Red Sauce for Pork Tamales

>> Sunday, December 22, 2013

I love Mexican food and one of my favorite things is pork tamales. I  haven't ever gotten around to making my own tamales from scratch...basically because it's a really long process and I haven't been able to talk my wife into helping me do it. The pork tamales available at Costco are really good (Del Real Foods brand), so I'll have to be satisfied with them for the time being.

What I did decide to do was make up some traditional red sauce from scratch to go with my store-bought tamales. Prep time is a little over an hour, but it's really good and really easy to make. This sauce is a great compliment to tamales and I suspect it could also be really good with some huevos rancheros-style eggs.

15 large dried chilies (I used Guajillo)
5 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 350.
Remove stems then split peppers in half to remove seeds. Cooking shears work well for this.
Place peppers in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 2-3 minutes.
Remove peppers from the oven, place them in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak them for about 30 minutes.
Transfer peppers, garlic, cumin, salt and about 2.5c of the pepper water to your blender. Blend until smooth.
Next we need to make a roux. Add oil to a 2 quart sauce pan over medium heat. Add flour while stirring and cook until browned. Be sure to stir constantly so as not to burn the flour.
Once the flour is browned, carefully stir in the blended pepper mixture. You might want to pour it through a coarse sieve while adding it to the sauce pan. This will help filter out any small bits of pepper skin, but it's not required.
Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes then serve over tamales and enjoy.