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 Kickass Sloppy Joes

Mike's Kickass Sloppy Joes | Culinary Compost

Mike’s kickass sloppy joes (right) with Asian scallion salad

Manwich® canned Sloppy Joe mix blows. Right up there with Spam and Hamburger Helper on my list of culinary disaster-starters. My hamburger doesn’t need a helper. Try this made-from-scratch New Mex-inspired recipe and you’ll never go back to canned products. Really great flavor; not spicy unless you want it to be.



1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium Spanish onion – diced
2 cloves fresh garlic – mashed
1 8oz. can tomato soup
1/4 cup chili sauce
2 tbs. mild Chimayo chili powder (or mild spanish paprika)
1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano leaf
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried ground mustard
2 tsp. whole cumin seed, toasted and then hand-ground in a mortar
1 cup water
1 rib diced celery with greens
1/2 sweet red bell pepper, diced
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp. salt, to taste
Fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. packed brown sugar


Brown the ground beef in a large, heavy skillet on medium high. Discard fat drippings.

Reduce heat to medium and add the diced onion and garlic, stirring constantly for about five minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well, reduce heat and simmer covered for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

At the last 10 minutes, remove the cover and thicken to desired consistency. More water may be added, if necessary.

Serve on buns with pickle slices, sliced Colby cheese, jalapenos.

Serves 4.