In the Kitchen

Easy “El Pato” Style Homemade “Canned” Tomato Sauce

Homemade Mexican-style canned tomato sauce.

Making tomato sauce is a great way to use up excess garden tomatoes; then you can freeze it in ice trays to create cubes for winter use.

I call this recipe easy because it does not involve a food processor. It’ll be on the chunky side, skins, seeds and all, but that works for me.

There are recipes out there that are probably closer to El Pato (a Mexican grocery favorite,) so I should probably call this “El Pato-ish.”

This recipe is tailored to rely on my “usual suspects” in the garden and the pantry, and uses Mexican-American techniques and ingredients (bacon fat!), but with a Continental twist (fresh oregano and white wine!) because I have a lot of oregano in the garden, usually have good dry white wine on hand, and once made, I also use this tomato sauce in Italian dishes.


Homemade El Pato-ish “Canned” Tomato Sauce

In a saucepan:

4-5 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes

leaves snipped from 2 six inch long sprigs of fresh oregano (or 1 heaping T. fresh, 1 tsp. dried)

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp/ black pepper

Later:  1/4 cup white wine (or apple cider vinegar or white vinegar)

In a frying pan:

2 tsp. bacon fat

1 Tsp. olive oil

1/2 cup finely diced onion

2 small jalepenos, finely diced

Later:  1tsp. minced garlic

Directions:  Begin sautéing the onions and jalepenos in bacon fat and olive oil on very low heat, while you prepare the tomato mixture in the saucepan. Refresh with olive oil later if needed.

Place remaining ingredients, except the wine, in a saucepan, and cook gently bubbling on medium low for an hour or so, till the tomatoes break down. Burst them with the back of a spoon if needed. Add water if needed. Should be fairly watery and not sticking to bottom of pan.

Meanwhile, check on the onions and peppers… when the onions just begin to brown, add the minced garlic and cook on very low for another 5 minutes. When it’s done, add to tomato mixture, and continue cooking.

When tomato mixture begins to thicken and tomatoes are broken down, add wine and bring back to a boil. Turn heat down to low and cook for 5 more minutes.

The aroma will be unbelievable!

You can run the whole mess through the food processor at this point if you like a smoother texture.

Let cool and pour into ice cube trays and freeze. When frozen, wrap in foil or plastic, and place back in freezer for future use. Handy!





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