AoM Month of Sandwiches Day #20: The Carne Asada Torta

by Brett on April 26, 2013 · 15 comments

in Cooking, Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure


Welcome to Day #20 of the AoM sandwich project. Last month we asked readers for their best sandwich recommendations. Out of 483 submissions, we picked 20 to highlight here on the site each weekday during the month of April. At the end, we’ll publish all the entries into an epic man-sandwich cookbook. Enjoy.

Today’s Sandwich: The Carne Asada Torta

I thought for sure someone would submit a recipe for one of my all-time favorite sandwiches: The Carne Asada Torta. But no one did, so I decided to make it myself. I discovered the Carne Asada Torta while I was living in Tijuana, Mexico. The torta is a staple in Mexico. Street vendors typically offer it in addition to tacos. Street tortas were a weekly treat for me, and I’d never turn down a torta made by the nice old ladies who would feed me every now and then. Will my stateside torta stack up to the ones I ate in TJ? Let’s find out.



You can get all these ingredients (except the roll) at a regular supermarket, but it’s more fun to visit your local Mexican grocery store.

  • Brisket or flank steak
  • Mexican bolillo roll
  • Guacamole
  • Mayo
  • Refried beans
  • Pickled jalapeños
  • Limes (I used 6)
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper

Step 1: Prep Meat


The key to carne asada is to cut really thin slices of meat. If you don’t have a meat slicer like Matt Moore, one trick I learned from a lady in Tijuana is to cut the meat when it’s just a bit frozen.


Marinate the meat in lime juice (I used 6 limes), garlic powder, and red and black pepper. Let the meat marinate for a few hours in the fridge.

Step 2: Grill Meat


Grill the meat on high heat. Because the strips are so thin, it won’t take that long.

Step 3: Warm Up Your Beans


Warm up your beans in a pot. I like to put a bit of milk in mine to make them creamier. Another trick I learned from a Tijuana señora.

Step 4: Spread Mayo on Roll


Step 5: Spread Beans


Step 5: Heap on the Guac


Step 6: Layer the Carne


¡Que rico!

Step 7: Add Jalapeños


Finished Product


Yeah, not the prettiest sandwich we’ve showcased (partly due to my poor photo taking on this one). It tastes good. I promise. Oh, and don’t forget the Mexican Coke to go with it. Made with real sugar!

Taster’s Notes


Riquisimo! Took me back to Tijuana and los cholos y perros roñosos. So good. Definitely a lot messier than I remember. I probably packed too much on. The one change I would make is dicing up the meat after grilling it. The meat was a bit too tough to be eaten in strips. Other than that, a filling, muy bueno sandwich.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Keith April 26, 2013 at 3:08 pm


2 Mario April 26, 2013 at 3:26 pm

aaahhhh men, i live in tijuana and this article just make me decide to order a torta at lunch time, i usually prefer mine without beans, and i also like to order 2 jalapeños with a lot of salt and lemon juice, also you can add some onion if you like

3 Riley April 26, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Best looking sandwich of the series. My personal favorite is simply strips of steak or pot roast on french bread with some light mayo. Messy and really takes some chewing. Manly sandwich.

4 Adrian April 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Brett, you’ll need a new section dedicated to delicious and manly Mexican Food. An incredible array of tacos, tortas, flautas, sopes; A countless amount of caldos like pozoles; And many, many ways of eating frijoles. You’re in for a treat. Trust me ;)

5 Michael April 26, 2013 at 11:20 pm

From anyone but Brett, I’d be scared of what follows the phrase, “a trick I learned from a lady in Tijuana.”

I really wanna make this sandwich. Right now.

6 5leafc April 27, 2013 at 2:30 am

Buenísimo! Gonna try this beauty out asap!

7 Seth W. April 27, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Perfect torta. Looks delicious. Sometimes (depending on where you are) people smash the roll flat, which gives you a little bit more room for all those ingredients. This has my mouth watering for the tortas we used to get at my old job, where ladies came by and sold them out of coolers.

8 DaSoda April 27, 2013 at 11:01 pm

I can tell why it was a little tough from the photo. When cutting flank steak you need to cut against the grain instead of with it. Other than that it looks delicious!

9 Paul April 28, 2013 at 10:45 pm

If you guys liked this, you should try the recipe for a torta de la barda. They are delicious.

10 Drewbie April 28, 2013 at 10:55 pm

Also, don’t put raw meat on the same plate touching bread and fruit that won’t also be getting cooked.

11 Jeremy R April 29, 2013 at 1:22 am

I am a frequent torta eater,promise me, you’ll love them once you eat them!

12 Danny April 29, 2013 at 5:25 pm

This is one of my favorites as well…I grew up on these sandwiches in Los Angeles. Yes please DO dice the meat, yes go easy on the beans and guac…Try adding pickled onions to your next torta and some melted Monterrey Jack cheese and watch your taste buds explode…!!!

13 Zeta San April 30, 2013 at 1:37 am

Oh! My Gah! Esta si es una torta de verdad!

14 Matthew Ray May 14, 2013 at 10:11 pm

As far as near-TJ-Mexican tortas are concerned, if anyone is ever driving south on the scenic highway, and happens to stop at K38, you MUST try those from Taco Surf. I do not think they can be beaten; the gods themselves descend from on high every so often to eat one of thee tortas (you can even see one of them high up on the hill across from the ocean by the torta stand!)

15 David May 17, 2013 at 10:07 am

Se ve muy Mexicanizado.

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