove, draining well. Dry the chicken pieces,
then brown them for 2 to 3 minutes per side, add to the pork and set the
3. The sauce. Drain the chiles and add to the blender. Pulverize the spices
in a mortar or spice grinder and add to the chiles, along with the bread
and 1 cup water. Stir, blend to a smooth puree, then strain through a
If necessary, add a little lard or oil to coat the skillet, then set over
medium-high heat. When quite hot add the puree all at once and fry, stirring
constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes, until darkened and thick, dislodging any
bits that earlier may have stuck to pan.
4. Finishing the dish. Scrape the chile mixture into a large saucepan,
stir in 2 cups water, the salt, vinegar and pork. Partially cover and
simmer over medium-low for 45 minutes to an hour, until pork is tender.
Add the chicken and pineapple, cover and simmer for 13 minutes. While
the chicken is cooking, heat a tablespoon of lard or oil in a medium-small
skillet over medium. Peel and cube the plantain, then fry it until browned,
3 or 4 minutes and add manchamanteles. Stir in the sugar, taste for salt
and thin with a little water if the sauce has thickened past a medium
consistency; the flavor should be slightly sweet and fruity. Remove from
the heat immediately and serve on warm, deep dinner plates.
Chiles Anchos: These sweet chiles are perfect for this dish, though some
cooks make the sauce more complex by replacing a couple of anchos with
passing and/or mulatos. Using 10 California chiles is an option, but the
flavor will be light.
Plantain: If a ripe plantain is unavailable, replace it with 2 cubed,
green banana; skip the frying and add them several minutes before removing
the pot from the heat.
Timing and Advance Preparation Allow 1-1/2 hours to prepare the
manchamanteles, plus an additional hour for simmering. The dish may be
prepared entirely in advance; remove it the fire immediately after adding
the plantain. Cool it quickly, cover and store up to 4 days in the refrigerator;
it improves with a little age. Reheat slowly, covered, on the stovetop
or in a 350 oven; thin with a little broth if necessary.
Traditional Variations An Elaborate Manchamanteles for a Crowd:
Prepare the recipe, using a double quantity of meat and sauce ingredients
and adding 1/4 cup each skinned toasted peanuts and blanched toasted almonds
to the chiles before pureeing; along with the pineapple add 1 large sweet
potato, 1 apple and 1 pear (all peeled, cored, if appropriate, then cubed).
for a different dimension, add 1 cup (8 ounces) fried chorizo sausage
with the chicken. Serve garnished with pickled jalapenos.
Kitchen Spanish The named manchamanteles isn't Aztec or Mayan:
just a joined pair of Spanish words that means "tablecloth stainer".