Chile Colorado

While I was in Kino the last time, I had the opportunity to learn how to make red chile sauce from a man who makes the best, hands down.

We made a double batch, first breaking the dried chile from its stem, running a finger around inside it to get rid of most of the seeds, and tossing the chile into a big pot. We must have prepped maybe thirty chiles.

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Then, my friend filled the pot with water to rinse dust and such off the chiles, and this helped loosen more seeds. He dumped the water and then refilled the pot and put it on the stove.

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While waiting for the chiles to come to a boil, he chopped some pork – any cut, he says – into small cubes and sautéed the cubes in a healthy dose of olive oil.

He then pushed the cubes aside, tossed some flour into the oil, and made a gravy base. He cooked it a few minutes and turned off the burner.

When the chiles came to a boil, I pushed them down several times to make sure each one got well cooked. They cooked for maybe twenty minutes and plumped up just like a ripe chile, and they were soft.

Half the chiles and about half the liquid went into the blender along with a healthy portion of salt, dried cilantro and garlic powder.

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He blended it up. Then he kept on blending. It turned from a sort of orange color to an incredibly beautiful shade of red.

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He blended the batch for about five minutes, poured it over the pork cubes, and blended up the second batch.

While the second batch blended, he turned the heat back on under the pork and chile and brought it to a simmer. Five minutes later he added the second batch of blended chile and simmered the whole thing for a few more minutes.

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Absolute heaven.

And! The best part! I came home with nearly a quart of freshly made red chile sauce. And when it was gone, you can bet I made up another batch.

My batch, as photos show, was smaller. I made two, actually – one using beef instead of pork. I wanted to see if I could taste a big difference. The second batch I made was without meat. Instead of a meat gravy, I made a roux of flour and oil, cooked it, and then added the second batch of the cooked chiles.

And now? Posole!

With thanks to R.

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