Posted August 6, 2007 by Ethan in Reviews

Review: Coyote Trail New Mexico Chile Enchilada Sauce

When I got my first package from Nick, I ripped into like a kid on Christmas day. I pulled out each bottle, carefully unwrapped it, and set them all across my kitchen counter. I surveyed my take, trying carefully not to pass too much judgment based solely on the labels, but also making mental notes about my first impressions. Of all the bottles and jars, Coyote Trail’s New Mexico Chile Enchilada Sauce caught my eye. The label is fairly low key and very professional. It’s not gimmicky, overly bright, or too eye-catching (but that could be considered a draw back I guess).

Ingredients: water, dried roasted red chiles, modified food starch, salt, natural beef flavored base (maltodextrine, salt, soy sauce [dehydrated soy sauce {wheat soybeans, salt}, maltodextrine, salt], flavoring [soy sauce {wheat soybeans, salt}, torula yeast and autolyzed yeast], onion powder, caramel color, celery, garlic, pepper, rosemary), butter, onion powder, garlic powder, citric acid, spice.

Up close and personal

I’m not much for following recipes, but eventually I made it to the grocery store and bought the ingredients listed on the back of the sauce jar. Enchiladas don’t get much simpler than this: ground beef, onion, cheese, and tortillas. Oddly enough, the Coyote Trail sauce isn’t listed in the ingredients. The instructions direct you to use the sauce, but they never say exactly how much. I decided early on to use the whole jar.

When I cracked it open, I got a noseful of that very unique dried chile smell. It was glorious. The sauce has a very smooth, blended consistency with a few visible specks but no chunks or seeds. I grabbed a spoon and dug in. Yikes! The sauce was bitter, with an odd beefy aftertaste. Because of the dark color I had expected something sweeter, more along the lines of a mole-style sauce. The flavor hinted at the dried chiles I smelled earlier, but the bitterness was overwhelming. Not a good sign, but I hoped actually cooking with it would help things.

The finished product

30 minutes later I had steaming hot beef enchiladas, filled and smothered with cheese and Coyote Trail New Mexico Chile Enchilada Sauce. I don’t have a big enough vocabulary to describe how good they smelled. I don’t like using the oven in the summer, but the smell alone was worth it! I let them cool just long enough to prevent a severely burnt mouth, and then began eating. Devouring is probably a more appropriate word! Coyote Trail is almost the perfect enchilada sauce. The bitter taste was gone completely. The chile flavor had increased, and the somewhat beef-like aftertaste went well with the other ingredients. There’s not much heat here. In fact, it might not even register for the seasoned chileheads. I’d call it a 3 on the HSB scale. If you’re looking for heat, you’re going to have to bring your own. The Coyote Trail sauce supplies more than enough flavor and aroma, but not much heat.

These were easily the best enchiladas I’ve ever prepared, and with fewer ingredients! I’d like to see a hotter version of the sauce, though. But even mild, it was delicious. Next time I’ll add some dried habanero powder to the filling mixture and I think it will be perfect.

New Mexico Chile Company LLC
5555 Zuni Rd SE 20-109
Albuquerque, NM 87108