Ranchero Sauce

Back in the 90’s – yes, I know, I’m dating myself – I used to meet friends after work at a Raphael’s, a Mexican restaurant in Dallas that was located in a little clapboard house, on Fridays for their Happy Hour margaritas in beer mugs. More often than not, we’d end up staying for dinner, and I’d usually get a chicken chimichanga, a fried burrito as big as your head and nearly falling off of the plate, along with rice and refried beans. The chimichanga was filled with torn chicken, loads of spices and Monterrey jack cheese, and on top was the most amazing sauce, that covered the crunchy chimichanga like a warm Mexican blanket.

Yesterday, in my ongoing quest to try to bring a little Tejas to Paris, I decided to make my own.

Ranchero Sauce


1 large can (780 gram or 28 oz.) plum tomatoes, with juices
2 medium white onions
2 cloves garlic
Green bell pepper
Cumin (to taste)
Cayenne (to taste)
Sea salt (to taste)
Olive oil

Chop onions to a ¼-inch dice, and mince garlic. Cut bell pepper into thin 2-3 –inch strips.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a heavy saucepan, add onions and garlic, and turn on medium heat. Let cook until onions begin to become translucent.

Add green pepper and cook until they start to soften, about 10 minutes.

Now, take the plum tomatoes one at a time, and either squish them with your hands or tear them in pieces with your hands, and add to the pot. This will give the sauce a nice, chunky, rustic feel. Add the juices from the can, and as much or as little cumin, cayenne, and salt as you’d like.

Let cook for 30 minutes.

Serve warm over chicken chimichangas, scrambled eggs, chicken or fish. It’s also great scooped out of a bowl with tortilla chips.