Treasure of the Sierra Madre: Tomatillo-Chipoltle Sauce

Duck in Tomatillo Sauce


Tomatillo-Chipoltle Sauce is one of my "go-to" recipes. It is versatile, tasty, and whips up very fast.

It is, predominantly, a green sauce, but the hot red pepper gives the sauce infinite variety from very mild -to mouth blistering hot depending how much you use. I suggest starting "easy". You can always stir in a bit of the sauce from the can to give the sauce more "heat" if you need it. Don't decide right away; let it cook down a bit and focus its flavor before you decide.

The tangy sauce is great over steak, as well as duck, as shown above.


  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Can Chipoltle Pepper
  • 10 Tomatillos
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Coriander
  • 1 C Beef Broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


TomatillosTake the husks off the tomatillos. They just peel off. The tomatillos will have a slightly sticky feel. This is normal.
Boil the TomatillosAdd the tomatillos to a pot of boiling water and let them cook until they change color and soften, about 10-15 minutes.
Chop the onionChop an onion in a food processor or by hand. Alternatively, you could thickly slice the onion.
Film the frying pan with oilFilm the bottom of a hot frying pan with 2 - 3 T of olive oil.
Add the chopped onionAdd the onion.
Brown the onion and then add the chopped chipoltle pepperNow, add 1 chipoltle pepper, plus a little of the red sauce to the pan. Chop the pepper as it cooks, stirring it into the onion.
Chope the cilantroDrain the Tomatillos and add them to a food processor with a large bunch of cleaned Cilantro . Process until smooth.
Pour the tomatillo cilantro sauce into the panAdd the tomatillos to the onion. Stir.
Add 1 C beef broth and cook over medium heatStir in 1 C Beef Broth, and cook over a medium heat until the sauce thickens. Check for salt and pepper after about 10 minutes. Stir in more of the red sauce from the can of Chipoltle if you like the sauce spicier.
Serve!The sauce works very well with grilled or broiled steak or duck breast. As a serving suggestion, put a piece of meat on a tortilla, spoon on sauce, then top with cheese and then broil for a few moments until the cheese melts.

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