Torta Ahogada Recipe

This decadent and popular Mexican sandwich smothers juicy pork butt in a super-spicy chile sauce.
March 15, 2018, 1:00pm
Torta Ahogada Recipe
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 4 hours


for the braised pork:
3 ½ pounds|1557 grams pork shoulder or butt
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 dry guajillo peppers stemmed and seeded
3 garlic cloves
1 yellow onion, quartered
1 (13.5 ounce|383 gram) can whole peeled tomatoes

for the sauce:
6 dry guajillo peppers, stemmed, seeded, and soaked
1 jalapeno, quartered
1 shallot, sliced
1 (35-ounce|992 gram) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 ½ quarts|1500 ml chicken stock


to serve:
1 (16-ounce|454 gram) can pinto beans
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 bolillo rolls, halved lengthwise
1 red onion, thinly sliced


  1. Braise the pork: Season the pork with the cumin, salt, and pepper and slather with the mustard. Heat the oil over medium-high in a large Dutch oven and sear the pork all over, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the peppers, garlic, onion, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, covered, for about 3 hours or until the pork is very tender. Transfer the pork to a bowl and season with the remaining cumin, salt, and pepper. Add about ¾ cup of cooking liquid to the mixture. Keep warm.
  2. Make the sauce: Place the peppers, jalapeño, shallot, and tomatoes in a blender and purée until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan along with the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 25 minutes, or until silky and reduced slightly. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, discarding solids.
  3. To serve, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium. Add the beans and their liquid and bring to a low simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then mash the beans until smooth.
  4. Spread about ¼ cup beans over the inside of each roll. Top the bottom half of each with about ¾ cup of shredded pork. Place the top half of the bun on top and dip the sandwich in the sauce. Transfer to a serving plate and ladle more sauce over the top of the sandwich. Top with sliced onions and serve with orange slices and cilantro.

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