Cempazuchi Borracho Sauce (Drunken Sauce)

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.

They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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2 red onions, cut into quarters
olive oil
4 red bell peppers
4 green bell peppers
2 poblano peppers
2 jalapeno peppers
8 Roma tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, divided
12 oz. dark beer (Negro Modelo)
1 cup fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)
6 oz. premium mescal or premium tequila


Heat the grill to high.

Brush the onions with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Char on the grill.

Char all the peppers and tomatoes, leaving them whole (do not salt or oil). When the vegetables are blackened on the outside, place them in a covered container. This will allow the vegetables to steam together and render a charred vegetable stock in the bottom of the container. Let sit for 1 hour, then remove the vegetables from the stock and let cool.

Remove the stems and seed cores from the peppers and the cores from the tomatoes, then coarsely chop the vegetables in a food processor.

In a saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a simmer, then add the charred vegetable stock, chopped vegetables and 1/4 cup of cilantro. Stir while reducing the mixture to its original consistency. Add the beer and lime juice and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the mescal and simmer for 5 minutes. Finish by adding the remaining 1/4 cup of cilantro and salt to taste.

Recipe from Bryce Clark, Cempazuchi restaurant, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.