This classic Mexican breakfast can come together quickly if you cook the beans and sauce, both of which freeze well, in advance. Dress them up with shredded cheese, fresh cilantro and hot sauce or fresh jalapenos, if you like. This recipe serves 4, but can easily be doubled or halved. Homemade rancheros sauce and fresh-cooked beans are well worth the effort, but you can substitute your favorite prepared enchilada sauce and canned beans to save time.
For the sauce:
12 dried red chiles, stemmed and seeded, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1/4 cup lard (or substitute vegetable oil)
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 generous pinches of salt
For the dish:
4 corn or flour tortillas (Try this tasty homemade whole-grain tortilla recipe.)
1 1/2 cups black beans or pinto beans, cooked
4 farm-fresh eggs
Lard or vegetable oil
To make the sauce:
Toast the chiles and cumin seed in a large, deep, dry pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the chiles are lightly charred. Add the remaining ingredients except water, and sauté for about 10 minutes. Puree the mixture in a food processor or blender, and return it to the pan. Add water a little at a time until the sauce reaches a consistency that you can drizzle. Simmer the sauce over medium-low heat for at least 20 minutes (the longer, the better), adding water as needed to keep it moist. The sauce can be made in advance and freezes well. Add more water, salt and vinegar to your liking when you reheat it.
To prepare the breakfast:
Fry your tortillas in oil over medium-high heat, or warm them in the oven if you prefer soft tortillas. Heat the beans and the sauce in separate pans over medium heat. Fry eggs in a little oil over medium-low heat until the whites are set. Place one tortilla on each plate. Spoon over a fourth of the beans. Set the sunny-side up egg on top and drizzle with sauce. Most guests will appreciate extra rancheros sauce on the side.
Check out our June/July issue for lots more egg ideas, including Migas, the other Mexican breakfast dish pictured above (bottom right).
Photo by Tim Nauman Photography