Red Chili Sauce for Tamales

Looks like some sort of pork substance has merged with the sauce Captain

Looks like some sort of pork substance has merged with the sauce Captain

This is a very simple pepper sauce that requires a couple different dried peppers that may be hard to find at the grocery store. A trip to a Mexican market is always fun though.

Although this is usually used for tamales it would work equally well in many stewed meats for tacos, burritos or other Mexican meals.

This is not fully authentic due to the fact I use shortening instead of lard. This makes roughly four cups finished sauce depending on the size of the peppers.

Red Chili Sauce

  • 10 large dried Ancho chilies stems and seeds removed
  • 10 dried Arbol chilies stems and seeds removed
  • 4 dried cayenne chilies stems and seeds removed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp shortening
  • 2 tsp flour

Place dried chilies on a baking sheet and place in an oven at 350 degrees. Roast peppers for 3-5 minutes until they begin to smell sweet, do not burn them. Remove from oven and place in a large bowl. Cover with four cups boiling water and let soak until water has cooled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile crush cumin seeds with sea salt to a fine powder. Place ground spice, garlic and peppers in a blender with 2 1/2 cups of the soaking liquid and blend to a smooth sauce adding more soaking liquid if needed. In a large saute pan melt shorting over medium heat and add flour. Mix until flour dissolves and begins to turn light brown then pour in blended chilies and bring to a simmer. Simmer sauce on low for 10 minutes, adding a little more soaking liquid if needed until thick and smooth. Sauce can now be refrigerated forever or used in any number of things.

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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14 Responses to Red Chili Sauce for Tamales

  1. Gerlinde says:

    We have a Mexican market right around the corner and I’m going to make this sauce soon.

  2. Eva Taylor says:

    I’m definitely going to roast my dried chilies next time, great tip! The sauce sounds like it’s bursting with complex flavours.

  3. cecilia says:

    Oh I bet that smells DIVINE!.. c

  4. oh… this sauce made my stomach growl…
    Have a wonderful week ahead! 🙂

  5. Just look at that sauce.. amazing Greg.

  6. sallybr says:

    Authentic or not, I am sure it tastes AMAZING!

    great job!

  7. This sounds so good. I make a sauce with dried peppers, but have never roasted them first. I can’t wait to try this!

  8. Sherry says:

    excellent recipe. Few northerners get real sauce and insist on making it mostly of tomatoes. This is authentic, and can easily be adjusted for heat simply by altering the mix of chiles. Please note that these are called chiles not peppers…lol…Most Mexicans would only substitute lard for the shortenening….But that doesn’t effect the taste really.

  9. Caroline says:

    Trips to the Mexican market are the best! This sauce sounds delicious. I’d most definitely put it on tacos, burritos, enchiladas, you name it!

  10. ChgoJohn says:

    While in San Marino, my Zia gave me a recipe for her chili sauce. Though good, I bet it is nowhere near as flavorful as this one, Greg. Yours is in a different class altogether. 🙂

  11. Pingback: Twelve Days of Christmas: How To Make Tamales | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

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