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THREE CHILE SALSA BORRACHA

This image courtesy of Maren Caruso

Borracha means "drunk,"and sometimes refers to food that contains a small amount of alcohol, in this case mezcal or tequila, which are natural partners with powerful chile salsas. This particular salsa developed out of a recipe I came up with for a lamb birria, a kind of soup or stew rich with chiles, spices, and garlic. It is strong and intense.

NotesServing Ideas: I simmer chunks of beef, lamb, or chicken in stock, then shred the meat and finish with some of this salsa to make a thick stew, or you can simply spoon it over roasted or grilled meats.

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together, game day

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Equipmentblender

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Texturehot & spicy, savory

Type of Dishsalsa, sauces

Ingredients

  • 3 pasilla chiles
  • 3 guajillo chiles
  • 3 cascabel chiles
  • 5 cups hot water
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced white onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1?4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon mezcal or tequila

Instructions

  1. Turn on the fan over the stove. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Remove the stems from the chiles, cut a slit up one side of each, and remove the seeds. Open up flat. One at a time, press the opened chiles flat onto the hot skillet until blistered and light brown. Turn and repeat, being careful not to burn.

  2. Place the chiles in a small, deep bowl and add 2 cups of the hot water. Soak the chiles for 45 minutes, pressing down occasionally into the water.

  3. Drain the chiles and place in a blender. Discard the soaking liquid. Add 2 cups of the remaining water and the garlic, onion, salt, peppercorns, allspice, clove, cinnamon, and cumin. Blend on high speed for 3 minutes, until very smooth.

  4. In a heavy sauté pan, heat the oil. Add the chile puree. It will splatter, so be ready with a splatter screen. Cook the chile puree for 10 minutes, stirring several times. Rinse the blender with the remaining 1 cup of water and add the water to the pot along with the mezcal. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a food mill or sieve.

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