BY: Carol Green

May 5, 2020


Undoubtedly my most favorite cuisine is Mexican food, the depth and nuances of flavor that can be achieved with layers of spices and roasted chilies is just sublime!

My love of true Mexican food, beyond the boring, blunted fare of a typical Tex-Mex chain, came from living in Houston, Texas, a city brimming with authentic Mexican restaurants, from the hole in the wall Mom and Pop joint, to the white table cloth, elevated dining restaurant, this city is jam packed with amazing Mexican cuisine.

To learn how to achieve these essential flavors and techniques, I turned to the master of Mexican food, Rick Bayless; truly an inspiration for demystifying the authentic flavors and ingredients.

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I bring you a series of Mexican inspired recipes, let’s begin with Enchiladas, and this version with Guajillo Sauce is a great family friendly recipe.

The sauce requires just a little work to achieve the wonderful layers of flavor, so worth it, an can be used in multiple recipes.

I am so fortunate to have a great resource to shop locally for authentic Mexican ingredients, for the recipes in my Cinco de Mayo week series the ingredients where sourced and sponsored by the amazing Compare Foods.



Essential Guajillo Sauce

Toasting the chilies and garlic builds layers of flavor to this gorgeous, mild sauce with many uses.
Adapted from Rick Bayless ‘Mexican Kitchen’

  • Author: Carol Green
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x


  • 16  Dried Guajillo Chilies
  • 8  Garlic Cloves, skin on
  • 1 Teaspoon Mexican Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Whole Mexican Cumin
  • 2  Teaspoons Coconut Sugar, or Raw Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 3  Tablespoons Olive or Avocado Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth


  •  Prepare the chilies; remove the stems, open and discard the seeds.
  • Heat a large skillet or griddle, preferably cast iron, over medium high heat, and dry toast the chilies, opening them out, and toasting on both sides until they are fragrant but not burned.
  • Place in a bowl and cover with hot water, allow to soak for 30 minutes.
  • Add the garlic cloves to the skillet and toast until slightly charred on both sides, set aside to cool, and peel.
  • Place the spices in a spice grinder or mortar an pestle and grind, this is key to release the flavors.
  • Squeeze out the chilies and place in a blender
  • Add the garlic, spices and chicken broth, blend until smooth
  • Add the oil with the motor running until smooth.
  • Now ‘cook’ the sauce in a dry skillet, this is a another key step to release the flavors, pour the sauce in the skillet, and cook, stirring, on medium low heat for five to seven minutes until the sauce is thickened and a deep red color.


This is an essential base recipe which can be made in bulk and frozen to use in many recipes.


Enchiladas Guajillo with Braised Beef and Confetti Rice

The essential Guajillo sauce is the magic for these delicious family friendly enchiladas.

  • Author: Carol Green
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


Braised Beef:

  • 3 pounds Beef Chuck Roast
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee or Oil
  • 3  cups Guajillo Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Red Wine
  • 2  cups Beef Bone Broth
  • 1  teaspoon Salt

Confetti Rice:

  • 2 cups Long Grain Rice
  • 1 cup Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups Zucchini, small dice
  • 2 cups Red and Orange Bell Peppers, diced
  • 1 cup Red Onion, diced

To Assemble:

  • 8 large Flour Tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Cheese, Mozzarella and Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Queso Fresco
  • Chopped Cilantro


Prepare the beef:

  • Preheat a large Dutch oven, pat the beef dry, add a little ghee and brown on all sides.
  • Add the red wine, salt and one cup of the Guajillo Sauce
  • Place in a 325F oven, lid on, for two to three hours, turning and basting the meat, cook until fork tender.
  • Cut the meat into large slices and shred, taste for salt.
  • Prepare the Rice:
  • Cook the rice with the tomato and water according to package directions.
  • Saute the vegetables in a large skillet until tender but still firm.
  • Toss with the rice
  • To Assemble:
  • Spread a little Guajillo sauce in a large casserole dish
  • Place a large spoonful of rice on a tortilla, top with the meat, roll up, place seam side down and tuck in the ends.
  • Repeat, and top with the Guajillo sauce.
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese and queso fresco over the top.
  • Bake in a 400F oven until hot and bubbly.
  • Optional, serve with sour cream.
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