Red Chile

The following is a recipe for New Mexican Red Chile. It is similar to that which was served until November, 1995 at the Chile Connection in Taos, New Mexico. The key ingredient is -- no surprise -- pure ground red chile. We recommend "DIXON MEDIUM" from the Chile Shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. You must use pure red chile powder -- commercial chili powders contains numerous other ingredients and will produce a really unsatisfactory result.


1 cup Pure Ground Red Chile
1 cup Flour
2* tsp Salt
tsp Garlic Powder
¾ tsp Black Pepper
3/8 tsp Ground Cumin
3/8 tsp Onion Powder
1/8 tsp Ground Oregano

Vegetable Oil as required

Beef broth (or preferably, vegetarian beef broth) as required (estimate 1 quart)

*Note that most commercial beef broths are heavy on salt. So consider leaving this ingredient out if using commercial broth. You can always correct by adding more salt after the sauce is cooking.

Combine all dry ingredients in a dry pot, mixing well. Be particularly careful to break up any lumps in the red chile powder. Add vegetable oil to produce a roux with a thickness similar to yogurt. Brown the roux lightly over medium heat, stirring constantly. Because of the color, it is difficult to judge this step and you should err on the conservative side. We'd estimate this will require about ten minutes. Turn down the heat and let the mixture cool for a few minutes. Then add beef broth slowly, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. The desired consistency is similar to a thick soup. Cook over low heat until the sauce mellows. It is hard to describe this step, but if you taste the chile immediately after adding the beef broth, it will be spicy to the tongue, but lack flavor and body. Expect to simmer at low heat for at least 30 minutes, again being careful not to burn. An easy way to complete the cooking is to transfer the mixture to a crock pot and cook there on "high". It is almost impossible to burn it if this is done.

The sauce is used as enchilada sauce or as a "smother" on top of burritos or meats.

FREEZING: This sauce may be frozen without harm. When heating after defrosting, the sauce may appear grainy. Simply whisk it after heating and it will return to its original form.