El Cholo red chile sauce recipe

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This is a delicious red chile sauce recipe, made the El Cholo way. Red chile sauces go well with many Mexican dishes such as burritos, enchiladas and chimichangas. The chile sauce can keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 30 minutes, Serves: 6 - 8 


5 dried Poblano or Anaheim chiles
1/4 cup chile cooking liquid

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
3 Tbsp chile paste (see recipe below)

2 cups canned tomatoes, pureed
1/2 cups chicken broth
Salt and black pepper to taste


Slice the chile peppers in half and discard the seeds and veins. Cook in a small pot of boiling water until soft (this should take about 5 minutes). Drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water.

Put the chiles and reserved cooking liquid in a blender and process until smooth. Empty the chili paste in a bowl and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 to 6 minutes, until the soft. Add the cumin, oregano and chilli paste and stir well. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and chicken broth and stir well. Lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Taste and season with more salt and black pepper, to taste. Cool and refrigerate. Reheat in a microwave oven before using.

Notes and tips

Red chilli paste recipe

5 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp mild chilli powder (substitute with paprika)
5 chilli peppers of your choice (you can use Guajilos, Jalapenos, Anchos, or similar), finely chopped
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chilli powder and garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chilli peppers, sugar and salt and cook for 6 to 8 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When ready, empty in a blender and process until you get a smooth and uniform paste. Cool and refrigerate until needed.

The heat of the chili paste will depend on the chili peppers you use; the hotter the chili peppers you use, the hotter the chili paste.
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