Mexican food is a lot easier to make yourself than people realize. Sauces and condiments are even easier. All it takes is the usual suspects like onions, peppers, garlic, mixed with additional ingredients that make it unique, and patience. I’m the kind of gal that refuses to get basic dishes at a restaurant because with a little effort, I can make it myself. Yes, I’m a picky restaurant eater 🙂 that is when the opportunity arises.
The one thing I love about any Spanish food in general especially favorites is that almost all of the ingredients or at least major ones you can grow yourself. My garden this year failed miserably yet again! If I can’t grow my own, I buy bulk when in season and I can it. But besides seasonings, this type of cuisine is extremely frugal because it uses a ton of fresh produce. This is also a fantastic pantry meal.
You will need:
-12 Fresh or Dried Mexican chili peppers
-5 cups of diced onion or 4 large onions
-4 cloves of garlic diced
-6 cups of fresh, canned or home canned tomatoes
-2 tsp of cumin
-2 tbsp chili powder
-1 tsp red pepper flake
-1 tbsp oregano
-2 tsp salt
-1 tbs of olive oil
-2 cups of boiling water
-1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
-1 bottle or can of good beer
First, soak your dried peppers if you opted for dried for at least 30 minutes. If you used fresh you can either blister them over a flame or grill or simply roast them in the oven. A little trick I learned is that this original recipe called for using a cup of the water that you soaked the peppers in. This liquid can be very bitter giving you the typical canned enchilada sauce flavor. Replace this liquid in cooking with a bottle of good beer! I used Shiner Boch. I don’t care for blonde or pale beer so I used an amber beer, but any will work.
Sauce the garlic in olive oil and add onions. Sweat your onions until soft. Sweating means your not browning the onions just making them soft. Add 1 cup of beer and drink the rest 🙂 tomatoes, and brown sugar and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the soaked peppers which have the stems and seeds removed along with all of the other ingredients and bring to a boil for another 25 minutes until slightly thickened and reduced. I love heat so I kept all of the seeds. You can tweak this recipe anyway you want depending on your taste. If its too sweet for you, you can add more acidity and red pepper flake. I ended up adding another tablespoon of salt. If this is too thin you can puree it in a blender or food processor.
Leave 1 inch head space in your jars and process in a pressure canner for 50 minutes. For very basic information on canning click here.
Total Cost: Under $7 for me as I had most on hand in bulk. For 8 pint jars it is about .87 which is much cheaper than a can in the store. My family of 3 uses one pint per meal.
-Add ground beef and serve over rice
-Condiment for tacos