Savory Mexican recipes should have a spicy salsa! Most often people who are not familiar with authentic Mexican food assume that it’s all spicy. Spicy salsa is typically served on the side or available on the table. The birria recipes on my blog are not very spicy. For those of us who do enjoy our food more spicy, I have two recipes below.
Vinegar Or No Vinegar?
In my many years of preparing salsa, I have experimented with many combinations. Some of my followers have expressed how they prefer a more pure salsa with no vinegar added. That’s ok! I don’t mind adding vinegar to certain salsa recipes like these for birria. My intention is to add some acidity and to preserve the salsa for a longer period of time. Since it’s more on the spicy side, I wouldn’t expect it to be all gone the first few days. The beauty of cooking is that we can control the outcome of the recipe for the most part.
You can clearly see the difference in color of these two salsa recipes.
Spicy Salsa For Birria
- 1 pound tomatillos
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups dried chile de arbol
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1/4-1/3 cup white vinegar
- Salt to taste
- 1 full cup dried chile de arbol
- 4 large cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/4- 1/3 cup water
- Salt to taste
- Salsa #1: Peel and rinse the tomatillo and transfer them to a medium pot. Cover with 4 cups of water and heat to medium.
- Once they come up to a boil, reduce heat and continue cooking just until tomatillo turn from bright green to an opaque green color. Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes.
- When ready, add the dried chile de arbol to the blender. Add 2 cups of the water that the tomatillos cooked in to the blender. Cover blender tightly and blend at the highest speed until smooth.
- Add the tomatillos, garlic, vinegar and salt to taste. Cover and blend on high until salsa looks smooth and glossy. Taste for salt. Store in airtight glass jars(if possibland store in refrigerator. Salsa will keeps for a few months. Yields 4 1/2 cups.
- Salsa #2: In a medium skillet, add the dried chile de arbol and garlic. Heat to medium heat. As soon as the chiles become aromatic, stir them around for the next few minutes. They can blacken in some spots, but don’t let them burn.
- Remove chiles from skillet and transfer to the blender. Continue dry roasting the garlic for a total of 15 minutes. Peel garlic and then add to the blender. Add vinegar, water and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth. Taste for salt. Yields 1 cup.
I used a high speed blender to prepare these two recipes. If you have a regular blender, you may need to spend a little more time blending to achieve the same results.
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i”m so glad that you came back with the sauce/salsa – I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to find it! Thank you!
You’re welcome Robert.
I will try this salsa tonight ,,look good I like hot stuff keep given more us more..
Thanks Ben! I love spicy salsa as well! Enjoy and thank you for the feedback!
Which recipe is the dark red salsa ???
The one without the tomatillo.
I just found your site and I absolutely love it!! It’s 4:14am here in San Deigo and I can’t go back to sleep because I’m waiting for the market to open so I can attempt your Birria recipe LOL I’ve been awake for hours reading & scrolling through your recipes.
Amanda, I have experienced the same when I find sites from Mexico! Lol! Thank you!
I finally found a salsa I was looking for! I only made salsa #2 I wanted something really spicy and this was it. It is awesome! Thank you for sharing the recipe. I’ve become a fan 🙂
Hi Hilda! So happy you like the salsa recipe!
I’m used to either lightly toasting the Chile de arbol in the oven or boiling it…
Hi Jose, I typically toast or simmer my chiles for salsa’s too. This is just a variation of the recipe.
I was wondering if the salsa will taste good without the white vinegar. I don’t have that ingredient and want to make it right now.
Hi Bernadette, you can still prepare the salsa. The vinegar adds acidity and preserves the salsa for a long time. Without the vinegar, it’s still tasty, but it may spoil faster in the long run.
Hello for salsa #1 do you roast the chile De árbol or you boil them like the tomatillos ?
Hi Yvette, just follow the recipe as written. I added everything as is, unless I state that I cooked or softened them. I have a power blender, so it makes it much easier to blend the chiles straight out of the bag. You can soften them in some simmering water if you like.
Regarding recipe #2 other than vinegar, what can be used?
Well, you could use lime, but the vinegar preserves the salsa for a longer time.
OMG , this number 1 the one w tomatillos. I cannot wait to make it. I have been searching for this cannot wait to try . THANK YOU ! for your authentic recipes, they remind me of my nana in Mexico this is how she would make them !!!!
Thank you Elizabeth! That one is my favorite!!