Chipotle Sauce

Thomasina Miers book Mexican Food Made Easy , added a new item to the top shelf of my fridge “Chipotles en adobo” joins , home preserved lemons , marinading olives , roasted garlic and peppers (steeping in oil) as the home-made staple I can’t do without.

Just having these things glowing in jars immediately reduces the time required to create dishes with depth and each time I use them inspires a gentle glow of frugal domesticity.

Chipotles are smoked and dried jalepenos, so you should never be put off by a shriveled or brown a quick simmer in hot water swells them. I ordered a large bag from Mexican Grocer ( since I couldn’t get any locally.

Adobo means sauce in Spanish , but do not shrug this off as a simple chilli sauce it’s complex smokey flavour means it instantly adds depth and the appearance of a long cooking to a huge range of stews and sauces. I promise once you make it ( and you never make it quite the same way twice) you will be using it on and in everything.

Chipotle en adobo ( a version of Thomasina Miers from here)

40 chipotle chillis
1 large white onion peeled
1 head of garlic peeled
3 tbsp of oregano , thyme and bay leaves
1 tsp of cumin seeds
100ml of white wine vinegar
2 tbsp of demera sugar
1 tsp of salt

  1. Snip the stalk of the chillis
  2. Just cover chillis with water and bring to a simmer for 30 minutes
  3. Drain the chillis but save the water , pureee the onion, garlic and cumin with the chillis and a little of the water
  4. Heat a tsp of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan , add the chilli paste and fry
  5. Add the vinegar , water , sugar , salt .
  6. Simmer and cook for another 15 minutes
  7. Puree once more.

Once you have made your chipotle sauce it will keep for months in the fridge here are a few uses

  • as base of my favourite chilli con carne instant depth,
  • add it to a tomato sauce when I am making pasta sauce, adds a little kick.
  • Mixed with some fresh tomatoes or avocadoes it makes a great topping for chicken wraps
  • added to homemade mayonnaise. Recently I have started making mayo with rape-seed oil, it mixed with the chipotles is is heavenly on burgers and sweetcorn.
  • sauce adds a smoky-kick to soups butternut squash , cauliflower seasonal now in a Smoky Sweetcorn Soup

Homemade Mayonnaise

3 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
4 tbsp of white wine vinegar
350ml of rape seed oil

  1. Put the egg yolks into the bowl with the Dijon mustard salt and whisk until smooth.
  2. Gradually add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking all the time. You should have a smooth, quite thick mayonnaise that stands in peaks.
  3. Add the white wine vinegar to taste and briefly whisk.

Smoky Sweetcorn Soup

2 sweetcorn on the cob
500ml of boiling water
2 tbsp of creamed coconut powder
1 tsp of chipotles en adobo

  1. Remove the corn from the cob using a knife
  2. Place the corn in a pan covered by the water
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes until the corn is soften
  4. Puree the corn with the cooking water and add the creamed coconut




  1. Hooray! Another chipotle convert! Aren’t they the most wonderful things imaginable? And the simple joy of having them stashed in the fridge/larder is absurd. I gave them as a present to someone who let me come and shoot some grouse the other day…much more special than a bottle of whisky. They are wonderful in a creamy pasta sauce, and with clams too. So, so pleased you seem to love them as much as I do….

    tommi xxx

  2. Hello,
    Thank you so much for listing this, I got a tiny pot which I used to add smoke and heat to burgers and chilli type things. But the shop promptly stopped selling it and haven’t found since and have been a wee bit lost and terribly sad.

    I found the UK mexgrocers (your link took me to the American one) and there are two types of chipotle listed, which do you recommend using Meco or Morita and what weight would you recommend to make one of your batches?

    Thank you so much.

    1. I used the Meco . 50g would be enough to make a batch , I buy in bulk though since they keep forever.

      Hope it well . Careful though it is addictive.


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