Veracruz sauce

Veracruz sauce

500 ml
Chris Middleton

Veracruz is a major city on the Gulf of Mexico where the food is heavily influenced by Spain and the Caribbean. This spicy sauce is generally used for seafood. However, it also works particularly well as a base sauce to braise vegetables and delicate meats.


Quantity Ingredient
500g tomatoes
100ml olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 long red chillies, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
125ml white wine
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 small handful basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 small handful oregano leaves, roughly chopped
25g baby capers in brine, drained
25g finely diced roasted capsicum
25g finely chopped green olives
25g finely chopped pickled jalapenos
sea salt, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half crossways and place in a roasting tray. Drizzle with a little of the oil and cook for 1½–2 hours, until collapsed and a deep red colour.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook the onion and garlic until softened. Add the slow-roasted tomatoes, chilli, sugar, vinegar, ground cloves and paprika and cook until all the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add the wine and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until reduced to a rich compote. Add the stock and simmer for 20 minutes until thick and sauce-like.
  5. Transfer to a food processor or blender and process to make a smooth sauce. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium saucepan and reheat. Add the herbs, capers, capsicum, olives and jalapeños and season with salt.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
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