From “Local Dirt” article in the October 2017 issue.

Red Chile Sauce
The growers at Armijo Farms, in Sabinal, say this classic dish can be used to smother enchiladas, burritos, or even mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving (like the locals do).

Makes 5–6 cups

  • 1 10-ounce bag Armijo Farms organic sun-dried whole chile pods
  • Filtered water
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • Salt to taste
  1. Gently rinse chile pods in cold water and let soak for at least 5 minutes. Discard water.
  2. Place pods, garlic, and Mexican oregano in 8-quart pot, fill with clean filtered water to top.
  3. Bring pods to a simmer over medium heat, approximately 20 minutes, or until soft. Stir regularly and do not allow them to boil. Cook, covered, for another 5 minutes.
  4. Drain chiles, reserving chile water.
  5. Place chile pods in a blender, adding water to the top of chiles.
  6. Blend well into a paste, starting with 1–2 pulses at a time. Sauce should be smooth.
  7. Add salt to taste (starting with 1 teaspoon).
  8. Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze.
  9. Optional twist: Add a pinch of ground cumin and some sautéed onion before blending the pods.