Loading Video...

Tortas Ahogadas

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 15 min
  • Active: 1 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
Save Recipe

Ingredients

Braised Pork Butt:

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin 

2 tablespoons granulated garlic 

1 tablespoon smoked paprika 

2 teaspoons dry mustard 

1 teaspoon ground coriander 

1 tablespoon kosher salt 

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

2 1/2 pounds boneless pork butt, fat trimmed, cut into 3 or 4 large pieces 

1/4 cup canola oil 

One 12-ounce bottle Mexican beer 

Tomato Sauce:

6 to 8 dried chile de arbol

2 tablespoons canola oil 

1/2 white onion, diced 

1 jalapeno, cored, seeded and diced 

2 cloves garlic, minced 

2 teaspoons ground cumin 

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano 

1/4 cup red wine vinegar 

One 28-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sandwich:

6 bolillo rolls (see Cook's Note)

Olive oil, for brushing

2 cups shredded green cabbage

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 

Pico de gallo, recipe follows

Pickled Red Onions, recipe follows

Pico de Gallo:

4 Roma tomatoes, diced

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced 

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 red onion, minced 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon minced garlic 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Pickled Red Onions:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced 

Sea salt 

1 bay leaf 

Pinch cayenne 

Pinch ground cinnamon 

1 whole star anise 

2 tablespoons honey 

1/4 cup red wine vinegar 

Directions

  1. For the braised pork butt: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, garlic, paprika, mustard, coriander, salt and pepper. Pat the pork dry, then coat it with the rub.
  3. In a large cast-iron pan, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Sear the pork until browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour in the beer, cover the pan tightly with foil and transfer it to the oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Let the pork cool a bit before shredding.
  4. For the tomato sauce: Soak the chile de arbol for 20 minutes in warm water. Once rehydrated, remove the stems and seeds and roughly chop. Heat the canola in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the chile de arbol, jalapeno, garlic, cumin and oregano and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant. Add the vinegar, tomatoes and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring often. When done, puree the sauce until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. To assemble the sandwich: Slice the bolillos in half, leaving them hinged at one end. Brush the insides with olive oil. Place the bolillos cut-side up on a baking sheet; transfer to the oven and toast until crispy, about 5 minutes. Fill each bolillo with some shredded pork, topped with some tomato sauce, shredded cabbage, cilantro, pico de gallo and pickled red onions. Serve.

Pico de Gallo:

  1. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, jalapeno, lime juice, red onion, cilantro and garlic. Mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavors to meld.

Pickled Red Onions:

  1. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, the onions and some sea salt, and saute until the onions are just softened, about 5 minutes. Add the bay leaf, cayenne, cinnamon, start anise, honey, red wine vinegar and just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Remove the whole spices and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cook’s Note

Bolillo rolls, 6-inches long and football-shaped, are traditional in tortas. If you cannot find them, substitute French rolls of roughly equivalent size and shape.

Get the Recipe

Perfect Cranberry Sauce

This ruby-hued sauce is a breeze to make with either fresh or frozen fruit.

"Miles Standish" Stuffing

Tortas Ahogadas

Tortas Ahogadas

Braised Pork Sandwich with Spicy Tomato Broth (Tortas Ahogadas)

Sweet Chili Asian Meatballs

Stromboli

Two Meat Chili with Scallion Cornbread

Fresh Vegetable Spring Rolls with Two Dipping Sauces