I made this huevos rancheros sauce 1,000 times for my restaurant. I still love it, even though I will never have to do it again.
When I closed my restaurant due to Covid, I said I would put her to "sleep" indefinitely, and I said I would take the time to thinkseriously to some old pre-existing industry-wide issues: the infuriating fact of ICE raids; the hard-to-digest wage inequalities between the waiter and the cook on time, and the bartender and the dishwasher on time; rent nonsense, the mind-boggling greed of insurance companies, and the demoralizing truth of what was left for the head-owners of places like mine - slim profit margins or break even. I said I would use the time to think about the amount charged for, say, a plate of brunch eggs or a Bloody Mary, which would reflect the actual cost of doing business, and said that I would wake up Prune and see what she might look like once I have all of these answers in hand.
These answers are far from available despite having 14 months to sort them; I couldn't do it all alone, and we didn't do itNeither as a group, nor as an industry. Obviously, we've been concerned about the rush just to stay alive. In the meantime, I'm sure every time I wake her up, Prune doesn't serve brunch anymore. While still my favorite shift to cook, the king of shifts in my opinion - this 10 burner egg station during rocking, relentless, 230 place setting, holy smokes brunch! - I already knew that I would not resuscitate him 14 months ago, when I saw that "brunch" had become a verb, and in New York, at least, a kind of nasty elbows in the air, hoarse that twisted my forehead- house staff into desolate objects. The poor girl at the door trying to tame the queue, the poor waiters trying to stay cool when the groups of six split their bills with six credit cards thrown in the plate. I already threw away the beaten egg mussels and gave the huge platesthat we were using for brunch, but there are a bunch of recipes that still have solid value, that aren't quite ready for the yard sale.
Here is our bulk ranchero sauce recipe; I missed it, and it still works. After some 1,000 Friday mornings in my life that started off with the potent scent of a triple batch of simmering sauce in preparation for weekend brunches and the countless huevos rancheros orders we've thrown out, you might think this is the last thing I would need to revisit. But in fact, more than shaved truffle, more than freshly peeled oranges or chocolate cakes, the simmering ranchero sauce is the scent that I still miss and still miss. An excitement that is neither spoiled nor remembered. It is still, incredibly, over a thousand Fridays later, perfection.
Huevbone rancheros has been a staple in the kitchens of North American restaurants of all types - from Taco Bell franchises to, well, artisanal little prune, with its cracked eggs made to order in individual casseroles - for as many decades as I'm a cook. And this recipe is superb: a workhorse, one of those that goes up and down beautifully, freezes well and long, is robust and easy to prepare. It is tangy, a bit smoky and very fragrant.
I have seen white versions with dried buttermilk as a base and fresh chunked versions with raw tomatoes, each a condiment. But this is a smooth, mashed and cooked sauce that is moist and loose in its bulk batch, so when you reheat and simmer to order later, in sm go portions, it will reduced to perfect consistency.
For the huevosrancheros, we pour some into a small saute pan and let start to simmer barely over medium heat, then break two eggs in the bubbling sauce and cook on the stove until the egg whites begin to set, translucent with milky ghosts. Then we scatter grated soft Chihuahua cheese all over the pan and put the pan under the grill until the cheese sizzles and turns into black leopard spots. If you're just melting but not 'broiling' the cheese, it's too soft for me - the dark little spots on the char make it nutty and the best brunch dish. It's served many ways in so many places, but we've offered it with hot fried corn tortilla chips, stewed black beans, an avocado wedge, and cilantro leaves.
After brunch, this sauce found its way into severalour family meals at Prune. Hungry cooks looking for a midnight snack have plenty of smart and very satisfying treats. Someday I might put the leftovers of rösti tater tots with the leftover tartar sauce on the free bench, but now let's focus on this ranchero sauce, because it is a recipe that makes three liters of the substance. Poach cubed shrimp or swordfish; use it as a sauce under the fried fish with quickly pickled red onion; Warm up some grated roast chicken or pork for a loaded nacho lunch for your kids, add it to cheddar scrambled eggs and roll it in a flour tortilla.
I'm offering the jackpot thinking you might want to bring some to people now that we start visiting and having meals at from each other. It's been a thought land helpful host gift. I was also thinking that, since we haven't answered those basic lingering questions yet - how much should a plate of huevos rancheros really cost in a restaurant and should the waiter make four times as much as the cook? eggs and what will be the benefits of the government? be made available to our undocumented workers - it seems much sweeter for everyone involved to do a three-quarter batch at home.
Eat: Big-Batch Sauce Ranchero