Rojo Sauce


SourceMara Welton
Prep time30 minutes
Cooking time30 minutes
Total time1 hour


Rojo sauce is a red chile sauce that serves as the basis for a traditional Mexican stew called Posole (see recipe). Its also great on top of tortillas or enchiladas. This recipe was taught in a City Market cooking class on Mexican slow food, with Mara Welton of Half Pint Farm and Slow Food Vermont.


pepper, chile (dried pods, New Mexican)
4 cloves
water (warm)


Preheat broiler on low broil.

Wipe all pods with a wet rag or paper towel to get off dust and stray soil

Break up pods, shaking out seeds and removing stem. Spread chile pieces on a baking sheet so that they are in one layer with little overlap.

With oven door open, place chiles below broiler. Leaving oven door open, watch them constantly until they begin to warm, soften and become fragrant. Pull tray out every 10 seconds to stir. Do nut leave chiles unattended. They burn easily, but the goal is to only toast them. Pulling them out earlier than later is good practice.

Place toasted chiles, garlic, salt and enough warm water to cover chiles in a blender. 

Blend for 10 seconds, let rest for 30 seconds, blend for 10 seconds and blend for 30 seconds more. This is a good time to clean up and let the chile soak - no harm leaving the chile to sit for a long time. 

Once you are satisfied with blending, strain the puree through a fine mesh colander into a bowl, using a rubber spatula to squeeze out all the water. Add water to bring total rojo quantity to 6 cups.

Discard solids.