Braised Pork Sandwich with Spicy Tomato Broth (Tortas Ahogadas)

Total Time:
2 hr 15 min
50 min
1 hr 25 min

4 to 6 servings

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening, preferably trans-fat-free, or lard
  • 2 pounds boneless pork butt, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 3 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium white onion, quartered
  • 1 (15-ounce) can refried pinto beans, preferably organic
  • 6 bolillo rolls* or 1 1/2 baguettes, cut into 6 pieces
  • 3 cups Spicy Tomato Broth, warmed, recipe follows
  • Spicy Tomato Broth:
  • 6 Roma tomatoes, cored
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small white onion, quartered, cooked and peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 dried chile de arbol, stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth, preferably organic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • *Cook's Note: Bolillos are oblong-shaped individual rolls. Stale ones are perfect for these sandwiches because they soak up all great the tomato broth.

  • In a large, heavy skillet, heat the vegetable shortening over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the pork all over with salt and pepper. Sear the meat on all sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side.

  • Carefully add 3 cups water, the garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf and onion. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the meat is tender, about 25 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until the liquid completely evaporates and the pork meat is browned, about 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, warm the refried beans in the microwave or in a saucepan over low heat.

  • Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Discard the garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf and onion. Thinly slice the pieces of pork.

  • Cut each bolillo in half lengthwise, spread 2 tablespoons of refried beans on each bottom half and top with 1/4 cup pork. Put the other bolillo half on top. Serve in shallow bowls and drench each torta with the warm Spicy Tomato Broth.

Spicy Tomato Broth:
  • Combine the tomatoes, garlic, onions, oregano and chile in a blender and process until smooth.

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Transfer the tomato mixture to medium, heavy saucepan and add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until bright red, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Yield: 4 1/2 cups.

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    This recipe is featured in:

    Cinco de Mayo