Skip to main content

Recipe: gorditas

gorditas recipe image
Gorditas serving suggestion


This recipe comes from the Tasting New Mexico cookbook.


  • 2 pounds freshly ground beef chuck
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium russet potato, parboiled, peeled and diced fine
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried Mexican oregano or marjoram, optional
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground dried New Mexico Red Chile
  • 3/4 cup beef stock, chicken stock or water
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water or more as needed
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 3/4 cups refried beans
  • shredded lettuce
  • shredded mild cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 to 8 fresh jalapeno chiles
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped tomatores, or fresh or drained diced canned
  • 1/4 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or garlic salt or more to taste


For Salsa: Place the jalapenos in a small saucepan and cover with water by 1 or 2 inches over high heat and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain and when cool enough to handle slice away stems and seeds. Wear rubber gloves to handle the chiles. Mince 1 jalapeno and reserve.

Transfer the rest of the jalapenos to a food processor and add the tomatoes, vinegar and salt. Pulse until mostly smooth. Stir in the minced jalapeno. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For filling: Warm the oil in the heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes until softened. Add the meat and fry until it has lost all pink color. Stir in the potato, flour, salt, oregano and chile. Pour in the stock (or water). Reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the potato bilts are very soft and most of the liquid has evaporated.

For Gordita dough: Combine the masa harina, flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor. Add the oil (or shortening) and process just until mealy. Pour in the water and process until the dough becomes smooth and moist. Add a little more water, if needed, for the desired consistency. Take the dough out of the processor, form it into a ball and cover it in plastic wrap. Let the dough sit for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 8 balls and flatten each to about 1/2 inch thickness, rounding rough edges. Cover the dough rounds loosely with plastic wrap.

In a Dutch over or large heavy saucepan, heat 3 to 4 inches of oil to 365* F. Fry the dough rounds in batches, cooking them for 4 to 5 minutes until golden and crisp. Turn them or hold them under the oil with tongs for even cooking. Drain and repeat with the remaining dough.

Assembly: Slice a grodita open on the edge, cutting ab out 1/3 of the way around it. With your fingers or a spoon, scrape out any uncooked dough from the center, leaving a hallow. Repeat with the remaining gorditas.

If using the beans, coat the insides of the gorditas with a generous tablespoon in each and then spoon in the ground beef mixture to fill the gorditas about 2/3 full. Top with lettuce and cheese and serve immediately, accompanied by salsa.

Working ahead: The salsa can be made early in the day you plan to serve it. The gound beef filling can be made a day ahead. Dough can be formed and kept covered for an hour before frying. Once fried, the gordita shells can be kept warm in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 200*F oven for about 1 hour.