- Skill Level: Moderate
- Cost: Moderate
- Favorited: 7 Times
Can be made ahead of time.
Pepian, a meat or poultry stew made with pumpkin seeds, nuts, tomatoes, and chiles, somewhat resembles mole, but without the chocolate. Traveling around Guatemala a number of years ago, I had the opportunity to sample this version, made with pumpkin seeds, almonds, anchos, and orange juice. Brown the meat (chicken, beef, goat, or pork) and simmer it in the sauce until tender.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the pumpkin seeds in a pie plate and toast until golden and beginning to pop, about 5 minutes. Put the almonds in the pie plate and toast until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then combine in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
2. If using fresh tomatoes, bring a medium-size saucepan of water to a boil. Fill a medium-size bowl with ice water. Using a sharp paring knife, make a shallow X in the bottom of each tomato. Blanch the tomatoes in the boiling water for 15 to 20 seconds, remove with a slotted spoon, and plunge them immediately into the ice water to cool. Whether using fresh or canned, peel, if necessary, core, seed, and coarsely chop the tomatoes. Reserve the blanching water and return to a boil.
3. Using kitchen scissors, cut the anchos into large pieces. Heat a cast-iron griddle or skillet until hot to the touch. Place the anchos on the hot griddle and press with a metal spatula until pliable, about 15 seconds per side. Put the chiles in a heatproof bowl, cover with 1 cup of the boiling water and let soak until softened, about 30 minutes.
4. Transfer the chiles with their soaking water to a blender along with the tomatoes, red bell pepper, onion, and garlic and process to a smooth paste. Add the ground nuts, cinnamon, and cloves and pulse to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over low heat until shimmering. Add the tomato mixture, cover partially, and cook, stirring, until thickened and has the consistency of thin porridge, about 20 minutes.
6. Add the broth, orange juice, and lime juice and simmer, partially covered, until thickened, about 45 minutes. Will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for a month.
Nutritional information is based on 36 servings and includes 1 teaspoon of added salt.