Ranchera Sauce

Fried Oysters
4 cups

This delicious recipe is courtesy of Roberto Santibanez's cookbook, "Rosa's New Mexican Table."


  • 3 pounds ripe tomatoes

  • 2 serrano chiles

  • 2 large cloves garlic

  • 1 (2-inch) piece Mexican cinnamon stick

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped (about 1 ⅓ cups)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt

  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  1. Heat a griddle over medium heat or preheat a boiler on low with the broiler rack 8 inches from the broiler. Place tomatoes on griddle and cook, turning as necessary, until evenly softened and skins are blackened, 15 to 20 minutes. If using a broiler, place tomatoes on a broiler pan and broil, turning as necessary, until evenly softened and skins are blackened, about 20 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl and let cool. Peel and core tomatoes.

  2. Working in batches of necessary, combine roasted tomatoes, chiles, and garlic in a blender and blend until smooth. Place cinnamon stick on a 6-inch square of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine to enclose.

  3. Heat vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the pureed tomato mixture and bring to a boil. Stir in salt, sugar, and cinnamon. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until lightly thickened, about 30 minutes. If sauce becomes too thick, reduce heat and add water 1 tablespoon at a time.

  4. Remove sauce from heat and adjust seasonings, if desired. Sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance. Let cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat over low heat, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary, to return sauce to desired consistency.

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