This steak and cheese sandwich is made with tender shaved Bison New York Strip steak, caramelized onions, roasted chile peppers and drizzled with lively queso blanco. This steak torta is a great tasting sandwich for lunch or dinner.
Bison is a leaner and healthier option to beef when planning a red meat dinner. Interested in more bison recipes, check out Boulder Beer Porter Bison Stew, Black Bean Chipotle Bison Chile, or this recipe for a Perfect Bison Burger.
With a nod to the famous Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich, I’ve created a Colorado themed version that is sure to win your chile pepper loving heart.
This steak and cheese sandwich is made using a Bison New York Strip steak that is seared, finished in the oven to medium rare, and then shaved into very thin slices.
The rest is easy, building the sandwich using caramelized onions, roasted Pueblo chile peppers and drizzled with a tasty queso blanco cheese.
Served on a toasted torta sandwich roll it’s a sandwich that’s not only delicious but wonderful with texture.
This recipe will wow your dinner crew.
My post has all the process shots, hints and tips for you to make the very best Steak Torta in your home. Let’s get started.
Why You’re Going To Love This Sandwich
- Bison is learner than beef and may be a healthier choice for steak if you’re looking to reduce calorie and fat intake.
- You’re going to love the layers of flavors in this sandwich.
- The combination of flavors is outstanding. Tender bison, sweet onions, spicy chile peppers and that creamy queso topping.
- It’s easy to make.
Let’s get started.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Minimal ingredients and big on flavor, this is an easy recipe to make.
- Onion: Sweet or yellow onion.
- Chile Peppers: To keep this recipe a Colorado themed recipe, I used roasted Pueblo Chile Peppers.
- Steak: Two Bison New York Strip steaks.
- Bread: Seek out Bolillo or Telera rolls. They are rolls most commonly used to make Mexican torta sandwiches.
You’ll also need some Queso Blanco. Southwestern spices blended into American cheese that’s been heated to creamy bliss.
Ingredient Subs and Swaps
- Chile Peppers: If you don’t have access to Pueblo Chile Peppers, use fresh roasted Hatch Chile Peppers, or a can of whole chile peppers purchased from the Mexican aisle at the grocery store. Roasted Poblano Peppers are also an excellent choice for this sandwich.
- Steak: Replace Bison New York strip steaks with Beef New York Strip Steaks. You can also use beef flank steak or skirt steak. Just sear and cut against the grain for thin shaved pieces.
- Bread: Torta rolls which are labeled Bolillo or Telera rolls are readily available at our stores in Colorado. If you can’t find them, purchase Hoagie rolls.
How To Make this Bison Steak and Cheese Sandwich
Be sure to see the recipe card below for complete ingredients and instructions.
Step 1: Caramelize the onions. Heat a fry pan over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add two tablespoons neutral oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the sliced onion rings. Turn heat down to low. Cook onions until they start to brown. Stirring often. This should take 15 – 30 minutes, depending how brown and caramelized you want them.
- Step 2: Cook the Bison New York strip steaks. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. I also like sprinkling on some New Mexico Chile powder. Using an oven safe fry pan, heat the pan to medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add neutral oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the steaks. Keep heat to medium high and sear the steaks about two minutes per side, or long enough to get a good brown sear on each side. Then move the pan to the oven and cook for about eight minutes, or until an internal temperature of 135 is reached. Use a meat thermometer. Remove the steaks and tent for about ten minutes.
Tip: Hot Pan, Cold Oil. The reason we heat the pan and then add the oil, is to quickly get the oil nice and hot before adding food. Once food hits that oil, you want to immediately hear it sizzle. If the oil isn’t hot enough to sizzle, the food will soak up the oil which will compromise taste and texture. How to tell if the oil is hot enough? It should appear to “shimmer”. You should be able to see fingers in the texture.
- Step 3: Toast the bread. Brush the torta rolls with olive oil. Get a grill pan nice and hot and place bread oiled side down in the hot pan. Watch them close, they’ll toast in no time. Set aside.
Build that sandwich.
- Using a very sharp knife, slice the steak as thin as you can possibly cut it. It should be so thin that it’s shaved. This will make the steak pieces easier to eat.
- Place a good amount of sliced steak on each torta roll.
- Top with onions and sliced peppers.
- Drizzle with Queso Blanco and dig in.
- About Cooking Bison: Let the bison steaks set at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Keep in mind, bison contains less fat than regular beef, requires less cooking time, and will be dry if over-cooked. If you’re interested in learning more about the management of our American Buffalo and more recipes, visit the National Bison Association website. It’s a great resource for nutrition, cooking tips and more.
- Grill Pan: Use a stove-top grill pan to get those desirable grill marks when toasting bread. I’ve had my Le Creuset pan for years and use it regularly for indoor grilling.
- Roasting Chile Peppers: I’m lucky to have a stash of preroasted Hatch and Pueblo chile peppers in my freezer. If you buy fresh peppers place them on a sheet pan and place the pan about five inches below the broiler. Turn them often until the chiles are charred. But not burnt. Remove the skin by using your fingers. Don’t run them under water … you’re washing away that smoky flavor. Remove top, seed pods and slice.
Frequently Asked Questions
A neutral oil. Neutral oils are low in flavor. Canola oil is my choice because it’s easy to find and the smoking point is around 400 degrees. Meaning you can get it nice and hot before it smokes and burns. Vegetable oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil are also good choices. To learn all about oils and cooking I like this article from Bon Appetit.
If you can find Telera rolls, by all means buy them. A Telera roll is very soft both on the outside and inside, but still sturdy enough to hold the heavy ingredients in this recipe. A Bolillo roll is another popular bread used in Mexican sandwiches. It has a football shape, a crustier outer crust than a Telera and the inside is soft and chewy. An easier to find Hoagie roll will work great for this recipe. Both of these rolls are smaller than a sub roll.
Smashed avocado, refried beans, slices of pickled jalapeno, sliced tomato, sliced avocado, shredded iceberg, lettuce and you can substitute a drizzle of salsa for the Queso Blanco.
Equipment You’ll Need
- Oven Proof Fry Pan. A cast iron skillet will work to cook the steaks and finish in the oven. Also consider a French Steel (or carbon steel pan) … I prefer it over cast iron because it’s lighter, naturally non-stick, the handle doesn’t get hot when using it stovetop and it’s preferred by professional chefs. A carbon steel pan is an ideal choice when needing a stovetop to oven pan.
- Digital Real Meat Thermometer: These thermometers are work horses when it comes to cooking meat to desired doneness.
- Grill pan or griddle for toasting that bread.
Recipe for Bison Steak and Cheese Sandwich – Mexican Steak Torta
I hope you give this Western version of a Philly Cheesesteak a try. It’s a fiesta of flavors and a sandwich you’re sure to fall in love with.
More Recipes You Might Like
- Toasted Pueblo Chile Chicken Sandwich
- Party Sub Club Sandwich
- Toasted Ham and Manchego Sandwich
- Kickin Chicken Sandwich
And if you love using chile peppers as much as we do, don’t miss this post dedicated to Hatch Green Chile Recipes.
If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on my website, please leave a star rating in the recipe card below. And write a review in the comment section. I always appreciate your feedback.
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Bison Steak and Cheese Sandwich, Mexican Steak Torta
- Oven Proof Fry Pan French Steel Pan Works Great
- 1 1/2 pounds Bison New York Strip Steak
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 Tablespoons neutral oil Divided. Canola oil works well here
- 2 large onions sweet or yellow, sliced
- 4 Colorado Chile Peppers roasted, peeled and sliced
- 2 Torta Rolls or Hoagie Rolls
- 4 Tablespoons Queso Blanco to drizzle
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat a fry pan over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add two tablespoons neutral oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the sliced onion rings. Turn heat down to low. Cook onions until they start to brown. Stirring often. This should take 15 – 20 minutes. Remove onions from pan and set aside.
- Season the steaks with salt and pepper. I also like sprinkling on some New Mexico Chile powder. Using an oven safe fry pan, heat the pan to medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the remaining two tablespoons of canola oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the steaks. Keep heat to medium high and sear the steaks about 2 minutes per side. Or long enough to get a good brown sear on each side. Then move the pan to the oven and cook for about 8 minutes or until an internal temperature of 135 is reached. Use a meat thermometer. Remove the steaks and tent for about 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, toast the bread. Brush the torta rolls with olive oil. Get a grill pan nice and hot and place bread oiled side down in the hot pan. Watch them close, the'll toast in no time. Set aside.
- Build that sandwich. Using a very sharp knife, slice the steak as thin as you can possibly cut it. It should be so thin that its shaved. This will make the steak pieces easier to eat. Place good amount of sliced steak on the torta roll. Top with onions and sliced peppers. Drizzle with Queso blanco and dig in
Bison Steak and Cheese Sandwich ( Mexican Steak Torta ) …. It’s What’s For Dinner