Pork Chop Torta

(from castro15’s recipe box)

Categories: Sandwiches


  • Pork Chops and Beer Brine:
  • 12 oz. bottle Mexican beer
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 oregano sprigs
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 4 bone-in pork shoulder blade chops
  • Avocado aioli:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, pitted, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 to 5 turns fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Dry Rub:
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp achiote powder
  • 1 tsp chili de arbol powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Sandwiches:
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 torta bread rolls or hoagie rolls
  • 1/4 cup Roasted Garlic Butter (see recipe), melted
  • 1/2 cup drained Pickled Red Onions (see recipe)
  • 1/4 lb. Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup finely sliced red cabbage
  • 1 cup finely sliced green cabbage
  • 4 oz. package crispy pork rinds, broken into pieces


  1. To brine the pork chops, in a large saucepan, combine the beer, brown sugar, lime, garlic, bay leaf, oregano, chili flakes, peppercorns, and salt. Cook over high heat, stirring, until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat. Stir in the ice cubes and set aside until cool. Pour the brine into a 1-gallon Ziploc bag and add the pork chops. Seal the bag tightly and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

  2. To make the aioli, combine the egg, mustard and lime juice in a blender and blend on low speed to combine. With the blender running, add the canola oil in a slow, steady stream. Continue to blend until the mixture is completely emulsified, about 2 minutes total. Stop the blender and add the avocado, salt, black pepper, cayenne, cumin, and cilantro. Blend until smooth. If the aioli is too thick, add a little water to loosen it. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. To cook the pork, preheat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, achiote, chili de arbol, salt and black pepper and mix well. Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat them dry. Discard the brine. Liberally season them all over with the dry rub. Add the olive oil to the hot pan and sear the pork chops until well browned, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Reduce the heat and transfer the chops to a plate. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

  4. Brush the cut sides of the torta rolls with melted garlic butter and toast them in the hot skillet until golden brown on both sides, about 45 seconds per side.

  5. Using a sharp knife, remove and discard the bone from each pork chop. Coarsely chop the pork meat into 1/4-inch cubes and return them to the hot cast-iron skillet for 2 to 3 minutes to crisp up. Transfer the pork to a bowl.

  6. To assemble the torta, smear the cut sides of the rolls with the avocado aioli. Divide the pork among the bottom roll halves. Top each with some pickled red onions and sprinkle with crumbled Cotija. Add a handful of green and red cabbage and finished with some crushed pork rinds. Place the top roll halves on top and serve.

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