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Enchilada Sauce

I love Mexican food.

I also hate canned Enchilada Sauce.

It doesn’t help that I’m really picky about the stuff.  It’s been one of my biggest problems with Mexican restaurants here in Ohio – even the best of them (so far that’s a little hole-in-the-wall joint in Seville, Ohio, of all places) – have crappy enchilada sauce. (The sauce at the restaurant in question tastes like it came from a can of Spaghetti-O’s.)

Because of this, I make my own enchiladas – most notably, Beef and Cheese and Molé – neither of which include traditional enchilada sauce. (Note: If you view the Molé Enchilada recipe, it was written before we changed our diet and I have reversed my stance on lard.)  At any rate, the recipe I am posting tomorrow calls for enchilada sauce, so I had to make it myself.

Most recipes call for flour to thicken them.  I toyed with the idea of thickening mine with a combination of tapioca, rice and potato flours, but in the end decided it would be best if I simply reduced the sauce until it was thick.  I am SO glad I did; reducing served to concentrate the flavor of the sauce – it was simply marvelous.  Far, far tastier than anything you can get from a can, and without any thickeners at all.

I’m so enamored with it that I am going to make enchiladas – with corn tortillas, yup – Sunday for Cinco de Mayo.  I may even throw caution to the wind and make a gluten-free version of Southwestern Spoon Bread and some traditionally prepared black beans.  After all, if you’re going to eat less than optimally, it might as well be with some nomilicious homemade Mexican food on Cinco de Mayo.

The sauce is deliciously Whole30; you can make it vegetarian/vegan by substituting the lard with olive oil and the chicken stock with vegetable stock.

Enchilada Sauce.  So simple and delicious, you will never buy the stuff in the can again.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Enchilada Sauce
Yields about 2 cups
Serves: 8
  • 2 tablespoons lard
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • salt, to taste
  1. Heat the lard in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook the onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the salt and increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat once again and simmer until the sauce has thickened enough to coat a spoon.
  3. Season with salt as needed.
  4. Nutrition (per serving): 92 calories, 4.4g total fat, 4.8mg cholesterol, 126.7mg sodium, 365.2mg potassium, 10.6g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 5.2g sugar, 2.9g protein

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