The Mexican Sandwich You Can Make With Leftover Steak

Forget about tacos and burritos, because the Mexican sandwich known as a torta is loaded with just as much flavor thanks to its many ingredients. One of those ingredients is traditionally some sort of meat — like steak. That means the sandwich is a delicious vessel for the leftover steak from last night's dinner without the need to go to your favorite local Mexican eatery. Using your leftover steak for the Mexican delicacy will also prevent food waste and save you some time.

There are many reasons why Mexican tortas are unique, like the crusty bread that holds all of the ingredients together. Just in case you didn't know, in addition to the meat, the sandwich commonly has a combination of vegetables like avocado, tomato, jalapeños, and lettuce sometimes paired with toppings like crema, refried beans, cotija cheese, or other peppers. Depending on the region, there are specific types like torta de milanesa with a fried meat cutlet like beef or chicken, and Guadalajara's torta ahogada, which features refried beans and a tomatoey sauce.

Reheat the steak properly for a top-notch torta

To make a torta at home with that leftover steak, use a combination of the ingredients listed above — but first follow the tips to perfectly reheat steak and avoid chewy meat. Use the oven instead of a microwave, and go low and slow with cooking time and temperature. Some recipes suggest using sirloin steak which can be sliced into thin pieces to pile onto the torta. Leftover carne asada is another flavorful variety to use on the sandwich. Really, a torta can work with any variety, as long as you cut the steak into thin slices or bite-sized chunks so it plays nicely with the other ingredients and doesn't fall off the sandwich.

After the leftover steak is reheated, it's time to assemble the sandwich. If you can't secure a traditional bolillo or telera roll, opt for another type of crusty bread to build the sandwich. Spread mayonnaise, crema, or refried beans on each side of the roll, then add your chosen vegetables. In addition to the usual ingredients, consider radishes for crunch or fresh cilantro to add a touch of herbiness. Next comes the leftover steak; then top with cheese if that's going on your torta.

For anyone who prefers to follow an exact recipe, check out Tasting Table's Mexican pork torta and swap the pork with the leftover steak. And don't forget to make some crave-worthy guacamole to spread on top.