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


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.

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