Homemade Red Chile Sauce for tamales is made from dried chile peppers and earthy and wonderful warm spices. This red chile sauce is our go-to recipe to blend with shredded pork to make Red Chile Pork Tamales.
My love for Mexican food is always elevated to a new level when a recipe like this homemade tamale sauce is shared.
Rosa is my former next door neighbor and an excellent source for Mexican specialities and authentic Mexican food. So, I’m taking her lead and combining my intuition for this New Mexico Red Chile Sauce recipe.
Made from three kinds of dried chile peppers this is her recipe that she uses for homemade Tamales. It can also be used for enchiladas.
I’ve added some New Mexico flair to her version, to make my version. Really not much of a change from her original recipe, I’m just using dried New Mexico Chile Peppers.
Related Material: Mountain Mex Enchiladas
Red Sauce For Tamales
I’ll never forget when Miguel, Rosa’s husband popped up over the fence and offered us fresh grilled Carne Asada that was simply placed in a warm flour tortilla alongside a grilled jalapeno. Heaven. That’s when the food conversations started.
Since then, I’ve been to two of Rosa’s Tamale making demonstrations and so much appreciate her knowledge of authentic Mexican recipes like this one.
As this is the recipe from her family, their tradition in making tamales, her red sauce for tamales.
This red tamale sauce is amazing. The flavors of the dried chiles amaze the palate and bring ground meat to life, and the color is a vibrant brick.
The sauce alone is a very strong flavor, but once combined with your tamales or enchiladas, it’s a beautiful thing.
Variety of dried chile peppers to use for this sauce.
I use Dried Guajillo Peppers. As this is what Rosa uses. Guajillo are the most commonly used peppers in Mexican Cuisine. They are dried Mirasol chiles. The heat is considered to be mild to medium. PepperScale outlines the flavor profile perfectly.
I also used a variety of New Mexico grown dried chile peppers.
Including the most famous, Hatch Chile, a variety of peppers grown in the Hatch Valley. Dried Chile Peppers can come from anywhere in New Mexico.
I like to describe the heat of a New Mexico chile as crisp and clear, and the flavor earthy and sweet.
The last time we visited Taos and Santa Fe, I brought home a passel of dried chiles.
Note: This recipe calls for dried Pasilla Chile Peppers. Those are hot, so you may want to only use a couple. I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience.
I’ve also thrown in a couple of Buena Mulatas and few Nora Peppers. All bringing a bit if difference in the end flavor result. And all bring a deliciousness of their own.
When Rosa taught me to make this sauce, she included a generous tablespoon of spicy Mexican Pickling Spice.
This spice mix can be hard to find if you don’t have a Mexican market available. Or you can order it online with the link I’ve provided.
It’s a unique blend that routinely includes cinnamon chips, yellow mustard, dill seed, brown mustard, allspice, cloves, coriander seed, mace, black peppercorns, bay leaf, cardamom, chili peppers, ginger root.
Only use a generous tablespoon and be sure to grab that little hot dried red chile pepper. This spice mixture will add a complex layer of flavor to your sauce.
Recipe for Homemade Red Chile Sauce For Tamales
I hope you give this homemade Red Chile Sauce recipe a try. And if you do, please come back and let me know how you liked it and give the recipe a star rating.
Your feedback is valuable to me for developing future recipes. And if you have a favorite recipe dried chile peppers, let me know, I’d love to give it a try.
More Mexican Sauce Recipes
- The Best Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- Mexican Chocolate Sauce with Kahlua
- Essential Mexican Restaurant Style Salsa
And if you love South of The Border Cuisine as much as we do, don’t miss my Mexican-Southwest Category. You’ll find tons of fun recipes, including the most popular on my site for Hatch Green Chili. Enjoy.
And if you love making homemade Mexican seasonings and sauces, don’t miss my recipe for Homemade Taco Seasoning. It’s easy and so much better in so many ways than those store-bought packets.
Homemade Red Chile Sauce for Tamales
- 15 dried Guajillo Chile
- 15 dried New Mexico Dried Chile
- 2-3 dried Pasilla Chile
- 1 heaping tablespoon Mexican Pickling Spice Be sure to include the dried red chile pepper in addition to the tablespoon
- 1 small onion rough chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 Tablespoon whole cumin seed toasted
- 2 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water from boiled chile
- Remove the tops of the chiles and shake out as much of the seeds as possible. In a large pot, add chiles, Mexican pickling spices, onion and garlic cloves Add enough water to cover. Cover and cook on low for about an hour.
- Once the chiles have cooled some, and are soft, in batches transfer to a food processor. Use a slotted spoon to make sure you get the spices and the garlic. Puree until smooth adding some of the chicken broth and the chle water to each batch.
- Place a strainer over a large bowl. Pour the pureed chile sauce into the strainer and with the back of a wooden spoon, push the mixture through the strainer to remove skins, remaining seeds and any remaining chunks of spices.
- Once the chile mixture is strained, adjust seasonings. I’m a cumin fan, so I always add ground cumin and salt. I like to add in 1/8 cup cider vinegar 1 tablespoon sugar to balance flavors.
- In place of the New Mexico Dried Chile, you can use an assortment. Nora peppers are nice, and I’ve used Mulata dried peppers. Each combo will add a different nuance of flavor to your sauce.
Homemade Red Chile Sauce for Tamales … It’s What’s for Dinner