Ancho-Raisin Sauce Recipe

Photographs: Joshua Bousel

With its bittersweet, tangy intensity, this salsa-like blend is best partnered with heartier, meaty dishes like grilled skirt steak.

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 45 mins
Makes: 2 1/2 cups

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  • 1 large ancho chile
  • 2 cups brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely diced onion (about 1 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic (about 1 medium clove)
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground coffee
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chile on baking sheet and place in oven until puffed and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Stem and seed chile. Tear into large pieces.

  2. Place coffee, chile, and raisins in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and let steep until chile and raisins are very soft, about 20 minutes.

  3. Transfer mixture to a blender. Add in cocoa powder and puree until smooth. Set aside.

  4. Melt butter in now-empty saucepan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add in onions; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in coffee puree, vinegar, and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in ground coffee and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Special equipment