Kate Heyhoe

Kate's Global Kitchen


Concentrated Red Chile Sauce

by Kate Heyhoe

This is a speedy way to make a traditional chile sauce, which usually takes an hour to cook. Here we use a food processor to prep the sauce, then cook it in a pressure cooker for a few minutes to make a rich, thick chile base for other recipes like Pollo Rojo. The sauce is strong in fruity chile taste, but not overly hot. Thin the sauce with more stock and use it for enchiladas, tacos, simmered pork and other savory treats. A spoonful added to soups and stews gives authentic Southwestern flavor, and far s urpasses sauces made with dried, ground chiles or chile powder.

  • 4 ounces dried red chiles (about 12, preferably ancho & New Mexico mix)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 large onion, cut into large chunks
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. While the oven is heating, break up the chiles into large pieces, removing the stems and seeds. Place them on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 4-5 minutes, being careful not to burn them.

2. While the chiles are toasting, finely chop the garlic in the food processor, then add the onion and finely chop. Heat 2 teaspoons oil of choice (like canola, corn, olive, etc.) in the pressure cooker, and start sautéing the onions-garlic mixture on med ium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

3. When the chiles have toasted, remove them from the oven (leave the oven on) and place in the food processor with 1 to 1-1/2 cups of beef stock. Process until the chiles are puréed, scraping down the sides as needed. Don't forget to stir the onions as t hey cook.

4. Pour the cumin seeds onto the baking sheet and toast for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, again being careful not to burn them or they will taste bitter. Place the cumin seeds in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind to a powder.

5. When the onions are translucent, stir in the chile purée, ground cumin, oregano, salt, and the rest of the beef stock. Cover with the pressure cooker lid, bring to high pressure (the double red ring on Kuhn-Rikon products) then maintain at this pressur e for 10 minutes. Use the natural release method.

NOTE: This recipes yields about 3-1/2 cups of concentrated sauce, which may be frozen in 1-cup batches until ready to use. As mentioned, the sauce is strong in fruity chile taste, but not overly hot. To use it, thin it down with more stock until it reaches a pleasantly flavorful taste—you'll want to add about 1/2 to 1 cup stock to every cup of sauce, depending on the recipe you plan to make. If making Pollo Rojo in a pressure cooker, the vegetables and chicken generally give off enough juices to thin 1 cup of the sauce naturally, without the addition of extra stock.

Copyright © 1997 Kate Heyhoe. All Rights Reserved.


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