Huevos Rancheros – the deconstructed version

Huevos Rancheros, ranch eggs. Fried egg on a spicy salsa and refried beans, wrapped in a tortilla

Huevos Rancheros means ranch eggs. I suspect there are more different recipes for this dish than there are ranches in Mexico. In essence it consist of fried eggs on a bed of a spicy tomato, onion and possibly peppers, with or without beans, served on a corn tortilla.

I make two versions: this deconstructed one and a one-pan version. I will post the latter next time I make it.

I know how to make corn tortillas, I just have not been able get them right. I also know how to make wheat tortillas and can make them, so I used these in this recipe.


Warm salsa
1 large red pepper, cubed
1 large red onion, diced
Garlic to taste, finely chopped
Chilli to taste, finely chopped
100g tomato paste or two large ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
Splash of red wine vinegar

Refried beans
Two cups cooked beans, tinned or dry, but not overcooked. I used dried red speckled beans, but any bean will do. Possibly not butter beans.
1 small onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
Squeeze of lime or lemon

Roughly chopped coriander (cilantro)
Grated cheese (I used cheddar) and/or sour cream

Two tortillas per person


Refried beans
Gently fry the onion and garlic. Add the beans and stir through. Remove from the heat and mash as much as you want. You can either completely puree them, or do a semi-puree. Add a squeeze of lime or lemon and season. The result will be delicious, but it is the most un-photogenic dish I have ever made. I will add a pic if I can find a way of making it look prettier.

Gently fry the red pepper, onion, garlic, chilli, cumin and oregano until it starts to soften. Add the tomato, splash of vinegar and cook through. Season and take off the heat. Don’t overcook this, it still has to have a texture.

I prefer an egg with the white set, but the yolk still runny. But you are the cook.

Fry your eggs to the degree of doneness you want. Spread some beans on a tortilla, some salsa on top of that, add the coriander, top with an egg and scatter some cheese over. You can either eat it open with a knife and fork, or roll it up burrito style.


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