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Mar 16, 2013 07:58 AM

New Mexico chili gravy

A friend of mine who grew up in Corpus Christi is longing for enchiladas with chili gravy. She said it's a red sauce unlike anything we have in Arizona, and I believe she said it contains some crumbled ground beef. I've done a web search and found a few possibilities, including one from Homesick Texan, but nothing looks spot-on. The restaurant that serves them may be Kiko's. Does anyone know how to make this?

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  1. Hi. I have lived in NM for 41 years. Part of the prolem may be that you are looking under the wrong name. Here, we call that "Red Chile Enchilada Sauce" or just "Chile Colorado" (which is also the name of a dish made with red chile and beef chunks), Sometimes it has ground beef added. Cook the beef with chopped oniion, garlic and a bit of cumin.

    Here is a reasonable recipe -- every cook has his or her own favorite. It needn't be hot. You can use mild chile powder and get a good result. In fact, I find milder sauce is often more flavorful.

    1. Here is the recipe for the chili gravy we use. It is wonderful.

      Chili Gravy

      The lifeblood of old-fashioned Tex-Mex, chili gravy is a cross between Anglo brown gravy and Mexican chili sauce. It was invented in Anglo-owned Mexican restaurants like the Original Mexican Restaurant in Fort Worth.

      1/4 c lard (or vegetable oil)
      1/4 c flour
      1/2 t black pepper
      1 t salt
      1 1/2 t powdered garlic
      2 t ground cumin
      1/2 t dried oregano
      2 T chili powder
      2 c chicken broth (or sub water)

      Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and stir for 3-4 minutes, or until roux is light brown.

      Add the dry ingredients and continue to cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring and blending. Add chicken broth or water, mixing and stirring until sauce thickens. Turn heat to low and let sauce simmer for 15 minutes. Add water to adjust thickness, if necessary. Makes 2 cups.

      If you want a meat gravy, brown 1/2 pound ground beef and add 1/2 chopped small onion and add to spices before adding the broth.

      1. If it's NM chile gravy then it must use New Mexican chile, not just any, they have a distinctive flavor. And NM restaurants will usually not include cumin or oregano in chile/enchilada sauce. For a quick and easy 'gravy' I would soften some onion and garlic in a little lard, add the ground beef. When cooked add NM chile powder and cook a little more then add beef/chicken stock or water if you don't have any. Season with salt and let it simmer a while.

        1. Wow, I remember that place. I believe it was called Kiki's or Chichi's, something like that. Can't believe it is still around. If we're talking about the same place.

          Just wanted to comment on that. No special New Mexican recipe to report. I just remember it as being good tex mex. Maybe that's what new mex is?

          Why are you searching for new mex when it regards a texas restaurant, btw?