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Home » Food » Sauces & Spices » Whole Grain Red Chile Sauce for Chili
Whole Grain Red Chile Sauce for Chili
By Peter Sheppard, The New Fermenting Gourmet

Anybody can crack open a jar of chili powder! In this recipe whole chilies and spices are used in a sauce that is added to the skillet along with the fried meat. For a smoky flavor and extra heat use the chipotle chilies. Most of the chilies used in this recipe can be found at a local Mexican market like Top Valu or in the Mexican spice rack of your supermarket. This recipe makes enough sauce for 1 gallon of the proverbial "bowl o' red".

Yield: Sauce for 1 gallon of Chili
2 TbspButter
1/2 headGarlic
1medium onion, quartered
4dried whole Ancho (or Pasilla) chiles
4dried whole New Mexico chiles
4dried whole California chiles
4dried whole Guajillo chiles
4smoke dried whole Chipotle chiles (optional - for heat)
6 cupshot water
3 Tbspwhole Cumin seed
2 Tbspwhole Coriander seed
4 Tbspgroud sweet (or hot) Paprika
4 Tbspdried Mexican Oregano, rubbed between your hands
1 cup low-sodium Chicken Broth (approximately)
Salt, to taste (no pepper)


Rub butter over the unpeeled garlic and onion quarters and place onto a baking sheet lined with foil.

Put onions and garlic into a pre-heated 400-degree oven and roast, on the top rack, for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once half way through.

Put roasted veggies into a glass bowl and cover with foil to steam.

Peel the roasted garlic and onions and place into a blender.

At the same time you are roasting the veggies cut the dried chilies in half and remove the seeds and stems.

In a very large glass bowl put the chilies with the hot water and let stand for 20 minutes, or until chilies are softened.

Pour off and discard the dirty water and place the chilies into the blender.

In a "dry" cast iron skillet toast the cumin and coriander seeds over a medium/high flame for 5 minutes.

Put into a spice mill and grind into a powder, toss into the blender.

Add the paprika, oregano and salt.

Put the top on the blender and process to break things up.

Pour about half of the broth in and process some more.

Add just enough of the remaining broth to form a smooth sauce.

Store in an airtight jar in the back of the fridge until ready to use.


To intensify the flavors fry the sauce in butter or oil, (or lard?) for 5 to 10 minutes before adding the fried meat and other ingredients. Cover and cook the chili over a very low flame for 1 to 2 hours. Cool and set into the fridge. Chili always benefits from an overnight rest for the flavors to 'take'. Good luck!

Want to make your own beer at home? Get started on the right foot. Check out the Falcon's sponsoring shop, The Home Beer, Wine, Cheesemaking Shop. John Daume, proprietor, has been serving the home brewing and winemaking needs of Angelenos since 1972, over 30 years! (Falcon Members receive a 10% discount on supplies)
Looking for older Falcons' information?, The Westval Maltose Falcons Webpage (Locally cached) (The Original Falcon's Roost, prior to 1999)
Looking for a home wine making club in the Los Angeles area? Check out our sister club, The Cellarmasters, over 30 and still stomping grapes.