Real Texas Picante Sauce

by Ramona Werst on April 14, 2010

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We don’t buy Picante Sauce in a jar any more!  I make a big batch and freeze in smaller zip lock bags.  I keep Real Texas Picante sauce in a glass container all the time in the refrigerator.

We use Real Texas Picante Sauce on everything, from eggs to just chips and Real Texas Picante Sauce!  There’s nothing better than a cold Lone Star, homemade corn tortilla chips with Real Texas Picante Sauce, sitting in our rocking chairs on the front porch.  You have to share with the puppies too!  And it ain’t made in New York City!


3 lbs fresh Roma Tomatoes
2 Poblano Peppers
2 Banana Peppers
2 Jalapeno Peppers
3 medium Sweet Onions
3 cloves fresh Garlic
3 tablespoon fresh Thai Basil, chopped (You can use any Basil)
2 tablespoons Wine Vinegar


I always choose Roma tomatoes as they are best suited for making Picante Sauce. It is good to spread out the tomatoes on a towel to ripen, instead of keeping them in the plastic bag. Tomatoes become moist and get spoiled when kept in a plastic bag. Dice the tomatoes into approximately 1/4″ cubes. Don’t waste anything when slicing tomatoes, even the top and end of the tomato can be used. Slice the tomato approximately 1/4″. Cut the slices into small cubes and then put them in a large pot.

You can use a single type of pepper or different kinds of peppers to make the picante sauce. In this recipe, I’m using Poblano, Jalapenos, and Banana Peppers. Rinse the peppers with cool water and put them on a broiler pan. Put the boiler pan in the oven on broil. When the peppers cook a little bit, start turning them over and do this constantly until it gets completely roasted. Once the peppers are roasted, place on a wet paper towel and put into a zip lock bag. Allow them to sweat in a plastic bag for about 15 minutes. Peel the skin from the pepper; make sure that the pepper is not too cold. This will help peel the skin very easily from the peppers. Always be careful while peeling and dealing with peppers.

I always wear gloves.

Open the pepper, and remove the seeds. You should not put the pepper in the water; the water will take out all the pepper oil contained in the peppers. Chop the peppers. Put the chopped peppers in a bowl and set aside.

Coarsely chop the onion. We can avoid tears when chopping the onion by rinsing the knife that we use to cut the onion with cool water. To peel the garlic, place the large part of the knife over the garlic and bang on the flat knife blade. The peel peels off the smashed easily. Mince the garlic. Place the chopped onion and garlic in a bowl and set aside.

The basil I use in the picante sauce is the Thai basil. Thai basil has a spicy flavor. Cut the Thai basil either at the top so that it can bush out more or cut the stragglers at the bottom. Rinse the basil with cool water. Pinch off the leaves individually and place them on a paper towel. If there is more basil than what you would like to use for the recipe, freeze the excess in a ziplock bag and use in the future. Chop the leaves using kitchen utility scissors and put in a bowl.

Cook the tomatoes; do not add any water as there is plenty of liquid from the tomatoes themselves. Add salt, sliced garlic and diced onions to the tomatoes. Mix them for a while; add the peppers that you have roasted and chopped. Add red vinegar wine to the mixture and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil, add the Thai Basil. Stir the mixture and turn the heat to medium low or to a simmering boil. Allow the mixture to cook down for several hours.

When the picante sauce is cooked down and looks chunky, turn off the stove, cool down the sauce to room temperature. Put in the refrigerator overnight.

I freeze some in ziplock bags and thaw it all out and enjoy when I need a picante fix….which is often around here at Sherwood Ranch.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

WarthogNo Gravatar April 15, 2010 at 7:28 am

I think it is best to peel the tomatoes before using. There’s a quick and easy way to do that.


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