Mexican Food is very popular in the United States, but Mexican sandwiches haven’t really caught on for some reason. This lack of attention to the Mexican sandwich is a travesty since they are absolutely excellent.
In an attempt to do our small part in rectifying this situation, we’re going to show you how to make Pambazos today.
What are Pambazos?
Pambazos are chorizo and potato sandwiches slathered in pureed guajillo chiles, then fried and served piping hot.
The pambazo is popular all over Mexico, but this particular version is said to be most prevalent in and around Mexico City.
The traditional bread for this sandwich is called a telera roll, which is very similar to a kaiser roll without the seeds on top. It is a soft, flat roll that is popular for sandwiches in Mexico. Sometimes a bolillo roll is also used, which is a firmer than the telera and looks a bit like a sub roll.
These kinds of rolls may not be available at your regular grocery store. You can probably find one or the other if you have a nearby Mexican grocery store. If not, you can substitute a large sub roll. Whatever you use, it needs to be sturdy enough to hold up to being drenched in the guajillo sauce.
If you can’t find queso fresco in your local grocery store and there isn’t a nearby Mexican grocery store, feta cheese makes a reasonable substitution.
You can substitute creme fraiche or sour cream for the Mexican crema if it is not available to you.
The sauce for brushing the pambazos is made from guajillo chiles in this recipe. Guajillos are dried mirasol peppers and tend to have a sweet, fruity, and smoky flavor.
Guajillos are fairly mild, so without any adjustments, this recipe doesn’t have much of a kick to it.
If you want to add some heat to your pambazo, I’d recommend adding a quarter to a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the chorizo and potato mixture and not to the guajillo sauce.
Since the guajillo sauce is on the outside of the sandwich, it is almost impossible to not get it on your hands. You’ll end up rubbing your eyes and regretting it later if you add cayenne to it.
You can also add some pickled jalapenos. The tartness of the jalapenos offsets the fattiness of the chorizo and starchiness of the potatoes very well.
• Explore more of our Mexican Recipes.
Receta de Pambazos – Pambazo Sandwich Recipe
- 1 1/2 lb. russet potatoes
- 10 guajillo chiles – stemmed, seeded, and deveined
- 2 cloves garlic – peeled
- 1 large white onion – 1/2 very roughly chopped, 1/2 finely diced
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 jalapeno – finely diced
- 12 oz. Mexican chorizo
- 4 telera or bolillo rolls – if you don't have access to these, you can use a large sub roll
- 3 tbs. butter – warmed to room temperature
- iceberg lettuce – thinly shredded
- queso fresco – crumbled
- Mexican crema
- Add potatoes to a pot and cover with at least two inches of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20-25 minutes, until tender. Drain and let cool. Peel and cut into 1-inch cubes. Set aside
- While your potatoes are cooking, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Stem, seed, and devein the chiles. Place the chiles on a cookie sheet and toast for 5 minutes.
- Move to a pot along with the garlic and the roughly chopped half of the diced onion. Add enough water to cover, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the chiles, garlic, and onion with a slotted spoon and place in a blender jar with one cup of tap water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Blend until very smooth. Press through a fine-mesh sieve with the back of a wooden spoon until most of the liquid has passed through.
- Cook the finely dice half of the onion and all of the jalapeno in a skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the chorizo and cook over medium-high heat until done. About 5 more minutes. Add the potatoes, very lightly mash them (Not mashed potatoes, just slightly crushed. You want chunks), and mix them in. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Cut the telera/bolillos in half, brush the cut side with butter and toast, cut side up, under your broiler until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and, using a silicon pastry brush, thoroughly coat the outside (not the cut side) of the bun with the chile mixture.
- Add 2-3 tbs. of vegetable oil to a cast-iron skillet and preheat over medium-high heat, then place the bolillos in the skillet cut side up (the sauced outside should be down in the pan), and fry until the outsides get hot and slightly crispy. About 2-3 minutes.
- To assemble, add potato/chorizo mixture, the crumbled queso fresco, a good drizzle of crema, and top with some shredded lettuce.
- Slice the sandwiches in half and serve with pickled jalapenos, cold beer, and lots of napkins.