Mexican Torta with Carnitas

I could have made some of the best carnitas this past weekend. Normally I stick with my standard recipe for making a slow roasted pork shoulder, however this time around I really wanted something different. I had some dried chili de arbol peppers that I wanted to use, and I thought how great they would be, marinated on this pork, along with other items of course.

Mexican Torta with slow roasted pork and black beans

As you know I have made tortas in the past and have noted that it is one of my favorite sandwiches. A crunchy bread, loaded with refried beans, avocado, and whatever fixings you want. This time around, and heck, for the remainder of the week, it is going to be packed full of carnitas, but to kick off the week, it starts with a really awesome torta.

Ingredients for the Carnitas:

  • 5 lb pork shoulder, trim any exterior fat, cut into large chunks
  • 20 dried chili de arbol peppers, seeds removed
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 white onions, quartered
  • 1/2 bulb of garlic, skins removed, rough chop
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Begin by bringing a pot of water to a boil and cook the dried chili peppers until they are nice and tender, about 45 minutes. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the water for later use. Place the onion, tender peppers, garlic, salt, oregano and reserved water into a blender, and blend into a nice sauce.

Place your pork in a large ziplock bag, and add in the marinade. Give the pork a bath in this wonderful marinade, placing in the refrigerator, and letting it bath overnight, or at least 8-10 hours.

The following morning, heat a large pot on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil.  Remove the cubes of pork, and place them in the large pot, browning, or should I say searing all sides. Once all sides are browned, you can either place in a slow cooker, or cover, reduce the heat, and keep on the stove for about 5 hours. I go the slow cooker route, and cook on low for about 5-7 hours. I don’t mess around. The goal is to have pork so tender that when you touch it, it basically just falls apart.

Your house is going to be smelling pretty darn amazing at this point in time. Be patient. We are almost done. Now it is time to make the torta.

Ingredients for the Torta:

  • One can of black beans
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1 avocado, cut into slices
  • lettuce, chopped
  • Queso Chihuahua, grated
  • Bolilo rolls, sliced, bread removed from the center of them

Begin by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and bring it to temperature Toss in the garlic, cook for about a minute, then add in the can of beans. With a fork, or potato masher, begin to mash down the beans. The cool thing about doing this is that you can make them your own texture. If you like the smooth beans out of a can, then go ahead with those. My preference is to mash my own. Reduce the heat to low and stir from time to time.

Next is to brown the rolls. Add a bit of olive oil to the sliced rolls. In another skillet, bring to medium heat and add the rolls, olive oil sides down, and cook for a few minutes until they are golden brown, and the tops have changed a bit of texture. The goal is a golden brown roll with a slight crust on the top.

To another skillet, yes, this is a three pan meal. Add about another tablespoon of olive oil to it, and bring this to medium heat. Toss in a couple of the pork cubes, and with your fork, mash them down a bit. The pork should easily fall apart. Mix well, and crisp up the pork a bit.

Now we are ready to roll. To the bottom of the bolilo roll, lather with the black beans, top with the pork, the cilantro, lettuce, a few of the avocado slices and top with the grated Mexican cheese. Top with the heated half of the bolilo roll, and slice and serve.

The pork yields enough for a big party, or if you are like me this week, it will suffice for Mexican week. Yes, I said it. Taco Tuesday is fine, but burrito Wednesday is coming, enchilada Thursday, and possibly another Torta Friday! Enjoy.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

2 thoughts to “Mexican Torta with Carnitas”

  1. Found your site via tastespotting. FYI – Tortas are typically made with telera bread, if you can find it. I lived in Phoenix, AZ for over 5 years and tortas are quite popular there. Telera rolls are easy to find. Bolilo rolls are more commonly available nationwide, I think. Telera are usually more flat than bolilo, but usually made similarly. My favorite Torta shop in Phoenix, featuring Mexico City style tortas, make their own telera and they have a hint of sweetness, which I think marries quite well with typical torta ingredients.

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