Mike’s New Mexican Red Enchilada Sauce

Mike's New Mexican Red Enchilada Sauce | Culinary Compost Recipes
This is my version of a classic, authentic New Mexican red sauce, which is properly served over made-from-scratch enchiladas, huevos rancheros or basted over braised chicken and beef. You can also prepare this recipe using green New Mexican chile powder. The reason why I like preparing this sauce using ground chile pepper vs. whole chile is that you eliminate the time spent straining the blender puree from the tough, and sometimes bitter pods. You’ll also get a more consistent, velvety-smooth sauce.

Amazing! Enjoy~



1/4 cup pure, mild NM Hatch ground red chili powder
2 tbs. XV olive oil
1 tbs. flour
1 tbs. rendered bacon fat (optional)
2 oz. ground chorizo sausage (optional, as an alternate to bacon fat)
4 cloves roasted garlic, minced
1/2 small white onion, minced
1/2 tsp. ground dry Mexican oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin, from toasted seeds
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
2 cups beef broth
Salt to taste, about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp.
Crushed chiltepin or ground cayenne pepper, to taste



Using a heavy saucepan (preferrably cast-iron) over medium heat, bring the olive oil up to temperature until shimmering. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for five minutes until tender, stirring constantly. Be careful so it doesn’t scorch.

Next, add the flour and continue stirring to form a roux. Add the bacon fat or chorizo if desired. When the roux turns a medium brown color (about fifteen minutes) add the chile powder and the rest of the ingredients. Bring up to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about a half hour until the liquid has reduced by half. Whisk to break up the lumps. Stir often. Don’t thicken it too much — the consistency should be similar to melted ice cream.  It will continue to reduce when used in recipes that require baking.

Makes a little over one cup.


Mike’s Helpful Tip:
Buy the best Hatch chile powder you can find. It must be pure and not cut with other ingredients. Control the heat of the sauce using crushed chiltepin or cayenne pepper. Always opt for a milder chile powder — you can always kick up the heat later, but you can never take it back.

The Lodge 2-quart cast-iron serving pot (shown below) is ideal for this recipe. It assures even heating without the risk of scorching the roux.

Note: Culinary Compost never endorses products for profit, and has received no monetary compensation for the content of this post.

Mike's New Mexican Red Enchilada Sauce | Culinary Compost Recipes


Mike’s Grilled Chicken and Green Chili Enchiladas

Here’s a great, savory enchilada recipe featuring grilled chicken and my special Tequila marinade. You can find the canned Hatch chilis in most southwest markets – otherwise order them online.


4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded flat
1 28oz. can Hatch® whole mild green chilis
2 cups chicken stock using, in part, the reserved liquid from the canned chilis
1 medium Spanish onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, washed and trimmed of stems
2 tsp. ground cumin, from toasted seed
1 tbs. dried Mexican oregano leaf
2 tsp. dried ground coriander
1 tbs. chipotle powder, or to taste
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh scallion
8 oz. package shredded Monterey Jack cheese
6 10″ flour tortillas

—For the Marinade:
2 oz. Tequila
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup XV olive oil
4 cloves crushed garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish with Mike’s fresh guacamole, salsa verde and sour cream


Ensure the chicken breasts are thawed and pounded flat. This will help the marinade penetrate the meat – they will also grill more evenly. Prepare the marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until blended. Place the chicken and the marinade in a Ziplock storage bag, seal and refrigerate at  least six hours, but best overnight.

Prepare a charcoal grill with enough coal for a medium-hot fire. When coals are white-hot, level them and place the chicken directly over the center of the grate. Grill until lightly charred and cooked through – turning once. Remove and place on a cutting board to cool.

Prepare the enchilada sauce by pulsing the canned whole green chili in a food processor until chunky. Bring the chilis up to a low simmer on your stove top in a heavy pot. Add the stock or chili liquid, the chopped onion, garlic and the spices and simmer for about an hour, partially covered. Stir occasionally.

Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to the pot with the cilantro and warm through, ensuring that the liquid is reduced, cooking for an additional 15-30 minutes, if necessary.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 9×13″ baking dish with a little cooking spray. Divide up the enchilada mix into the six tortillas, wrap tightly and place in the baking dish with shredded Monterey Jack cheese and scallion on top. Cover with the remaining chili sauce. Bake uncovered in the oven for about 30 minutes or until melted and slightly browned on top. (As an option, you may lightly brush the outside of each tortilla with a little olive oil and toast in a skillet before baking.)

Serves 6