Mostly about food, this blog is just a place for me to throw things that are of interest to me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by an look around. This represents just some of the stops on the various pathways that this amateur home cook finds himself.

You may find that these foods tend toward protein and away from carbohydrates - this is due to diabetic issues, so I try to only sparingly use carbs, and good ones at that. Of course, sometimes I forget....

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sausage Ranchera

Here’s a little piece of Tex-Mex cooking I haven’t seen or heard of outside South Texas. I adapted it from an old Mexican cook that worked in the cafeteria kitchen at my place of employment. He was a little vague on some things, but after much experimentation I think this is about a perfect copy of the dish. He tasted it and thought it was great – that makes it good enough for me! It's a great option to regular old breakfast tacos, but is good anytime. It is served especially at our New Year's Day cowboy breakfasts.


2 lb. smoked pork sausage, cut into 3/8” medallions, halved

1 T real lard or highly filtered bacon grease

1 lg. white onion (or 2 medium), cut into 2” strips

1 lg. green bell pepper, cut into 2” strips

1 lg. red bell pepper, cut into 2” strips

3 lg. Hatch chiles, , cut into 2” strips

1 14.5 oz. can stewed tomatoes, chopped

3 8 oz. cans tomato sauce

1 T tomato paste


2 T round chili powder

1 T round black pepper, coarse-ground

1 T round paprika

1 T round cumin

1 T round garlic powder

½ t level cayenne pepper


Place lard into a large skillet and melt over medium heat. Add cut-up sausage, stirring often and frying until sausage develops a crust (not blackened).

Add onions and cook until translucent.

Add next 6 ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally until softened.

Add spices, stirring to incorporate. Mix in some water (about 8 oz or so) and reduce to a low simmer. Cover and simmer (without boiling) for 2 hrs. This is really necessary to incorporate flavors and remove the acidity of the tomatoes. Remove cover and cook to desired consistency. You don’t want it too liquid, as it is served in tortillas and you don’t want it running down your arm!

I like to serve it with salt and more pepper, chopped white onion and cilantro, and maybe a dash of lime juice. Feel free to adjust heat factors, but try it this way first as a baseline.

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