mole roast: faking sous-vide


I do not find store-bought roast beef appetizing at all with all the sugar, artificial colorings and other chemicals they put in there nowadays. As the saying goes: I you want it done right, you’ll have to do it yourself.

Faking sous-vide with Mexican Chocolate Mole Sauce is one of my experiments that worked out very well. Instead of sous-vide, you can use a mole marinade (Pic2+3) au bain-marie = ‘in a water bath.’ This is a less technological method than Sous-vide Cooking, but it works just as good.

The mole sauce covers and seals the meat just like the plastic bag does and also equalizes heat distribution during the cooking. Unlike sous-vide, you can check the internal temperature of the meat.

You could also do this stovetop (Pic4) over lowest heat as long as the roast doesn't touch the bottom of the cooking pot. A few spoons underneath the roast should do the trick.

Take note that the finished roast has the same bright red color throughout.  Unlike an oven roast, this roast has no dry or overcooked edges. The bright red color is normal for low-temperature cooking, but rest assured that the meat is fully cooked.

Chocolate mole has the advantages that it has the correct brown color for a roast; and that it does not overpower the meat flavor. I assume you can do the same with other sauces, but I have not tried any specifically for this purpose.


This is what you need for 6-8 servings:

  • Beef roast, about 3 lbs.
  • 1 jar Doña Maria mole (8.25 oz.)
  • S&P, additional spices as desired
  • Optional:
    • 2 nesting pots for au Bain Marie stovetop cooking,
      OR a slow-cooker with accurate thermostat
    •  a meat thermometer
    • ginger for the marinade (Pic3)
Pic1: fake sous-vide roast



Pic2: mole paste
Pic3: ginger mole marinade
Pic4: for stovetop cooking


Sous-vide: no mole necessary, see The Unroasted Roast

Au bain-marie:


Pic5: au bain-marie
Pic6: the finished roast
Pic7: the meal

Serving suggestion: