Fast Red Chile Sauce


2 cups

15 minutes

I’m tempted to call this “red Chile paste,” but it’s a little too liquid for that. I recently slathered it all over a pork shoulder that I slow-cooked on the grill, but you can also use it to marinate/baste other grilled or roasted meats, make it the base of a braising liquid, or simply stir it into some rice and beans.


1 head garlic, separated into cloves
3 dried ancho or other mild chiles
1 dried chipotle
1 chile de arbol or other hot red chile, optional
A large pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon cinnamon


1. Put the (unpeeled) garlic in a heavy skillet over low heat and cook, turning occasionally, until it browns on a couple of sides, about 10 minutes. Remove and squeeze the garlic from its skins directly into a blender. 

2. Meanwhile, soak the chiles in boiling water until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove (carefully; they’re hot) and peel the flesh away from the seeds and stems. Put the flesh in the blender with all the remaining ingredients. 

3. Add (fresh) boiling water to about the 2 cup mark and blend until smooth. Taste and add more salt (or anything else you like) to taste. This keeps well in the refrigerator.