Pambazos are a traditional Mexican torta (sandwich) made by splitting open telera or bolillo rolls, dipping them in a spicy guajillo salsa, then frying them in manteca (or vegetable oil). The fried bread rolls are then stuffed with potatoes and chorizo, and topped with garnishes like shredded lettuce, crumbled queso fresco, Mexican crema, chiles en escabeche (pickled chiles) and/or a spicy tomatillo salsa.
While telera rolls are the more popular bread to use for pambazos, I prefer to use crustier bread like bolillo rolls that won't fall apart once they are bathed in the guajillo salsa. I also like to switch up my pambazo fillings using shredded chicken, Pork Carnitas, leftover Shredded Beef Picadillo, papas con chorizo (potatoes w/ chorizo), or just Refried Beans. But the filling my family loves the most is a combination of refried beans and potatoes. If you're looking for more delicious meatless Mexican meals to add to your menu, give these Potato Pambazos a try!
For the guajillo salsa:
- 8 dried guajillos chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 2 dried chipotle chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 2 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 4 cups water
- 2 cloves garlic
For the pambazos:
Bring the dried guajillo, chipotle, and ancho chiles to a boil in the 4 cups of water over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or until the chiles have softened completely. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree the chiles and the water they were cooked in with the garlic until smooth. Pour into a wide saucepan or bowl; season with salt to taste.
While the chiles are cooking, bring the potatoes to a boil in 3 to 4 cups of water over high heat. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. Transfer cooked potatoes (using a slotted spoon) to a heatproof bowl; lightly mash potatoes with a fork or potato masher; season with salt; set aside.
Heat refried beans over low heat, and heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat to fry the pambazos.
For each pambazo, dip 2 bolillo roll halves in the guajillo salsa. Carefully fry the bread in oil for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer rolls to a paper-towel lined plate to drain excess oil. Spread 3 to 4 tablespoons of refried beans on bottom half of the bolillo roll. Top with desired amounts of mashed potato, chopped onion, and crumbled queso fresco. Garnish with a dollop of Mexican crema. Serve with your favorite salsa and/or pickled chiles. Repeat with remaining bolillo rolls. Enjoy!