Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appétit magazine (via Edible Therapy), this complex sauce is fantastic with pickled red onions and grilled pork chops..
2 tablespoons leaf lard or other fat
1 large plantain, sliced
1 cup fresh diced mango
2 large dried Guajillo or Ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed
1/2 cup chopped white onion
12 whole raw almonds
1 tablespoon homemade chili base
2 tablespoons shelled peanuts
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 small bay leaf
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
1 teaspoon true cinnamon shards
2 cups homemade chicken stock, more or less
1 small piece Mexican chocolate
Heat the fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Add plantains, chili base and everything else except stock and chocolate. Sauté until plantain is soft, about 5 minutes.
Add 1 1/2 cups chicken stock. Reduce heat and simmer until chilies are tender, about 15 minutes.
Puree sauce in blender then return to skillet.
Add chocolate and stir until incorporated. Thin with reserved stock if necessary, then season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.