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Do NOT use the soak water! I made this recipe before and followed the advice in a comment and omitted the soak water. It came out delicious and tasty. I made this recipe a second time and used the soak water, forgetting the advice. It came out foul, bitter, and disgusting, I chucked the meat/sauce mixture after tasting.

Fine recipe that I recommend without the soak water.

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SMB San Diego November 13, 2012

do not use the soaking water from the peppers. the tannin makes the sauce very bitter. use fresh water or chix stock. otherwise this is just a enchilada sauce recipe..

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Yeller504 December 31, 2011

Loved it. Made tamale filling using a 3 lb all natural grass fed brisket from Whole Foods. Used combination of Guajillo, New Mexico, and Pasilla peppers. Worked beautifully. Thanks for sharing. With these recipes, no longer will I need to rely on friends bringing back tamales from Texas/New Mexico.

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Mole January 23, 2011

Wonderful sauce! I realized after I had mixed the meat into the sauce I should have strained the sauce. I had a lot of tiny pieces of chili skin left.

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Nurse Amanda January 19, 2010

Wish I could have given you a higher star rating then just the 5. It's beyond the 5 +5+5+5+5+5!!! Thank you for taking all the time & (Mom to!) to put this all together.My family and myself can't get over how delicious this was :) I didn't make any alterations,kept going as you said.It turned out sooo good!.This is one of those meals that's best to keep for special occasions.Lot of love went into it. My only regret is...NOT doubling it.I made about 27.Every one of them will be gone by tonight. Thank you again,that was a real treat here in Cali :)

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Chef Munky November 30, 2008

Its not bad definitely a good base to start from and tune how you like. I used small red chilis so 15 was a ridiculous amount of capsasin a.k.a. heat. Did it again using only 4 and a smaller amount of (steeping)water and it turned into a good red sauce base. To offset the somewhat bitter red chili....I added about 3 oz of tomato paste. I prefer the sour of the tomatoes against the bitter of the chilis...still has a great southwest/mexican flavor and will be a great accent to your tamales whether poured on them direct or used inside them prior to cooking. Simple but a great addition to your own tamale recipie! I will try the recommended peppers next time and see how it goes.

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tommyjoking May 02, 2015

I adjusted the recipe a bit to make it how my mother in law made them years ago. Instead of using water or soaking water. I used the stock from the pork( as I added 3 cups extra of water to the cooking process) in the chili to blend and I didn't use flour to thicken. The stock thickened it. Fyi... If you don't want it spicy just use less chilis. I made 10 pounds of pork and used 15 chilis . It turned out great.

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Anonymous March 28, 2015

I doubled the sauce using ancho and guajillo peppers. Nice smoky flavor..I froze half the sauce to save time the next time I make your tamale recipe..Thank you so much for these recipes...

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Potluck July 28, 2014

I wasn't sure why you would want to roast dried peppers, but I decided to follow the recipe and sure enough, my gut was right. This turned out EXTREMELY bitter (and not in that lovely earthy pepper sort of way). SOLUTION: Same recipe, just skip the roasting part. Also, maybe a bit less garlic. For this sauce, 1-2 cloves is plenty! I also added just a bit of oregano and the juice of one lemon (slowly, as sauce cooled). So, maybe I did change it a bit, but the prep instructions here are spot on.

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AngelaCrystal June 27, 2014

My Aunt Dorothy who lived many years in Flag, now Phoenix, taught me similarly but forbade cumin. I must say I love the comino seed and use it often in Mexican dishes. But, for the tamale... I remain traditional and never, never, ever use cumin in either the masa or the meat filling. For this reason, I am giving only four stars. I would also warn anyone making this sauce for the express and immediate preparation of tamales, do not soak the husks in this water; if you do, your hands will catch fire shortly after the actual assembly begins.

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David S #2 June 02, 2014
Red Chili Sauce (To Be Used With Traditional Tamales)