Chipotles En Adobo

Takes 90 minutes 

This makes enough to last a small household for a few months, and also makes great gifts for friends. It is smoky and fiery and works as a condiment for most Mexican dishes, used as a base for a tomato salsa or chilli con carne. It can be added to mayonnaise or pureed avocados to give some smoky heat.

You’ll need a few clean jam or kilner jars, which have been sterilized by putting in an oven at 160C for 30 minutes. We also recommend either using latex gloves or make sure that you don’t touch the chillies too much, especially when deseeding them. The burn takes several hours to go away.

The Cool Chilli Company sell good quality chipotles

100g chipotle chillies (about 32) stalks snipped off with scissors
1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
2 heaped tbsp snipped chives
1 tsp dried oregano
1 heaped tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 bayleaf, deveined and torn into pieces
I tsp all spice berries
4 cloves
150ml water
2 tbsp olive oil
100ml good quality white wine vinegar
100ml good quality balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp tomato puree
4 heaped tbsp demerara sugar (you may need more and/or agave syrup)
1 tbsp sea salt (you may need more if you use flaked sea salt)
3 tsp cocao

  • Put the chillies in a medium sized saucepan, cover with plenty of water (they absorb a lot of it) and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, pop the pan’s lid on and simmer gently for 40 minutes until they are completely soft. Drain away the cooking water and discard. Allow the chillies to cool for a few minutes then split open and scrape off all seeds. Discard the seeds 
  • Put the 3 of the cooked de-seeded chillies, onion, herbs, spices and 100ml water into a blender, and blitz until smooth 
  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed medium saucepan until smoking hot. Add the chilli paste and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring continuously to prevent it from catching. Add the remaining 50ml of water, vinegars, tomato puree, sugar and salt and cook for a further 5 minutes. Then add the remaining drained chillies 
  • Cook with the lid ajar, stirring occasional for a further 20. The vinegar smell should be burned off, and the sauce should be fairly thick 
  • Then blitz everything to a super smooth paste. Stir in the cocoa powder. Check for sweetness, add more sugar or agave syrup – there should also be a tiny hint of chocolate in the background, so adjust this as well 
  • Put in jars when still warm. They will last in a store cupboard, then refrigerate once opened