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Torta Ahogada

I know this one is a little more involved, but this Guadalajara-style “drunken” sandwich is worth the extra effort! This is one of our lunch specials at Johnny Sánchez and a fan favorite. It’s a delicious, authentic and unique dish. Beware, these bad boys are addicting!

Torta Ahogada, Johnny Sanchez Restaurant New Orleans

Servings: 1

Prep Time: 48 hours

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours




Ahogada Sauce

  • 12 chiles de arbol, deveined, deseeded and and toasted

  • 8 cloves of garlic, roasted

  • 8 ripe plum tomatoes, roasted

  • 1 onion, quartered and roasted

  • 5 cup chicken stock

  • 1 cup valentina hot sauce

  • 1 tablespoon lard


  • 1 whole skinless pork belly, cut in 2

  • 350g brown sugar

  • 400g salt

  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled

  • 1 orange, halved

  • 12 cloves

  • 12 black pepper corns

  • 1 tablespoon chili flakes

  • 1 stick Mexican cinnamon (canela)

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 2 quarts water

  • 1 cup canola oil

  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 3 tablespoons canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped

  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  • Grated zest of 1 lime

  • 1 teaspoon salt




  1. Combine water and all ingredients on the stove and bring to a simmer allowing flavors to come together and the sugar and salt to dissolve. Let cool and pour over the pork belly. The belly should be fully submerged. Let brine for 48 hours.

Pork Belly

  1. Remove belly from brine and pat dry. Once dried, rub belly with garlic chipotle and braise in chicken stock for 2 hours with some halved citrus (preferably oranges). Cook belly at 300 degrees.

  2. Once cooked, remove belly from brining liquid and place on a sheet tray. Place another sheet tray on top of the cooked belly with some weight on it to keep the belly flat while it cools and to keep its shape.

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Pour the oil into a heavy ovenproof medium saucepan and add the garlic. Cover the pot with foil, put it in the oven, and cook until the garlic turns a nutty brown and is really soft (think cream cheese), about 45 minutes.

  2. Remove the pot from the oven and let the garlic and oil cool to room temperature. Put the garlic and the now garlic-infused oil in a food processor or blender. Add the chipotles and sauce, cilantro, lime zest, and salt and puree until the mixture is very smooth.

  3. Store in the fridge in a tightly covered container for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to a month.

Ahogada Sauce

  1. Roast tomatoes, onions, and garlic until slightly charred and cooked through, peel tomatoes.

  2. In a blender puree roasted onion, toasted chiles de arbol, tomato and garlic with the chicken stock until smooth.

  3. Heat up lard in a sauce pan over medium heat and add puree to the pan. Let simmer for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add Valentina hot sauce and a pinch of salt.


  1. Season pork belly with salt, pepper and Garlic-Chipotle Love and sear until crispy on the grill or griddle.

  2. Slice bread lengthwise and smother with the Ahogada sauce. Toast both sides on the griddle until slightly caramelized, stuff with grilled pork belly, pickled onions, Cacique crema and slice in half. Make sure sandwich is covered with plenty of sauce and sprinkle some Cacique cotija and cilantro on top.

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