Bella Barbacoa Tuscan Corn Tortas Ahogada


The grand prize winner in the 2023 recipe contest, Leah Lyon, with her exceptional creation, Bella Barbacoa Tuscan Corn Tortas Ahogada! Congratulations to Leah for her remarkable Italian flair and for ingeniously incorporating an array of products into this explosively flavorful dish. Leah's Bella Barbacoa Tuscan Corn Tortas Ahogada is a culinary masterpiece that showcases the very best of Italian and Mexican cuisine. Prepare to be captivated by the fusion of flavors and again congratulations to Leah on her well-deserved win!

Total Cook Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

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Bella Products Used:

Bella Sun Luci Carne Asada Meat Marinade 12 oz.

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Tomato & Pepper Sauce Starter

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Julienne Cut Sun Dried Tomatoes in Premium Oil with Italian Herbs 8.5 oz

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Sun Dried Tomato Tuscan Rub

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Sun Dried Tomato Chipotle Topper Sauce 8.5 oz

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Bella Sun Luci California Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil 16.9 FL OZ

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Bella Barbacoa

  • 1.5 pounds chuck roast, in 2 inch cubes
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ¼ cup Bella Sun Luci Carne Asada Marinade
  • ¼ cup Bella Sun Luci Tomato and Pepper Sauce Starter

Tuscan Corn Fritters (as Torta Rolls)

  • 3 cups sweet corn kernels (fresh or thawed from frozen and drained well is best)
  • ⅓ cup green onion chopped
  • ⅔ cup chopped Bella Sun Luci Julienne Cut Sun-Dried Tomatoes in olive oil with Italian herbs
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato Tuscan Rub
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1⅓ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ⅓ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 6 tbsp Bella Sun Luci extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce (I like iceberg)
  • ¼ cup diced Red Onion 

Ahogada sauce

  • ½ cup Liquid from the Barbacoa (in bowl)
  • ½ cup canned/carton crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
  • 1 8.5 oz Jar Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato Chipotle Topper Sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime

Garnish (cilantro, parsley, and green onion, limes)


  1. For Barbacoa, place cubes of beef in electric pressure cooker. Mix water, marinade and sauce starter and pour over the meat. Seal and cook until very tender, approximately 40 minutes on high/medium setting. De-pressure, shred and mix well. Strain ½ cup of liquid from the barbacoa into a bowl for the ahogada sauce.
  2. While barbacoa is cooking, make the corn fritters (to be torta rolls).
  3. Mix corn, green onion, and diced sun-dried tomatoes in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, Tuscan rub, baking powder, and ground black pepper. Add to the corn/tomato mixture to the cornmeal mixture and stir to combine. Add beaten eggs, milk, and cheeses. Stir to mix (will be thick).
  4. Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle to medium high heat and coat with olive oil. Scoop about ⅓ cup of the mixture into a circle on hot surface and spread to about 5 inch circle. Repeat with one or two more, per batch/pan, not overcrowding. Fry 3-4 minutes or until starting to brown on edges. Carefully turn and cook the other side 2-3 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to paper towels or rack to drain. Repeat until all are done (should have 8). 
  5. Ahogada sauce: In the bowl with the reserved barbacoa liquid, add the crushed tomatoes, Chipotle Topper Sauce, and lime juice, and mix well. 
  6. To serve, place a corn fritter on each of four plates, spread about 1/3 cup shredded lettuce and 1-2 tablespoons diced red onion on each. Lightly straining excess liquid, divide the barbacoa (among the four fritters. Top with a second fritter and generously top with the ahogada sauce (about ½ cup each). Sprinkle with herbs of choice and green onions and serve.

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