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Tex-Mex Chili Sauce

This is half a chili con carne recipe. It has the seasonings and the flavor, but not the meat. I got it from Chef Warren Leruth who, despite his distinction as perhaps the greatest chef in New Orleans history, also liked to cook everyday dishes. If I remember right, this originally was destined for a restaurant chain on which Warren was consulting. I remember that it couldn’t get enough of it, no matter what it was served on. You use it as a sauce, not as a finished dish. It’s good on chicken, pork, and cheese-and-onion enchiladas. But triple all the ingredients, add three pounds of cubed or ground beef chuck at the end of Step 1. and you’re on your way to a good, heart-warming (and heart-stopping) bowl of red.

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 Tbs. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1 cup beef or veal stock
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. Tabasco chipotle pepper sauce

1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until it shimmers. Add all the seasonings through the black pepper, and cook, stirring, as if you were making a roux. Cook the seasonings until they’re noticeably darker than they were at the beginning.

2. Remove from the heat and stir in the onions. Keep stirring until the onions are soft and browned–about a minute.

3. Add the tomato puree and the stock, and stir to blend completely. Add all the other ingredients and blend in.

4. Return to medium-low heat, and cook the mixture until all bright red color from the tomato puree is gone. Lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for another ten minutes, stirring now and then. Add a little water if necessary to get a sauce consistency. Add the salt and Tabasco Chilpotle sauce.

Makes about two cups of sauce.

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 Tbs. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1 cup beef or veal stock
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. Tabasco chipotle pepper sauce

1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until it shimmers. Add all the seasonings through the black pepper, and cook, stirring, as if you were making a roux. Cook the seasonings until they’re noticeably darker than they were at the beginning.

2. Remove from the heat and stir in the onions. Keep stirring until the onions are soft and browned–about a minute.

3. Add the tomato puree and the stock, and stir to blend completely. Add all the other ingredients and blend in.

4. Return to medium-low heat, and cook the mixture until all bright red color from the tomato puree is gone. Lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for another ten minutes, stirring now and then. Add a little water if necessary to get a sauce consistency. Add the salt and Tabasco Chilpotle sauce.

Makes about two cups of sauce.