I absolutely love Mexican food, but have only really got into it over the last couple of years since I’ve been able to eat much spicier food. I still can’t stomach super hot things, but at least Tom doesn’t tease me as much about it now! This sauce is a staple for lots of Mexican dishes, and comes from ‘Mexican Food Made Simple‘ by Thomasina Miers. This is such a fantastic book, and I want to make everything from it! But I started with this simple sauce so that I can use it for a basis for other recipes. One quantity will serve 4-6 people and also freezes well. This sauce does take 40 minutes to make, so if you’re using it as a basis for another recipe you’ll need to bear that in mind.
12 large ripe tomatoes
1 onion, quartered
2 jalapeño chillies (remove the seeds for a milder sauce)
3 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper
A good splash of red wine vinegar
A bay leaf
1 small handful of tarragon, chopped
1-2 tablespoons chervil, chopped
A pinch of Demerara sugar
1. Roast the tomatoes, onion, chillies and garlic in a large, dry frying pan until they are blistered, blackened and softened all over. The garlic and chillies will be ready at least five minutes before the onion and tomatoes, so remove them as they are cooked.
2. Cool slightly and then peel away the skin from all the vegetables. Roughly puree the vegetables in a food processor.
3. In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the pureed sauce, cooking for a few minutes over a high heat.
4. Then turn the heat right down and season generously with salt and pepper, the vinegar and bay leaf. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the mixture has reduced and slightly thickened.
5. Finally, add the chopped herbs and sugar, and check the seasoning.
If not freezing or using straight away, the sauce will keep for a few days in the fridge.