requested on FB - Mexican Gravy/Sauce

As per a facebook request –

I did some searching on the web – and I came up with these – maybe you would like to try one.

Tex-Mex Chili Gravy

Makes 1 quart (4 cups) of chili gravy.


2 cup vegetable oil (I use extra light tasting olive oil…these are the olive oils you see in the store that are recommended for frying) but to be more authentic, you can use lard. It will taste better with lard.

2 cup all purpose flour

Mix all of the following together and have them ready to toss into the pan.

1 teaspoon ground black pepper (if using freshly ground, you may need to reduce the amount. Start with 2 teaspoon and add more later)

2 teaspoons Kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon table salt)

1 tablespoon powdered garlic (“Powdered” garlic? This is very common in Tex-Mex cooking and perfectly acceptable)

2 teaspoons ground cumin (Again, if you are grinding your own, be sure to reduce the amount by half to start off with)

1#8260;2 teaspoon of Mexican oregano (Not Mediterranean oregano. Different plant. Well, in a pinch you can substitute)

2 tablespoons Gebhardt’s chili powder (Or home-made, or in a pinch, paprika. You’ll be surprised how many Tex-Mex restaurants just use paprika)

4 cups of water (Or chicken broth, though I prefer water)

Tex-Mex Chili Gravy Instructions (Updated for 2005):

Heat the oil in the sauce pan or a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the flour with a whisk or wooden spoon and continuously stir for about 3 minutes. What you are looking for is a very light brown roux. You don’t bring the roux any darker because as the roux darkens, the flour loses its thickening ability. What you’re doing is just taking the raw edge off the flour.

After 3 minutes or so of stirring (don’t be afraid to go 4 minutes if it doesn’t look right), turn of the heat, continuing to stir. Dump the powdered ingredients into the roux and stir with a whisk for a few seconds to blend. The residual heat from the roux is going to release some flavorful oils in the cumin, Mexican oregano, and chili powder. Stir in the 4 cups of water.

Turn the heat back on, this time to the low setting, and simmer for 6 minutes, stirring with the whisk every so often. The gravy will have thickened, and will continue to thicken after it is baked with the enchiladas, so you don’t need to continue thickening it.

Taste the gravy (don’t burn your tongue!) and adjust seasonings as needed.

Allow to cool and reserve for use in making Tex-Mex Cheese Enchiladas.

Chili Gravy
This chili gravy is indispensable for enchiladas, tamales, and a host of other Tex-Mex dishes.

  • 3 tablespoons melted shortening or lard
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced or put through a garlic press
  • 1 tablespoon bacon drippings
  • 1/4 cup good chili powder (preferably Gebhardt’s or your own homemade)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Masa Harina
  • salt to taste

Over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until the onion is softened, but not browned. Stir in the bacon drippings, chili powder, cumin, oregano; then gradually add the beef stock and water, stirring well.

Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes until mixture is slightly reduced and thickened. Mix the Masa Harina with a few tablespoons of water or the gravy, itself, and stir back into the gravy. Simmer for 10 minutes more. Taste the gravy and add salt only if you think it necessary.

Makes about 4 cups.

RE: A Mexican Gravy/Sauce

1/4 cup lard or vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp powdered garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
2 tbsp chili powder
2 cups chicken broth or water

Heat lard in skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and continue stirring for 3-4 minutes until it makes a light brown roux. Add all the dry ingredients and continue to cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring and blending ingredients. Add chicken broth, mixing and stirring until sauce thickens. Turn heat to low and let sauce simmer for 15 minutes. Add water to adjust the thickness.

Chili gravy is very old school Tex-Mex, classically served over cheese enchiladas, and lives on in my memory, especially the places that cooked and served them on a almost-lethal-to-the-touch aluminum platter. It was meant to be a cross between Mexican chile sauce and Anglo brown gravy. I have had more luck finding these old-fashioned types of enchiladas, with the chili gravy, in Texas diners in small towns than in Mexican food places.

Chili Gravy

2Tbsp. lard (or shortening)
2 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. chili powder or ground chiles pasillas
3 Cups warm water
Salt to taste

Melt lard in skillet. Stir in flour. Make a light roux. Add ground chile, water, and salt. Cook until thick.

A Mexican Gravy/Sauce
Here’s a light brown chipotle sauce:

2 T butter
2 T flour
1 c beef broth
1 c water
1 t cumin
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 t oregano
3 canned chipotle chiles – seeded and minced
(3 to 4) (These are not all that hot)
2 T adobo sauce from can
2 T sour cream

Melt the butter in a skillet. Stir in flour. Cook this roux until it is light brown. Remove pan from heat and slowly stir in broth. Place pan over medium heat and whisk in water. Add the spices, garlic, chiles, and adobo sauce. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Whisk in sour cream.