Adobo Sauce

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

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4 dried ancho chiles
6 dried guajillo chiles
2 Tbsp minced onion, divided
3/4 tsp minced garlic, divided
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
1/4 cup cider vinegar


Heat a large skillet over medium heat and toast the chiles, turning frequently, until very pliable and soft. Do not allow to char. Remove from the skillet, and transfer to a plate. Remove the stems and seeds and place in a saucepan.

Add enough hot water to just cover, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, remove from the heat, and allow chiles to soak until very soft and plumped for about 20 minutes. Strain in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl, and reserve soaking liquid separately.

In a blender, combine the chiles, onion, garlic, salt, teaspoon sugar, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, cloves, and vinegar and puree until smooth, adding a little of the chile soaking liquid (only as much as is needed) to enable the mixture to blend. The consistency should be thick but smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.