Marinated Pork Torta

I think the jetlag has worn off. I tried to capitalize on the early wake-up by working out as soon as I got up. Guess how long that lasted? Two mornings. A whole two. I am still getting up early, but the actual working out part just wasn’t happening. There is something about a shower or a solid 30 minutes of being awake first, and I can’t get up any earlier to justify it. I’ve been rekindling my love affair with the gym. So far so good.

We have been thinking about this carne asada torta from Gallardo’s in San Francisco since we ate in April. April! That’s a lot of time to think about a sandwich. We split it as a ‘we should probably have a snack’ kind of way and after the first bite I completely regretted not having an entire sandwich to myself nevermind we were going to have a massively delicious Italian feast in a few hours. The sandwich was rather simple in the way that a carne asada torta could be, but there was something about it that was mind-blowingly good. I’d like to think it was the roasted pepper slice, but I know it was more than that. I re-created it, and it was really good, but it was not the same. I think it had to be a combination of their griddling, perhaps a healthy dose of butter, the overall ingredients, their blessing. We struggled to not go back multiple times–partially because this sandwich was so damn good but also because that city is overflowing with amazing food.

Since there is a little Mexican market a couple blocks away, I went the lazy route in getting already marinated thin pork steaks. A few minutes on the grill and I was in business. The meat was so tender that biting into it wasn’t a chore. There is nothing more obnoxious than biting in and pulling out all the filling. That happened with the Thai steak lettuce cups from Blue Apron. It’s infuriating. These sandwiches were not.


  • 2 bollilos [often found at a Mexican market, but crusty sandwich rolls will work too]
  • 1lb marinated thinly cut pork steak [I picked up the pre-marinated stuff at the store]
  • Slices of queso fresco [depends entirely on the size of your cheese, the size of your sandwiches, and how much you eat when making it]
  • 1 large or 2 small avocados, peeled and sliced
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • Sour cream or mayonnaise


Preheat your grill on high, taking that time to clean the grates if you haven’t done so since the last time you grilled [guilty]. Reduce the heat to medium and place the poblano pepper and pork on the grill. Shut the lid. Check every couple of minutes to rotate the poblano. You want it blackened on most of it. Remove and set aside to cool.

Allow the pork to sear on each side for 3-5 minutes. That should usually be enough to cook it fully, but it’s always hard to tell with marinated stuff. I almost always use my meat thermometer now. The internal temperature of pork should be 145 degrees. Remove from the grill and allow the pork to rest for several minutes.

Slice the bollilos in half. Toss them on to the now empty grill for a 30-60 seconds to pick up a little crispiness and flavor from the residual pork. Remove.

Peel the blackened pieces off the poblano pepper. Cut the top off the pepper to remove the seeds. Slice in half and remove any remaining seeds.

Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise or sour cream on the inside of both pieces of bread. Layer with a slice of poblano, pork, queso fresco, and avocado. Smash down and slice in half. Enjoy.



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