Hunger is a good source of inspiration.
The first version of this recipe was created late at night when all I had was a very large packet of Alf-Farms sausages, ketchup and some spices. Just for fun I threw in a bit of grated chocolate; I figured I was so hungry that no matter how it turned out I was going to eat it anyway. Fortunately, it came out reasonably well and I decided to go the whole hog.
Of course, the addition of chocolate was more of a calculated guess than a shot in the dark. I first heard of Mole Poblano, the national dish of Mexico, which is made with bitter chocolate, a variety of chillies and dried fruits many years ago when I was working on a story on the turkey. You’ll find a more complete history of the dish here; the short version is that it was rustled up by nuns for an Archbishop visiting the convent. Like me, they put together whatever they had available. Today, Mole Poblano is one of the most internationally famous dishes; I’m not sure if any Mexican restaurants in India serve it, but it’s served at most Mexican restaurants in the US. Mole Poblano is a very complex sauce and this glaze is a highly simplified version of the same.
There’s also be a trend in the last few years of pairing chocolates with meat and bacon coated chocolate was quite trendy.
I’d imagine this sauce would go quite well with pork chops and perhaps even roast chicken.
100 gm pork cocktail sausages
1 tbsp chocolate glaze
1 tsp water
1 tsp dark rum (optional)
½ tsp fresh parsley, chopped
2-3 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
½ fresh red chilli, chopped
For the chocolate glaze
100 gm dark, unsweetened chocolate (I used Morde’s compound chocolate)
300 ml chicken/ beef stock
2 tbsp grated onions
1 tsp garlic paste
3 tbsp tomato purée
¼ tsp clove powder
1 tsp star anise powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp red chilli powder
¼ tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp oil
salt to taste
For the chocolate glaze
Reduce the stock by half.
Turn off heat and add the chocolate. Stir continuously till the chocolate has melted completely and the mixture is smooth. Keep aside.
In a frying pan, heat the oil and add the grated onion. Fry for about 2 minutes on low heat till translucent.
Add the garlic paste and continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
Add the tomato purée and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes till the paste turns brick-red and the moisture dries up.
Pour in the chocolate sauce and stir well. Mix all the powdered spices in about 1 tbsp water till you have a smooth paste. Pour the paste into the chocolate mixture.
Stirring regularly, cook for about 8-10 minutes on a slow fire till the glaze has a thick pouring consistency. (If you find the pan is getting too hot, remove it from the flame and stir continuously, especially around the edges of the pan, so that the glaze is smooth.)
Finally, stir in the black pepper and salt.
Turn off heat and keep aside to cool. The sauce will continue to cook so keep stir now and then to make sure it doesn’t turn lumpy.
You can strain it out into a clean container if you want it absolutely smooth. The glaze can be made a day in advance.
Cut each sausage into three.
Fry on medium-high heat with as little oil as possible, till the skin turns light brown and slightly crusty. Lower the heat and add the cherry tomatoes and red chilli, toss once or twice.
Add 2 tbsp of the glaze and 1 tsp of dark rum.
Turn off the heat and mix well, so that the glaze coats all the pieces evenly.
Serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley.
PREPARATION TIME: 25 minutes
Note: the glaze will make about 8-10 portions. It will stay refrigerated for at least a week.