Ancho Chile Salsa II

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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2 tsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 small garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 dried ancho chiles, seeded and torn into pieces
3 dried guajillo chiles, seeded and torn into pieces
2 Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded, and roughly chopped
2 cups water or basic vegetable stock
1 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp fresh Mexican oregano, or 1 Tbsp dried
Fresh cilantro (12 sprigs) about 1/2 cup, stemmed and chopped


In a 10-inch saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and dried chiles, and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and you can smell the chiles.

Add the tomatoes and tomatillos, reduce the heat slightly, and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add the water or stock, 1 tsp of salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes.

Stir in the oregano, cool for a few minutes, puree the sauce in a blender until smooth, then stir in the cilantro.

4 cups.

From Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta by Deborah Schneider.