I have a new obsession. Orange sauce. It’s amazing on everything!!!
Awesome sauce at it’s best.
So….the other day the awesome dude looked up after some intense online time and asked if I had ever heard of this “Mexican food-type orange sauce” that people were absolutely raving about. He said it sounded like a pretty awesome sauce and that maybe we should think about having some on hand at some point in the future… (hint, hint). I had not! The only orange sauce I was familiar with was the one that has been so popular with duck for about the last 1,000 years or so. Curiosity peaked, I looked it up!
It turned out that there’s a restaurant called La Victoria Taqueria that has this absolute cult-like following for what seems to be the best orange sauce ever. Now, because the owners of La Victoria are seriously intelligent, they guard this recipe with their lives. Legend has it that they don’t even share it with their employees. There are lots of rumors about what goes into this sauce, including things like chorizo grease and so on (awesome idea for a sauce!), but the owners swear that their sauce contains no animal products at all.
It's amazing on everything! Awesome sauce at its best. Click To Tweet
Because their sauce is so incredible, there are people all over the place trying to replicate this crazy delicious stuff that seems to actually get people addicted to it. There’s a general consensus that the recipe must include tomatoes, onions, garlic, chilies, and oil, but beyond that the field of possibilities seems to be pretty vast! Some add vinegar, some citrus, some throw in cream, some even try adding mayo to recreate that flavor. My guess is that all of the versions of this sauce out there are pretty fantastic.
One of the most enjoyably creative aspects of cooking, in my opinion, is finding a fantastic idea and making it your own. Now that I had seen the power of this orange sauce, I had to try making one! Would it be anything like the original? Nope! I’ve never been to La Victoria and I’ve never tried their sauce. What I have is an idea, a plan, and a little time on my hands to try something fun and delicious. A brand new awesome sauce for my arsenal of great recipes to have in my back pocket!
(For more great back-pocket recipe ideas, check out the Vibrantly Green Herb Oil, the Seriously Yummy Green Puree, and the Crazy Easy Chili Oil! They’re fantastic recipes to have in your collection for when you want to make a batch of something to have on hand that will add a little out-of-this-world flavor to your meals.)
Luckily for me, I put together a recipe for some awesome sauce that’s simply incredible! Awesome Sauce at its best! Vibrantly orange, deep, rich, tangy, velvety, thick, and can’t-put-this-stuff-down yummy. This sauce is unbelievably good on everything! Eggs in the morning, sandwiches (try mixing a little with some mayo and see if you’ve ever had a better sandwich spread!), stirred into soups and beans, mixed with meats, and drizzled over vegetables. It’s even great as a salad dressing! It’s also pretty inexpensive to make and incredibly handy to have around when you’re trying to decide what on earth to eat.
...can't-put-this-stuff-down yummy Click To Tweet
The sauce here includes bacon fat, which I always save after cooking bacon because it’s the sort of simple thing that often just gets thrown away but can easily make so many recipes taste even more delicious. You could easily omit the bacon fat and replace it with more vegetable or canola oil.
If you want to render a little bacon fat, that’s incredibly simple. Just cook some bacon! You can chop it up and cook it in a pan, or cook it in strips on the stove or in the oven; go ahead and cook your bacon however you normally like to and just pour the fat off when you’re done. If you want to render all of the fat out, keep the heat low and take a long time. Slowly but surely, you’ll render out all of that greasy goodness and have crispy bacon pieces that you can either eat right then, or hang on to it for when you want to crumble a little over a salad, pasta, or soup.
Want to recreate those tacos too? I used some of the leftover grilled steak, onions, zucchini, shishito peppers, and avocado from our dinner the night before, chopped up some of the tomatoes that are ripening beautifully in our little backyard garden, and then just drizzled the orange sauce over the top! With a couple of corn tortillas, some backyard produce, and a few leftovers, this awesome sauce can make your leftovers unbelievably and addictively delicious!
Seriously Awesome Sauce – Orange Sauce for Everything!
- 1 large or 2 small yellow onions, cut in very large chunks
- 5-6 roma tomatoes, halved
- 1 jalapeno
- 2 Tbs bacon fat (or neutral oil)
- 6 garlic cloves
- ½ cup dried chiles de Arbol, stems removed
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 2 Tbs water
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 cups vegetable or canola oil
- salt, pepper
- Preheat your broiler
- Spread out the onion, tomatoes, and jalapeño on a baking tray and broil until charred and blackened in spots, about 8-12 minutes
- Meanwhile, heat the bacon fat in a pan and add the garlic cloves, cooking until just starting to brown. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chilies. Be careful! The hot oil will spit! Return the pan to the heat and cook for 1-2 minutes, making sure not to let the chilies burn.
- Pour the chilies and garlic with the fat into a blender. Add the cider vinegar and water and let sit for 10 minutes. Add the vegetables and puree until completely smooth. Don't worry about over-blending them. Just keep going! Liquify those things!
- Add the lime juice and a little salt and pepper. Turn your blender to low and slowly, a tiny bit at a time, begin to add the oil. Start with just a little oil, allow it to incorporate, and then a little more. You can begin to add more as you go. You're treating this like a mayonnaise, and you want the sauce to thicken without breaking. It works really well as long as you're careful in the beginning! Just keep going until your sauce looks beautifully creamy.
- When your sauce is as thick and creamy as you like, taste it, adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and lime juice, and start adding this stuff to everything!
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