Gran Luchito is a smoked chilli salsita made from a blend of five rare Oaxaca (pronounced Wa-ha-ca) Mexican chillies. When perfectly ripe, the pasilla Oaxaca chillies are smoked over oak fire in hand-made clay ovens – to prevent insects devouring them, or torrential rains rotting them. The smoking process gives them a unique depth of flavour and preserves the taste from smoker to jar. The chilli variety has been cultivated in Mexico for over 5,000 years.
The paste is dense, treacle-thick with a hint of sweetness, you can also taste nutty garlic and the heat from the smoked chillies.
This paste lifts the most boring ingredients and transforms any dish into an authentic Mexican feast without the need for a host of spices.
For a quick Picadillo get 500g minced steak (no horse here, this is Ginger Pig minced beef), dice a medium onion, carrot and potato and add a pulped tin of tomatoes. I added two cloves of garlic and a heaped teaspoon of Gran Luchito. I then cooked the meat with the lid on a frying pan for about 45 minutes.
There are a few things you can do with this paste, try mixing with a little mayonnaise to give you a fiery dip for nachos, the same for cream cheese, mix with onions and add to bruschetta for a great canape or shake it up with a Bloody Mary.
Click here to read more about Fergus Chamberlain the man behind the brand.