1 1/4 pounds red ripe jalapeno chiles, with stems
· 1/2 cup dried red New Mexico chile puree or commercial chile paste, such as Santa Cruz
· 1/3 cup water
· 2 tablespoons tomato paste
· 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
· 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
· 1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and crushed
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Prepare your smoker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Using oak or mesquite bisquettes, achieve a steady temperature of 275 to 300°.
- Place the chiles directly on the smoker rack, or use a shallow disposable foil pan.
- Place it at the cooler end of the smoking chamber or on the upper rack, if your smoker has one.
- Lower the cover and smoke the chiles for 2 1/2 hours, or until they are soft, brown, and slightly shriveled.
- Remove the chipotles from the smoker. In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine them with chile puree, water, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, and salt.
- Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the sauce is very thick, about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Transfer the chipotles to a covered storage container and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, before using. They can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 2 months.
For dried Chipotle Peppers: After removing the chiles from the smoker, place them on a rack and leave them, loosely covered, at room temperature, until crisp, light, and dry, for one to two weeks, depending on the humidity. Store airtight at room temperature.