Chile colorado: The other versatile red sauce

Once made, red chile sauce can be used again and again.

Making a traditional red chile sauce is time-consuming, but once made, it can be used again and again, said Veronica Gonzalez- Smith in Muy Bueno (Hippocrene). In our El Paso, Texas, home, “if Mom or Grandma made red sauce for enchiladas one day,” the leftovers might be used to make chile colorado con carne the next day, then chilaquiles at breakfast the day after that.

I use that red chile sauce, or chile colorado, in my version of pozole rojo, a stew from northern Mexico, said Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, Veronica’s sister and co-author. Made with tender, slow-cooked pork, this meaty pozole “has a thick, velvety consistency that everyone loves.”

Recipe of the week

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Pozole rojo (Pork and hominy stew)

  • 2½ to 3 lbs pork roast or loin
  • 4 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Two 32-oz cartons organic chicken broth
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 6 cups red chile sauce (recipe below)
  • Four 29-oz cans hominy, drained

For garnish:

  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • Lime wedges
  • Dried Mexican oregano
  • Crushed dried red chile

Place pork and 3 cups of water in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove and shred the meat. Skim fat from broth; you’ll have about 2 cups of broth. Reserve.

In a blender, combine half the oregano, vinegar, both broths, garlic, onion, flour, and salt, then liquefy. Place in a very large pot or divide between two 8-quart pots. Repeat blending process with remaining half of the same ingredients.

Add the shredded pork, red chile sauce (below), hominy, and 7 cups of water to the pot. Partially cover and bring to boil. Add more red sauce to taste. Lower heat and simmer 45 minutes. Salt to taste.

Spoon pozole into soup bowls. Let your guests add garnishes. Makes 12 quarts.

For chile colorado (red chile sauce):

  • 8 oz dried California or New Mexico red chiles
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp salt

Remove stems, seeds, and veins from chiles. Place in a colander and rinse well with cool water. Add chiles to a large pot and add enough water so they are just covered. Bring water to boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer about 20 minutes. After 10 min- utes turn chiles with tongs to soften evenly. Drain and let cool. Discard water.

Fill blender with 3 cups of water and half the cooled chiles, flour, garlic, and salt. Blend until smooth. Strain sauce through a fine sieve to remove skins. Repeat blending and straining process with remaining water, chiles, flour, garlic, and salt. If necessary, season with more salt.

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