"Mole Dry Rub"
1/4 teaspoon cacao nibs
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon applewood smoked salt
pinch of chipotle powder
In a mortar and pestle, combine 1/4 teaspoon cacao nibs, 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, and 1/4 teaspoon applewood smoked salt. Grind into a fine powder.
Add a pinch of chipotle powder. Stir together.
Sprinkle dry rub onto meat before cooking.
Cacao nibs are tiny, crunchy bits that are used to make chocolate. They are bitter and savory rather than sweet, with intense chocolatey flavor. This flavor helps to strengthen and blend other savory tastes, much as vanilla does for sweet things.
If you don't have whole peppercorns, you can substitute ground black pepper. Use smoked pepper if you have it.
Applewood smoked salt has a smoky, fruity, almost sweet flavor. Pretty much any smoked salt should work in this recipe.
Chipotle powder comes from smoked jalapeño peppers. As written, this recipe is zesty but not too hot. To make it hotter, you can add more chipotle powder or switch to a hotter spice such as cayenne or hatch pepper powder (red or green) -- or just add more of this blend.
This recipe is designed for robust meats such as beef, lamb, bison, or venison. It has a strong, dark flavor along with the heat.