Chunks or logs of fragrant hardwood, preferably a combination of Oak & Mesquite
1 1/4 lb Red-ripe jalapeno chiles, with stems
1/2 c Dried Red New Mexico Chile Puree (OR - Commercial chile paste, such as Santa Cruz)
1/3 c Water
2 TB Tomato paste
2 TB Cider vinegar
1 TB Packed dark brown sugar
1 Clove fresh garlic - peeled and crushed
1/4 tsp Salt
Prepare a smoker according to the manufacturer's directions, using the wood chunks and achieving a steady temperature of 275 to 300 degrees F.
Place the chiles directly on the smoker rack (or use a shallow disposable foil pan) 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 the 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.
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