Red Enchilada Sauce

I have a recipe for enchilada sauce up already, but it’s a quick recipe made with chili powder – which isn’t bad. Not at all. But I bought that big bag of guajillo chiles last week and woke up yesterday with the thought, “wonder what enchilada sauce made with chiles is like”? I had to do it. It was worth it.

In the grand scheme of things, this did not really take long to make, nor did it take any crazy ingredients. The only thing out of the ordinary (depending on your pantry) is the chiles.

Because I’d already used the guajillo chiles in a recipe and had figured out how spicy they were and how the spice hits, I felt fairly confident about dumping a lot of them into this sauce. It’s a mild heat, hits your mouth, and is gone quickly.

For reference – they are milder than jalapenos and don’t linger as long. If you aren’t sure about your tolerance, use half the amount I did and make sure you shake out all the seeds as well as getting rid of any ribs you find – break open the peppers to find the ribs. There’s no law saying you can’t taste along the way and add more peppers if you find half isn’t quite enough spice – do that. Cooking should be an adventure in flavours.

Ingredients: (this made 8 cups of sauce)

  • 3 cups of broth – I used beef for a bit more robust flavour
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 onion, quartered – I used a red onion because that’s what I had
  • 5 garlic cloves – this was the number of cloves that volunteered (came away from the bulb easily)
  • 15 guajillo chiles – stems taken off and most seeds dumped out (or whatever dried, or fresh, chiles you like – use a mix if you want, it’s your kitchen, your rules)
  • 1 TB cumin
  • 1 14 oz can of chopped tomatoes with juice
  • 2 TB lime juice

Nice & simple – dump everything into a big pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer until the chiles are soft – about half an hour. Turn off the heat and let it cool.

These peppers are topped and seeded and just waiting for all the other goodies to arrive.

Either pour into a blender or use a stick blender in the pot. I dumped it all into my Ninja blender and let it blend for a few minutes on high.

Look at all those seeds! That’s where the heat is – take these out and it tones down the burn.

You could strain this to get an absolutely smooth sauce, but I kind of like the texture. The blender I have didn’t leave much, just the odd seed here and there and an occasional piece of the skin.

The floating flakes are the oregano. Yummm!

If you wanted this thicker, you could drain the tomatoes and just use the meat and you could also drop the amount of broth. You could also cook this down quite a bit longer, uncovered, and let evaporation do its magic.

The blender is not very Ninja-like at all – it’s pretty noisy. It does, however, do a pretty thorough job of blending anything I put in it, including this sauce.

If you really wanted, you could add a cornstarch slurry or a flour slurry.

Cooked, blended and in one of the two jars it took to contain it all. Half is going to my daughter.

I did none of this – with the texture left in there, it seemed plenty thick enough for me – I didn’t want gravy, I wanted a spicy sauce.

I made this yesterday morning and for supper last night we had barbequed chicken thighs in wraps with tomato, cucumber and lettuce, with some sour cream and a whole lot of enchilada sauce over the whole works. So good!

I have the urge, on a cooler day, to make a whole lot more of this sauce and then can it for future, but it would heat up the house too much to do it right now. 😦

My next sauce will be the green enchilada sauce – I figure since the red sauce is so good, the green must be tasty, as well.

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