What Kind Of Steak Should You Use For The Best Homemade Torta?

The Spanish word "torta," translated literally, means "cake." But foodies know the term often refers to the delicious, filling Mexican sandwich that shares its name. Served on a crusty roll and packed with flavorful fillings like tomato, onion, avocado, beans, and sour cream, a traditional torta's centerpiece is often a breaded, thinly-pounded fried steak. But for an authentic experience, home cooks shouldn't use just any piece of beef.

According to Mashed recipe developer Stephanie Rapone, the ideal cut for this homemade torta recipe is any variety of thinly-sliced sirloin or round. Sirloin comes from the top of the cow's back, while the round is cut from the cow's back leg. Both stand out from among the many cuts of steak for their intense beefy flavor and are well-suited to the cooking technique typically used in tortas. This involves pounding the steaks thin, breading them in an egg and breadcrumb coating, and frying them for just a few minutes on each side.

Sirloin and round cuts are affordable and easy to prepare

Round and sirloin cuts can be among the more affordable cuts of beef, making them an appealing choice for home cooks on a budget who still desire a flavorful and hearty meal. One important thing to know about tortas is that the steak should be quite thin. While you should look for the most-thinly-sliced cuts of these steaks available at your supermarket or butcher, it's likely they still won't be thin enough.

Stephanie Rapone recommends covering your steak in plastic wrap and pounding it with a meat mallet or other heavy item until it reaches a thickness of a quarter to an eighth of an inch. This step is vital for creating the required texture and ensuring the meat can cook as quickly as needed. Some butchers may also do this for you if requested.

However, if you're not a fan of beef in general, don't despair: Rapone says you can still enjoy the recipe by swapping the steak for a chicken breast or pork cutlet. But for those looking for the most flavorful and traditional torta experience, grab some sirloin or round and sink your teeth into this uniquely delicious sandwich.