Salsa Borracha Norteña (Northern Drunk Salsa) is a salsa from the Northern part of Mexico that’s made especially for the beef or goat barbacoa commonly found in Northern Mexico or South and Western Texas (Barbacoa Norteña).
Salsa Borracha Norteña is really less of a salsa, in the traditional understanding for us North for the border, and more of a sauce. I would compare it to a thin, Texas-style barbecue sauce, but with dried chile peppers and alcohol in it.
If you’re going to make this recipe, keep in mind that it calls for both tequila and beer as ingredients, and the alcohol won’t be cooked out of it. It’s not much. Really not more than a single full drink for the whole batch of salsa, but you may not want to serve it to kids.
NOTE: This recipe should be served warm, immediately upon completing it. It doesn’t hold up well in the refrigerator.
Salsa Borracha Norteña
- 2 tbsp. rendered beef fat - or, substitute lard or vegetable oil – plus an optional tablespoon of rendered beef fat to add into the sauce
- 2 dried mulato chiles - if you can't find these and don't want to order them online, ancho chiles are a reasonable substitute, although milder in flavor
- 4 dried pasilla chiles
- 3 dried arbol chiles - (optional – I like a little heat in mine)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 lbs. ripe red tomatoes
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 2 tbsp. piloncillo - or, substitute dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. tequila - darker colored, like reposado or anejo – if you can find it, I like Mezcal in this better than tequila
- 1/2 cup beer - a lager or other light colored beer
- 1/4 white onion - very finely diced
- 2 tbsp. cotija cheese - (optional – or, substitute parmesan cheese)
- De-stem and de-seed the chiles. Cook the chiles in oil on both sides until they turn brighter (exclude the arbol chiles).
- Add the all of the chiles and the garlic to a small pot of water, then bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and set aside for 20 minutes to rehydrate the chiles and allow the garlic to soften.
- Preheat your broiler on high with the rack in its uppermost position. Broil the tomatoes until they're black, then flip and broil the other side until black. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Strain the chiles and garlic, then add to a blender jar, along with the piloncillo, pineapple juice, tequila, and salt (if you want to add more beef flavor, add an additional tablespoon of rendered beef fat here). Blend thoroughly. Add the tomatoes and pulse until chunky.
- Remove from blender jar, then stir in the beer and white onion. Sprinkle with cotija cheese, and serve immediately.