Tamales typically come with a traditional red sauce made with garlic, chilies and cumin. It can be mild or spicy and has a smoky flavor.
Traditional Red Sauce
This sauce is typically used for pork tamales but works well for any meat-based tamale recipe.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield: 4 cups
- 15 large, dried chilies. Anaheim, New Mexico, California or pasilla work best.
- 4 to 5 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons melted shortening or olive oil
- Remove the stems and seeds from the chilies.
- Place the peppers in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 F oven for 2 to 5 minutes or until they begin to smell roasted.
- Remove from the oven and soak in hot water for 30 minutes or until cool. Save the soaking water.
- When the peppers are cool, place them and 2 1/2 cups of the soaking water in a blender. Add the garlic, salt and cumin and blend until smooth.
- In a small saucepan, stir the flour and oil or shortening together until lightly browned. Stir in the blended chili mixture.
- Simmer uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. If the sauce becomes too thick, stir in some of the remaining soaking water to thin.