Salsa Borracha

Dried Chile Salsa with Tequila

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Preparation info

  • Makes

    2 cups

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Amor y Tacos

Amor y Tacos

By Deborah Schneider

Published 2010

  • About

Borracho means “drunk” and there is an entire family of borracho foods. Very little alcohol is used in any of them, with the possible exception of refried beans with beer, which uses a whole bottle. Borracha (tipsy) salsas are spiked with a light touch of beer, tequila, or pulque (another fermented agave product), but they are never strong or overwhelming. This recipe is made of two kinds of dried chiles, which must be cooked to bring out their bright berry and tobacco flavors. The salsa is brilliant with lamb and beef, very good with eggs, and terrific as an enchilada sauce.


  • 2 dried pasilla or ancho chiles
  • 2 dried California or guajillo chiles
  • 1 dried chile de arbol
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, skin on
  • ¼ cup minced white onion
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon blanco tequila


  1. Heat a heavy pan (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Toast the chiles quickly on both sides until fragrant, but do not allow them to burn. Cool them, remove the stems and seeds, and tear them into small pieces. Place the chiles in a small pan with the water and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and soak the chiles for 30 minutes, or until soft.
  2. While the chiles soak, set a piece of aluminum foil in the same heavy pan and place it over medium-high heat. Roast the whole tomatoes and garlic cloves until soft and well charred on all sides. Peel the garlic.
  3. In a blender, puree the chiles with the soaking liquid. Add the tomatoes, peeled garlic, onion, cilantro, and salt. Pulse until the salsa is smooth.
  4. Stir in the tequila and taste for salt. The salsa will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.