Red chile sauce is a smooth sauce used in New Mexican cooking. Taking advantage of the unique flavors of the New Mexican chile pepper, it adds a depth of flavor to dishes like stacked enchiladas and carne (pork) adovada and red chile beef stew. It’s not to dissimilar to the Mexican red enchilada sauce, but the New Mexico chiles used give it different flavor profile. This sauce is a lovely taste of the American Southwest.
New Mexico Red Chile Sauce – Two Ways
- large saucepan
- Blender or food processor
- Large bowl
- Sieve or wire mesh strainer
I. Traditional Red Chile Sauce
- 2 tbsp Cooking oil
- 22 medium Dried New Mexico red chile pods (Sub: dried Anaheim peppers)
- 8 medium Dried chile de arbol peppers (Sub: fresh or dried cayenne or serrano peppers)
- 1 large White onion
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 4 cups Chicken or vegetable stock, or water
- 1 tsp Each: Ground cumin and coriander, Mexican Oregano, Kosher salt
- 1 tbsp Honey or sugar, to taste
II. Red Chile Sauce from Powder
- Same as above Except:
- 1 tbsp Flour
- ½ cup New Mexico red chile powder replacing dried chile pods (Sub: powdered cayenne pepper)
- ½ tsp Onion powder (instead of chopped onion)
- ½ tsp Garlic powder (instead of chopped garlic)
- 1 tsp Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Honey
Traditional Red Chile Sauce
- Prep – Stem and seed all dried chiles. Transfer to large saucepan filled with cooking oil. Chop onion and garlic. Transfer to a large bowl.2 tbsp Cooking oil, 22 medium Dried New Mexico red chile pods (Sub: dried Anaheim peppers), 8 medium Dried chile de arbol peppers (Sub: fresh or dried cayenne or serrano peppers), 1 large White onion, 3 cloves Garlic
- Cook – Turn heat to medium under saucepan with chiles. Toast until peppers become aromatic, 3-5 minutes. Add chopped onion and garlic. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add stock or water and simmer for another 7 minutes.4 cups Chicken or vegetable stock, or water
- Blend – Pour half the stock mixture into a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times and then leave it on to fully blend. Pour into a bowl and repeat. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer into the saucepan set over medium heat. Discard solids.
- Finish – Stir in cumin, coriander, salt, and oregano. Simmer to merge flavors for 10 minutes. Stir in honey or sugar.1 tsp Each: Ground cumin and coriander, Mexican Oregano, Kosher salt, 1 tbsp Honey or sugar, to taste
Red Chile Sauce from powder
- Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. When hot, add in flour and stir constantly for 2 minutes to create a roux. Add red chile powder and stir for less than 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the stock or water and keep whisking until sauce becomes smooth. Add remaining spices and vinegar, except honey, and simmer another 15 minutes to thicken the sauce. Stir often. When done, remove from heat and stir in honey or sugar.1 tbsp Flour, ½ cup New Mexico red chile powder replacing dried chile pods (Sub: powdered cayenne pepper), ½ tsp Onion powder (instead of chopped onion), ½ tsp Garlic powder (instead of chopped garlic), 1 tsp Vinegar, 1 tbsp Honey, 2 tbsp Cooking oil
- Sauce can be used immediately, refrigerated for up-to 2 weeks, or frozen indefinitely.
- If possible, rest sauce overnight to meld flavors.