Gorditas Encarceladas by Tia Vicky

I am Aunt Vicky

“I’m Aunt Vicky; take a seat and I will prepare some delicious gorditas encarceladas for you” we were told by a kind, tenacious woman with a glow about her in the town of Estación Catorce in the state of San Luis Potosí.

Tia Vicky Making Gorditas Encarceladas

“Jailed Gorditas”

Tia Vicky sells gorditas encarceladas, which means “jailed gorditas,” in her small shop. They are called “jailed gorditas because the cheese they are prepared with is “jailed” in the masa, or dough.

Gordita Shop Tia Vicky in Estación de Catorce, San Luis Potosi

How We Ended Up in Tia Vicky’s Restaurant

We were on a photography trip for SEEK Workshops to the town of Real de Catorce, a ghost town in the San Luis Potosí Sierras and we decided to take a side trip to Estación Catorce (Spanish link) a tiny town of 1200 people to have a look.

When we arrived in Estación Catorce we were hungry and looking for somewhere to get a bite to eat. We asked in the main plaza if there was anyplace to eat. The enthusiastic response was, “with Tia Vicky.”

Real de Catorce, Mexico

Our taxi to Estación Catorce was a vintage Willys. The last Willys taxi back to Real de Catorce leaves at 2:00pm which we missed because we were having such an enjoyable time eating and talking to Tia Vicky. We ended up walking 4 1/2 hours to get back.

Photographers in Real de Catorce

Tia Vicky at Work

While Tia Vicky was at work making gorditas we asked if we could photograph her and the process of preparing gorditas. She happily agreed and even offered to share her recipe with us.

Tia Vicky making "gorditas encarceladas"
Cooking Gorditas on the Comal
Gorditas on the Comal
Gorditas Encarceladas

How to Make Gorditas Encarceladas

We made some gorditas encarceladas the way that Tia Vicky showed us. They came out great. Let us show you how to make them with a really tasty potato and chorizo filling. (Recipe for the potato chorizo filling)

Homemade Gorditas Encarceladas with Potato and Chorizo

First Prepare the Masa (Corn Meal Dough)

Buy masa harina, cornmeal to make the dough. You will probably find two types of masa harina at the supermarket, one that says it is for tortillas and one that says it’s for tamales. The one for tortillas is milled finer and the one for tamales is milled coarser. We prefer the coarser cornmeal used for tamales. But either works well.

Corn Meal for Gorditas

Add the water to the cornmeal.

Adding Water to Corn Meal

Knead with your hands to incorporate the water. You dough turns out better when you knead it by hand not with a mixer.

Kneading Masa for Gorditas by Hand

The finished masa (dough).

Prepared Masa (Corn Meal Dough) for Gorditas

Prepare the Gordita Filling

Tia Vicky prepares the filling for the gorditas with a queso de rancho, a cheese prepared for local consumption only in her region. You can use cotija cheese, or Chihuahua cheese.

Break up the cheese first.

Queso Cotija Mexican Cheese

Break open the ancho chiles and remove the seeds and veins.

Dried Ancho Chiles

Soak the chiles in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes until they have reconstituted and softened.

Soaking Ancho Chiles to Reconstitute

Use a food processor or blender to combine the ancho chile and cheese until you have a coarse paste. Don’t overmix. It should have some texture.

Cotija Cheese and Ancho Chile Paste

Form the Gorditas

Form a palm-sized ball of masa, dough.

Shaping a Ball of Masa to Make Gorditas Encarceladas

Make an indentation in the center of the ball.

Making an Indentation in the Dough Ball

Fill the indentation with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the chile cheese paste.

Filling the Dough with Chile Cheese Paste

Fold the edges of the dough over the filling and then press the ball to form the gordita. We used the lid of a mayonnaise jar to press the gorditas

Shaping Gorditas by Hand

Notice how the ancho chile and cheese becomes “jailed” in the dough.

Forming Gorditas

Cook the Gorditas

Once you have formed the gorditas, it’s time to cook them. In a dry pan over medium-high heat cook them on each side for about 5 minutes.

Gordita in Frying Pan

Cook until golden brown. We cooked ours until they were extra toasted.

Cooking a Gordita in Frying Pan

Fill the Gorditas

With a sharp knife carefully split it gordita open. When the gorditas have cooled just slightly to the touch carefully split each one open with a sharp knife.

Splitting Open a Gordita

Fill your gordita with your favorite guisado. We used potato and chorizo. They would also be great with some frijoles de la olla.

Gorditas with Potato and Chorizo

Time to Eat

Enjoy your San Luis Potosí style gorditas encarceladas! Top with your favorite salsa. Try the salsa verde or salsa roja recipe.

Gorditas with Potato and Chorizo
Gorditas Encarceladas with Potato and Chorizo
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5 from 1 vote

Gorditas Encarceladas by Tia Vicky

Tia Vicky's "gorditas encarceladas", which means “jailed gorditas,” because the cheese and chile are "jailed" in the masa, dough. These gorditas are typical to San Luis Potosí.
Course Antojitos
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chorizo, gorditas, potato
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 20 gorditas
Calories 229kcal
Author Douglas Cullen

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. masa harina cornmeal
  • 1/2 lb. Oaxaca Chihuahua, cotija or panela cheese
  • 4 ancho chiles
  • 6 cups water plus 1/2 cup if needed
  • 1 tsp. salt

Instructions

  • PREPARING THE GORDITA DOUGH
  • Place your cornmeal in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the 6 cups of water.
  • Knead with your hands to incorporate the water.
  • If the dough is too dry, add a few tablespoons of water at a time until the dough has the correct consistency. It should be slightly moist but not sticky.
  • PREPARING THE FILLING
  • Break up the cheese first.
  • Break open the ancho chiles and remove the seeds and veins.
  • Soak the chiles in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes until they have reconstituted and softened.
  • Use a food processor or blender to combine the ancho chile and cheese until you have a coarse paste. Don't overmix. It should have some texture.
  • FORMING THE GORDITAS
  • Form a palm-sized ball of masa, dough.
  • Make an indentation in the center of the ball.
  • Fill the indentation with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the chile cheese paste.
  • Fold the edges of the dough over the filling and then press the ball to form the gordita.
  • COOKING
  • In a dry pan over medium-high heat cook them on each side for about 5 minutes. Cook until golden brown.
  • With a sharp knife carefully split it gordita open. When the gorditas have cooled just slightly to the touch carefully split each one open with a sharp knife.
  • Fill your gordita with your favorite guisado. We used potato and chorizo. They would also be great with some frijoles de la olla.
  • SERVING
  • Serve stuffed with your favorite guisado and topped with your favorite salsa.

Notes

Tia Vicky uses “queso de rancho” for her gorditas which is locally made and only available in her region so she recommends using Oaxaca, Chihuahua, cotija or Panela cheese. Each cheese gives the gorditas a slightly different flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 230mg | Potassium: 250mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1950IU | Vitamin C: 2.2mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 3.8mg

**The story is written as told to me by Andrés Carnalla.

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1 comment… add one
  • Paulina

    I cannot find the recipe. There is no link.

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