This traditional street food is a great combination of creamy beans, salty cheese and egg.
- 1 cup dry pinto beans
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1½ tbsp (30 ml) lard
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1½ tbsp dried epazote (see Note)
- 1 cup masa harina, or corn flour (see Note)
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ cup (180 ml) room temperature water
- 1½ tbsp (30 ml) lard
- 1 cup green tomatillo sauce (use purchased, or make your own with Luis’ recipe)
- 2 cups refried beans
- 4 eggs (see Note)
- ¼ cup Cotija or feta cheese
- 3 tsp coriander (cilantro), chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Bean soaking time: overnight.
1. For the refried beans, cover pinto beans with cold water and set aside to soak overnight.
2. Drain soaked beans, and transfer to a medium saucepan with chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook beans for 90 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat. Using a fine mesh sieve, strain beans, reserving broth and beans for later use.
3. In a frying pan, heat lard over medium-high heat. Add onion and stir and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until onion starts to soften. Add pinto beans, epazote and a ladleful of the reserved chicken stock.
4. Bring to beans to a simmer and cook, mashing the beans occasionally with a large spoon, for 6-7 minutes, or until liquid has reduced and beans are creamy and thick.
5. Season with salt and remove from heat. Set aside until ready to serve.
6. For the sopes tapatios, preheat oven to 190oC / 375oF.
7. Using your hands, mix together masa harina, salt, baking powder and water in a large bowl. Continue mixing until dough is firm and ingredients are fully incorporated. Divide dough into four portions and roll each portion into a ball.
8. Set one ball on top of a piece of plastic wrap and cover with a second sheet of plastic wrap.
9. Using a plate, press balls into 1.5cm (about ½ inch) thick rounds. Set round aside and repeat with remaining dough. (Alternatively, you can use a tortilla press, or Luis’ suggestion of a book; cover pages with plastic, add the dough, then close the book).
10. In a frying pan, heat lard over medium-high heat. Place several dough rounds in the hot lard and cook for 3-4 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom. Flip and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes, until lightly browned on the second side. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining dough rounds.
11. Using your fingertips, crimp the edges of the sopes upwards to form an edge. Spoon refried beans into the centre of each sopes and top with tomatillo sauce. Using the back of a spoon, form a hollow in the beans and tomatillo sauce.
12. Crack an egg over each sopes. Place sopes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 4-5 minutes, until egg whites are firm. (Alternatively, you can fry the eggs and place on top of the sopes).
13. Garnish sopes with grated cheese and coriander. Serve hot.
• Masa harina is made from ground nixtamalised corn. Find it, and dried epazote, at specialist retailers and Latin delis. Luis uses quail eggs, but you can use chicken eggs instead.
• Use gluten-free stock and baking powder to make this a gluten-free dish.