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+ servings

Salsa de Chile Ancho (Chile Ancho Sauce)

A simple and basic red chile sauce that is good for tamale making, salsa's, braising, tacos, burritos and enchiladas!
Course Salsa/Sauces
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 7 cups



  • 8-9 ounces of dried chile ancho 15-20 peppers
  • Water to fill pot
  • 5 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1/2 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon of cumin
  • 4 large cloves of garlic or 1 TBS garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 TBS chicken base or bouillon I use this when I don't have homemade broth
  • 4 TBS pork lard(manteca) or grapeseed oil



  • Fill a large pot with about 7 cups of water and heat to medium. Remove the stems and seeds from the chile ancho and transfer them into pot of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium/low and let the peppers slowly reconstitute. Stir now and then to turn peppers over. They will start to turn a brighter shade of red. Remove from heat and  let cool for 10 minutes before draining all the water.
  • Transfer the peppers to the blender. Add 5 cups of chicken broth or fresh water, oregano, cumin, garlic, pepper and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth. Using a wire mesh strainer, strain the sauce into a larger bowl. Use the back of a wooden spoon or spatula to push all the pulp through. If using a power blender, there is no need to strain the sauce.
  • In a large pot, preheat 1/4 cup of lard or oil to medium heat for a few minutes. Pour in the sauce  from  the blender.  Mix in the chicken base or bouillon. Mix in the vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue cooking for 20-25 minutes.
  • Adjust the seasoning as it cooks to your liking. I added and extra 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) of cumin, oregano, pepper and the salt to taste. The salsa will thicken as it cooks and reduces. Cook for another 10 minutes. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. It freezes well for up to 6 months!


This sauce can be prepared with a mix of dried chiles like guajillo, California, pasilla. If you want to add some heat, there is chile de arbol, morita, chipotle or pulla.
Many times when I prepare chile sauces, instead of salt, I use a chicken bouillon powder. It adds more flavor than just using salt.