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Pasilla Chile Sauce With a Tri-Tip and Smoked Duck


Pasilla Chile Sauce

A strong contender for the Chile with my favorite flavor profile is the dark, slender pasilla Chile. These elegant Chiles have an amazing meatiness and a crazy depth of flavor that can really transform a dish.
The pasilla Chile's personality changes with different cuts of meat. Try it with flatirons or tri-tip or your favorite cut. You may want to add a dab of chile-accented Hollandaise too.

1 1/2 cups chopped onion
8    cloves garlic, peeled
4    pasilla Chiles
4 cups of water or beef broth teaspoon allspice teaspoon oregano teaspoon salt oil as needed

In a small saucepan coated with oil fry the onion and garlic until it is quite brown but not burnt. Tear the Chiles into chunks about 2 inches long and fry with the onion and garlic for one minute, until they are fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until the Chiles are soft. Cool slightly, then purée and set aside. Refrigerate until needed.

With a TRI-TIP

Massage the tri-tip with Pasilla Spice Rub (page 265) the morning of the day you want to serve it and set it aside for at least a couple of hours. Moisten the spiced meat all over with olive oil. Grill it over low heat, or let your charcoal burn down until its not too hot and maybe set it on one side of the grill to control the heat.

Cook for about 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the tri-tip, until it's about medium rare to medium. Keep an eye on this while you're cooking. Turn it every few minutes and move it and jostle it around to prevent burning. It should have a nice bit of crust on it but not be cooked until it's dry. You may keep a little bit of butter or oil around to brush onto it very lightly, making sure to avoid flame-ups. Keep water around too in case you do get a flare-up from dripping fat, so you can quickly put out the flame. Keep that heat low. Take your time. Sauce with Pasilla Chile Sauce.


Toss 4 six-ounce boneless duck breasts with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of Cure (page 183). Smoke them in a Camerons or other small smoker for 10 minutes. This is not to cook them but to infuse them with smoky flavor. Refrigerate overnight.
At serving time, heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place the breasts in the skillet skin side up, cook for 1 minute, then flip them skin down. Reduce heat a bit and cook until the skin is crispy. Cook through about 5 minutes, or to your liking, taking care not to burn them. For the skin, think bacon—very crispy. For well done duck, flip them again and cook them more (that's up to you). Serve warm with Pasilla Chile Sauce and a bottle of Petite Sirah.

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