Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4-6 cups
- 2 lbs of fresh red chiles (see below for types)
- 4 dried red chiles (see below for types)
- 1 tablespoon lard or cooking oil
- 1/2 of a small white onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 6 cups drinking water
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Roast the red chiles over high heat (or in the broiler or on a grill) turning often, until the skins are blackened and blistered. Remove them from the heat and let them cool to the touch. Peel the blackened skin off as well as removing the stems and scraping out the seeds. Roughly chop the remaining flesh and set aside.
Remove the soaking chiles from the water, remove the stems and seeds and cut them into pieces. Set aside.
Add the oil to a large pot and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and cook it for 5-7 minutes or until softened and translucent. Add the garlic, and all of the red chiles to the pot. Continue to stir while you add the water, slowly and carefully. After the water is in, add the vinegar, oregano, cumin and salt.
Cover the pot and simmer the sauce for 20 minutes over low heat.
At this point, if you have a hand-held blender (stick blender) you can put it directly in the sauce and blend until smooth. If you plan on using a standard blender (pitcher style) then you need to let the sauce cool quite a bit, nearly to room temperature, before attempting to blend it.
After the sauce is completely blended (this takes a minute or two) you can use it as-is or you can pour it through a strainer to make it smoother.