Last week I made beef enchiladas for a friend and for David and me. They quickly became one of our favorite meals thanks to this authentic Mexican enchilada sauce. Most recipes for homemade enchilada sauce start with flour and oil, making a roux, then adding tomato sauce and spices. I wanted something more authentic, so I kept looking and found a recipe by Nathan, on Hispanic.com, that sounded more like it, with dried chilis and fresh tomatoes.
After tasting the end result however, I found that I’m too used to American enchilada sauce and I wanted more tomato flavor so I added tomato paste. A few more tweaks and we had authentic enchilada sauce that can be used with chicken enchiladas, beef enchiladas, tacos, or almost anything that you’d like to spice up a bit. You could even drizzle this over chicken tortilla soup. The flavor is deeper and more intense than canned sauce, and I suspect better than the flour/oil based sauce as well. The chilis are mild with just enough heat to let you know you’re eating Mexican food.
The recipe is not complicated although it will take a little more time than just putting ingredients in a saucepan and heating. You have to scrape out the seeds from the dried chilis and cut the stems off. That’s the most labor intensive part. Then you just put everything into a blender.
Really easy and you’ll have enough sauce to save for another batch of Mexican food. You can even put the leftover sauce in the freezer. Beef enchilada recipe coming soon!
How to Make Enchilada Sauce
- 7-9 dried chilis I used Pasilla because that's what Publix had--can also use Guajillo or California chilis
- 4 roma tomatoes cut into quarters
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup water
- Stem and deseed the chiles. Rinse the chiles then place in a pot with tomatoes and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
- Turn off heat and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Place chiles, tomatoes, and the rest of ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. If necessary, strain through a fine mesh strainer. (I did not need to do this.)