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"Secrets to Cooking TexMex"

Chili con Carne

A great enchilada is determined by the sauce that covers it.
Here is one that is San Antonio authentic for those TexMex
enchiladas.  This is traditionally made with meat (carne), but it
can also be made without the meat.  This recipe yields 6 cups
of sauce, enough for 12 enchiladas.

INGREDIENTS: DIRECTIONS:
Start by putting 2 cups of water in a small saucepan and cover.  
Bring to a rapid boil.
While the water is heating up, ‘roast’ the dried ancho chili pods 
under the broiler element for 20 seconds on each side.   You will 
see the skin bubble and the pods will start to smoke.
Remove when roasted and when cool enough to handle, remove 
the stems, pull the pod apart, and discard the seeds inside. 
Put into the boiling water, cover, and remove from the heat.
Let steep for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

In a large saucepan, add the oil and margarine and heat.

Add the hamburger meat, crumbling while putting in the pan.  
Brown on a medium high heat, stirring and breaking up any large pieces.  
When the meat is light brown, add the onions, bell peppers, and chopped garlic.  

Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.  The onions should become translucent 
by this time.  Add the salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder and stir well.
Cook for another 2 minutes then add the flour.  Cook for 1 minute more, 
stirring to absorb the oils.

Add the tomato sauce and stir well, being sure to ‘scrape’ the bottom 
of the pan for any sticking particles.  Add 2 cups of water and bring to a slow boil.  
At this point, remove the ancho chili pods and place on a plate to cool.  

Pour the ‘juice’ from the ancho steeping pot into the larger ‘sauce’ pot.  
When the chili pods are cool enough to touch, scrape enough ‘meat’ from 
the pod skins to get 2 tablespoons.  Add to the ‘sauce’ pot and discard the rest.  
Let the sauce simmer at a slow boil for 30 minutes uncovered.  
Good time to clean up your work area.

Mix 2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch into 3/4 cup of cold water.  
Increase the heat to a medium high setting and when the sauce is at a ‘rolling’ boil, 
slowly add the cornstarch mixture into the sauce.  Stir constantly as you do this.  
The cornstarch will thicken the sauce, and it is activated when the sauce begins to boil.

When the sauce begins to boil again, reduce the heat to a medium low heat, 
making sure there is a ‘slow’ boil.  Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes, uncovered.  
Remove from the heat and let sit for up to 30 minutes.  
You now have a great tasting sauce for authentic TexMex enchiladas.

This sauce can be prepared several days in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.
Just reheat on a medium low setting and stir often until hot.

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Copyright 1998-2005 "Secrets to Cooking TexMex/Michael W. Ludwig. All rights reserved.