Make Ahead

Ranchero Sauce

April 14, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves many
Author Notes

I love to make big batches of this sauce - it's quick and easy, and versatile - we use it on loads of things, huevos rancheros (obviously) but also as an enchilada sauce, over rice and beans and veggies, stirred in to queso, just as a dip, you name it! It's very forgiving, sometimes I use a combo of whole tomatoes and sauce, sometimes I throw in some roasted fresh peppers or tomatoes (if the garden has any) and the dry peppers vary according to what I have and how hot I want it (but I do always include something smoky). This version has a little kick and a big handful of fresh oregano because our oregano bed has gone bananas this spring ... - aargersi —aargersi

Test Kitchen Notes

This was really delicious! I was able to only find one Guajillo, so I adjusted the recipe accordingly for a smaller batch. It really was good and easy to assemble. I also gave my friend from El Salvador the leftovers and he loved it! His quote: "Very authentic taste and almost as good as my mother's!" - TiggyBee —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion - peeled and chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic - chopped
  • 2 guajillo chilis - seeded and chopped
  • 5 smoked cherry peppers - seeded and chopped
  • 1 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 large loose handful fresh oregano leaves (or a couple TBS dried if you can't get fresh)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Saute the onion with a pinch of salt over medium heat until it starts to sweat, then add the garlic and chilis and saute a few more minutes until everything is a little soft.
  2. Add the tomatoes (with their juice), broth and cumin and simmer for 9-10 minutes until the chilis are very soft (also add the oregano if using dried).
  3. Turn off the heat and add the oregano (if using fresh). Use an immersion blender or transfer to a regular blender and mix the sauce - it is not going to be silky smooth but rather maintain a bit of texture. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. That's it! Done!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • TiggyBee
  • fraîchement
  • monkeymom
  • dymnyno
  • aargersi

Recipe by: aargersi

Country living, garden to table cooking, recent beek, rescue all of the dogs, #adoptdontshop

8 Reviews

TiggyBee September 5, 2010
This was a brilliant Ranchero Sauce....I can't wait to give some to my gardener on Tuesday, I just know he'll love it too!
aargersi September 15, 2010
Thanks so much for the nice comments and the nice review! I need to make a batch - am out at the moment ... I use it a LOT!
fraîchement August 21, 2010
whoa my, i am going to have to try this.
monkeymom April 15, 2010
I was just thinking about this sauce and that meatloaf with those eggs just a couple of days ago! I am happy for the reminder to make this. Where do you usually find your smoked peppers?
aargersi April 15, 2010
Morning MM!! We have loads of dried and fresh peppers at our stores here ... but I ordered the smoked cherry peppers from World Spice Merchants ... those people are dangerous! (thanks A&M :-) I love them and will re-order as soon as I run out but you could definitly use an ancho if you want, they are easier to get a hold of I think.
dymnyno April 14, 2010
It was an endless winter here too. I hope that frost danger is past...last year I "melted" about 30 tomato plants!
dymnyno April 14, 2010
This sounds delicious!!! Abby. I don't know whether you grow your own tomatoes, but if you do this summer can some using my posted Tomato Tomatoe will the perfect base for this sauce. I am planting my tomatoes on Friday...yipeeee! The planting of tomatoes and budbreak in the vineyard...Spring is finally here (I hope)
aargersi April 14, 2010
Good Morning Mary! I DO grow tomatoes, so I will be looking forward to trying that recipe. We had such a cold winter and my garden is way behind, hoping to get the rest in this weekend. I am a freak for all things tomato ... you need to make a trip to A-Town this summer!