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Tortas Ahogadas, or Drowned Sandwiches, are pork sandwiches drenched in spicy tomato sauce. Messy, yummy, and totally AMAZING!
I know. I know. It sounds weird.
I assure you, however, that no lifeguards are needed to save these tortas from drowning. 😉
If you have never had one of these incredibly TASTY sandwiches, you’re in for a real Mexican treat.
More Mexican Tortas
Torta de Milanesa
Torta de Jamon
How To Make Them
- Rehydrate guajillo chile and chile de arbol.
- Add onion and garlic to the pot at the very end for 5 minutes.
To make a spicier sauce, use one more chile de árbol. This chile is small but mighty.
If you buy this sandwich from a Mexican food stand, it is usually served in a bag to hold the sauce.
If you are at a sit down place, they serve it in a bowl.
- Up next, roast the tomatoes on the stove.
- You can roast them in the oven too. Under the broiler for a few minutes.
- Set them aside until they are cool enough to touch.
The smell of tomatoes roasting though… There’s nothing like it!
If the weather permits, you can also roast them on the grill. A few minutes on each side until the skin is nice and black.
If the sauce is too spicy, you can always bring down the heat by adding an extra tomato.
Another thing to you can do to tame the heat is to add ketchup. There is sugar in ketchup and will help balance the sauce out.
Pro Tip:Taste the sauce. If the sauce tastes good to you, then the dish will turn out good too.
- From here, place everything in the blender.
- Blend until smooth.
If you make the sauce in advance, it will last in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Or, stick the sauce in the freezer. It lasts up to 6 months in the freezer. Simply defrost it when you’re ready to use.
There’s no real way to store one of these sandwiches. Once you make it, you gotta eat it right away.
- Heat some oil to a stockpot.
- Strain the sauce over the pot.
The little bits of blended chile in the sauce… UGH! They are annoying and get stuck in your teeth.
It is going over a sandwich, and you want the sauce to be smooth. Strain!
- Cook for only a few minutes and set aside.
Let this cool completely.
You don’t want the sauce to be super hot when you pour it over the sandwich. The bread should still have some firmness to it.
Pork Carnitas… drool. Do you see the crispy carnitas meat?
If you want to keep it traditional, use braised pork or leftover pork loin roast.
Other Meats To Use
Traditionally, these sandwiches are made with pork. You will see them also made with beef, chicken, even fish during Lent.
Another Pro Tip:If you’re running around, buy some carnitas from the local Mexican market. It will make cooking this recipe a lot faster.
Time to “drown” our sandwich.
- Place your sandwich in a deep plate.
- Then with a ladle, drench it with the tomato guajillo sauce.
- Add some sauce around the sandwich as well.
A deep plate will create a pool of sauce that’s perfect for dipping.
It’s a very messy but DELICIOUS dish.
Drowned Sandwiches (Tortas Ahogadas) are typically made with birotes. It’s a bread that’s bigger than a bolillo. If you can’t find it, use a regular bolillo.
You can also use French bread or baguette. You will want lots of bread to soak up the sauce.
What to Serve with It
Lastly, top your Drowned Sandwiches (Tortas Ahogadas) with cebolla en escabeche.
This is one of those dishes that has that OMG effect. You can eat it with a fork and knife, or don’t be afraid to get in there with your hands.
Serve it with a lot of napkins. While it is “finger licking good,” you don’t want that juice to be on the loose. 😉
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Tortas Ahogadas (or Drowned Sandwiches)
- In a stock pot, add guajillo chiles, chile de árbol, onion, garlic, and water.
- Cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
- Turn heat off and wait for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, roast your tomatoes over a griddle or place under the broiler for a few minutes.
- Char the tomato skin on all sides.
- Add the tomatoes, guajillo chiles, chile de árbol, onion, garlic, and cooking water to a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Heat oil in a stock pot.
- Place a strainer over the pot.
- Carefully strain the liquid from the blender into the pot.
- Using the back of your cooking spoon, push all the liquid through the strainer.
- Cook sauce for 5 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Warm up the leftover pork.
- To assemble your sandwich, using a deep plate or bowl, cut the bread in half.
- Add the pork to one half and top with the other half.
- Ladle a spoonful of sauce over the sandwich.
- Add more sauce around the sandwich.
- Top with pickled red onions.