Chilean Chili Pepper Salsa: Chancho en Piedra

Chancho en piedra - Chilean pepper salsa

The Spruce / Marian Blazes

  • Total: 13 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 3 mins
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups salsa (3-6 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
82 Calories
3g Fat
14g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 1/2 cups salsa (3-6 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 82
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 8mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 2g
Calcium 68mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chancho en piedra is a version of the traditional Chilean salsa called pebre. Pebre is typically a mix of chopped onions and garlic, red chili pepper paste, green peppers, and cilantro. Chancho en piedra usually has tomatoes and a more sauce-like consistency, as it's traditionally prepared in a stone mortar and pestle called a chancho en piedra. (The word chancho means "pig" but the verb chancar means "to grind" (and apparently comes from the Quechua language). The mortar may have had a name based on the word chancar but over time it changed to chancho. Some stone mortars do have "legs" and resemble animals).

Interestingly, chancho en piedra is also the name of a Chilean funk rock band.

To make chancho en piedra, the garlic, spices, and chili peppers are ground to a smooth paste with the crushed tomatoes. It's almost like an uncooked Italian pasta sauce. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can make this sauce in a food processor or blender instead. Feel free to adjust the amounts of chili pepper and seasonings to suit your personal taste, but the tomatoes should definitely be peeled. Serve this salsa with bread for dipping, cheese, or with plain unsweetened sopaipillas.


  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon oregano (fresh, to taste)
  • 2 small green chili peppers (like jalapeños)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon red wine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Steps to Make It

  1. With a sharp knife, make two cuts through the skin of the tomatoes in the shape of an "x". Place the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and let cool, then peel skin from the tomatoes.

  2. Seed and chop two of the tomatoes, and set aside. Seed and finely chop the remaining tomato, and set aside in a separate bowl.

  3. Peel the garlic cloves, and place them in the mortar (or in a food processor or blender). Add the salt, peppercorns, and oregano, and grind everything together to make a smooth paste.

  4. Peel and chop the onion, and add it to the bowl. Seed and roughly chop the chili peppers, and add them to the onion/garlic mixture. Grind (or process) the mixture to a smooth paste.

  5. Add the two chopped tomatoes to the mixture. Add the wine (to taste) and olive oil. Grind (or process) until smooth. Stir in the remaining finely chopped tomato. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


  • You can store the salsa in the refrigerator for up to one week.