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.
Anchos are great in salsa, soups, enchilada and any sauce needing mild heat and chile flavor. Chopped, pureed or ground, they can be added directly to your recipes.
10 whole dried ancho chiles
6 whole dried pasilla chiles
8 whole dried mulato chiles
2 quarts water
1/2 cup raisins (or dried plums or dried cherries)
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup whole almonds, unskinned
2 cups brown duck stock or chicken stock
4 tsp. canela (or 2 tsp. cinnamon)
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. salt
3 oz. Mexican ibarra chocolate
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 Tbsp. peanut oil
Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles. Roast and rehydrate the chiles.
Husk the tomatillos and wash them under hot water. Blacken the tomatillos and tomatoes in a skillet or under a broiler (about 5 minutes). Soak the raisins in warm water until soft (about 20 minutes), then discard the water. Dry-roast the sesame seeds in a saute pan for about 5 minutes until they have finished popping; do not allow the seeds to burn. Saute the almonds in the oil over low to medium heat until browned. Puree the tomatillos, tomatoes, sesame seeds, almonds and tortillas in a blender to form a paste. Add the chiles, raisins, garlic, stock, spices and salt, and puree together. Melt the chocolate and blend into the mixture.
Add the peanut oil to a high-sided pan, and heat until almost smoking. Refry the sauce over medium heat for 5-15 minutes, stirring constanly. Add more stock if necessary, but do not allow it to get too thick. Strain the sauce through a sieve and serve warm, not hot.