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“This is a distinctive sauce with a deep sweet-smoky flavor that matches its almost black color.The striking, almost burnt, flavor is achieved by deep frying dried chipotles ,before soaking them in a brown sugar bath, and then simmering the sauce to perfection.The final searing and simmering of the sauce is essential to achieving a deep and well balanced flavor and should not be skipped.This recipe uses chiles moritas-small chipotles that are wrinkled and blackish(the type you usually find pickled in adobo),not the small tan colored chipotles.You absolutely cannot sub canned chipotles in this recipe.This recipe is originally from a Rick Bayless cookbook(that's why its so good!).”
2 cups

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 12 ounces piloncillo sugar or 13 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 14 cups water
  • 50 (4 ounce) dried chipotles moritas chilies (small reddish-black chipotles)
  • 2 cups oil (this amount will vary depending on the size of your pan)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled


  1. If you are using piloncillo,break it into smaller pieces with a hammer or cut it into chunks with a large heavy knife.Bring water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan.Remove from heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Pour oil in a pan to a depth of 1/4 inch and heat over medium.Remove the stems from the chiles and discard.Add about half of the chiles to the hot oil and fry,stirring constantly,for 2 minutes.They should smell toasty.
  3. Remove the chiles with a slotted spoon and place in the pot of hot sugar water.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the remaining chiles.
  5. Pour off the oil and discard.In the same pan fry the whole peeled garlic cloves in the thin film of oil that remains.Cook for 4 minutes,stirring occasionally, allowing the garlic to become golden but not burn.
  6. Puree the chiles and garlic with all of the sugar water until smooth.Strain to remove hard seeds and tough bits of skin.
  7. Heat the pan over medium high ;you may not need to add oil if there is enough in the pan leftover.When the pan is hot add the chile puree(it should sizzle and sputter )and stir constantly for 1 minute.Lower the heat to medium low and continue cooking for 20 minutes,stirring often.After 20 minutes the sauce should be very thick(like tomato paste) and have a dark shiny burgundy-black color.
  8. Serve as a sauce with gorditas,shrimp,eggs ,or anything you like.

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