There is no shortage of good tortas in Denver—they range from simple and traditional to elaborate and swanky. And since tacos seem to be everywhere these days, I like to switch things up and enjoy all of those same great ingredients on a traditional Mexican roll. This torta is fairly light in meat because of the addition of beans, and since I often have the rest of the ingredients on hand, it is quick and easy to pull together. —savorthis
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Savorthis is a furniture designer living in Denver, Colorado.
WHAT: A go-to, weeknight torta that comes together in under an hour.
HOW: Marinate the steak in a garlic, paprika, and onion powder mixture. While it sits, quick-pickle the onion and jalapeño, then mash the beans with chipotle, cumin, and lime. Grill the steak, then serve it, sliced, on a toasted roll with the beans and pickled vegetables, avocado slices, cilantro, and a drizzle of crema.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Care is given each step of the way—from the marinated meat, to the seasoned beans—and it shows. The resulting torta is full of rich flavor, balanced by the fresh cilantro, pickled vegetables, and crema. —The Editors
garlic cloves, minced
freshly ground pepper (or more to taste)
sirloin flap steak
small red onion, thinly sliced
jalapeño, thinly sliced
can black beans, rinsed
chipotle powder (or chile powder)
Soft sandwich rolls
Salt and pepper to taste
Mexican crema (or sour cream thinned with a bit of milk)
Mix together the garlic, onion powder, paprika, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of oil. Toss the steak in the marinade to coat and let it sit at room temperature 30 minutes or refrigerate it for up to 8 hours. Heat the grill to medium-high. Season the steak with salt and grill until its internal temperature reaches 125° F and it is nicely browned. Let the steak rest for ten minutes before slicing it very thinly against the grain.
Heat the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Add the onion and jalapeño and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Set aside to cool.
Mash the beans with chipotle, cumin, lime, and salt and pepper. Taste the mixture and add salt and acid as needed. Add a spoon or two of water and heat gently before serving.
Toast the insides of the rolls slightly, then top them with the beans, steak, pickled vegetables, avocado slices, cilantro, and a drizzle of crema.