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New Mexican Red Pepper Paste

This paste is ideal for beef brisket, chicken breasts, and spare ribs. You can also add a couple of tablespoons of the paste to any of the basic marinades or to your favorite barbecue sauce to liven up the flavor.


  • 4 dried ancho chile peppers, stems, veins and seeds removed
  • 2 dried New Mexican chile peppers (guajillo),stems, veins and seeds removed
  • 2 canned chipotle chile peppers (or reconstituted dried chipotles)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

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  1. Soak the ancho and New Mexican chile in hot water to cover for about 1 hour. Remove the chilies from the water and reserve 2 cups of soaking water.
  2. Combine the chiles, reserved soaking water (as needed), chipotle, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano and salt in a food processor and puree until all the ingredients are blended into a smooth thick paste. Use the soaking liquid as needed to moisten the mixture in a paste form. Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks.

Yield: 2 to 3 cups

Recommendations: Marinate chicken breasts (4 to 6 hours); wings (6 to 8 hours); beef brisket (8 hours to overnight); spare ribs (8 hours to overnight).