Sauce

Biscayne Sauce
Spain - Basque
  -   Salsa Vizcaina
Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
14 oz  
***
10 hr  
Yes

This is the most famous sauce in the Basque country. A truly authentic Biscayne Sauce requires Choricero (Nora) peppers, which cost about US $3.60 per ounce (plus shipping) in North America - but we can get real close for a lot less. This recipe can be made vegetarian and/or kosher by omitting the ham.


8
12
1
2
1/3
2/3
tt

oz
cl
T
c
c
Nora dry chili (1)  
Onions, yellow
Garlic
Serrano Ham (2)
Olive Oil ExtV
Tomato Sauce (3)
Salt
PREP
  1. Soak CHILIS in cool water for at least 8 hours. Drain them reserving 1 cup of soaking liquid. Stem them and tear them open. Carefully brush out the seeds and core with your fingers to avoid removing any of the flesh.
  2. Chop ONIONs fine, crush GARLIC and chop fine. Mix.
  3. Chop HAM (if used) very fine.
RUN
  1. In a sauté pan heat Olive Oil over moderate heat. Fry the Onion mix stirring until translucent and sweet with the initial bitterness gone, but without browning.
  2. Stir in the Chilis and Ham (if using) and fry stirring over moderate heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the reserved Soaking Liquid and simmer covered for about 1/2 hour stirring frequently.
  4. Stir in the Tomato Sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Season to taste with Salt. Simmer longer if you need to reduce the sauce a bit, but remember to stir frequently.
  5. Force the sauce through a food mill (mouli), chinois or strainer to remove the chili skins and all other solids.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature.
NOTES:
  1. Nora Chilis:   (Choricero Peppers) These small dried red chilis, are extremely expensive and have to be ordered from an importer of Spanish food. My substitute is not exact but pretty damned close - it is just a shade less sweet and has a bit more heat.. For details on chilis see our Chili Page.
  2. Serrano Ham:   This is an unsmoked salt cured ham, legal to import into the US now but stunningly expensive. Some similar hams are made in North America now, but are still scarce. A similar product available at almost any deli is Italian Prosciutto. It can be omitted for a kosher or vegetarian version.
  3. Tomato Sauce   Use a very simple tomato sauce, preferably made at home from canned tomatoes.
  4. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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