The Fieldmarshal’s Basic Tex-Mex Enchilada Sauce

For this amazing, deceptively simple, yet elusive and madeleine-like recipe, I am forever indebted to the equally amazing Robb Walsh and The Tex-Mex Cookbook, which my stepmother bought for me when I was home on a visit from England, and from which I adapted my own recipe for basic enchilada sauce.

Indeed, I don’t know why I didn’t start the Homesick Texan blog myself while marooned in the Land of Boiled Vegetables (that blog didn’t even get started until after I’d returned to Texas!).

Finding Tex-Mex food in the UK is even more of an impossibility than in New York City. The English seem to believe that Nacho Cheese Doritos and Prego are equivalent to chips and salsa; most of them shy away, confusedly, from avocados in any form, and the closest you are likely to get to decent Tex-Mex (nevermind Mexican) fare is the Old El Paso end display at your neighbourhood Tesco.

But I digress.

You can find these ingredients at Tesco, or indeed Asda, (or, if you’re fancy, Waitrose or Sainsbury’s). So even you homesick Texans in Britain have no excuse! Stir some of this up in a skillet and breathe in the smell of home wherever you are. I promise you, you will want to drink it.

It’s called “the Fieldmarshal’s Sauce” because my good friend Mike once christened me “the Fieldmarshal of Cheese Enchiladas.” You think I can get that on a plaque? Should I be wearing epaulets?

1/4 cup lard (or bacon fat or vegetable oil)
1 cup water
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt to taste

1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the mixture achieves a light brown, roux-like consistency. Be careful not to burn the flour.

2. Gradually stir in the rest of the ingredients and continue cooking and stirring until smooth, with no freckles. Cook over medium heat until slightly thickened.

3. Sauce can be refrigerated if necessary. To make enchiladas, pour into flat-bottomed bowl or deep plate. Dredge heated corn tortillas in sauce until covered, then fill and roll them. See my Old School Tex-Mex Enchiladas recipe for full details.

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