The torta de la barda is the classic sandwich from the city of Tampico in the state of Tamaulipas, in northern Mexico; to describe this hearty torta, we could say it is made with a French roll filled with refried beans, ham, cheese, pork, chicharron in green salsa, avocado, cheese and often many more garnishes...
Barda, translated in english means "fence"; how did this torta from Tampico come to be called this way? The story says that there is an area in Tampico (being a port city) where there are loading docks and a railroad train yard, and this area is delimited by a fence. With many hungry, hard working men looking for food around lunch time, a mexican family decided to try to remedy this situation and sell them these rather satisfying tortas, you guessed it, right on the other side of that fence! Today, of course, not only you can still buy this sandwich around the fence but also all around the city, and even outside Tampico as well.
* 5 bolillo rolls
* 8 oz. [250 g] refried black beans
* 10 slices of ham
* 8 oz. Head cheese
* 5 slices of orange cheddar cheese
* 1/2 lb. beef or pork cooked and shredded (only cooked with herbs and onion, preferably skirt steak)
* 1 chorizo sausage
* 5 slices of bacon, or chicharron
* 3 green tomatoes or tomatillos
* 3 green chilies (serrano or jalapeno)
* 1 clove of garlic
* 1 bay leaf
* 2 sprigs of thyme
* 1 avocado
* Thinly sliced onion
* Sliced red tomato
* Queso Fresco, crumbled
First we prepare our ingredients:
1) Slowly cook the beef in the oven in a bit of water, them shred the meat; reserve
2) Cook the chicharron in green salsa: first boiling the green tomatoes with chiles, then blending them with garlic, onion and a little bit of water. Simmer the sauce with the thyme and a little bit of oil and adjust seasoning. Add the pork rinds or bacon into pieces and cook for about 4 minutes.
3) Fry the chorizo, break it apart in small chunks.
4) Now let’s prepare our Tortas; slice on one side of the rolls without cutting them completely in halves. First spread some refried beans on both sides, them place a slice of ham on each side, then the orange cheese, followed by the tomato slices, onions, avocado, shredded beef followed by the chicharron in salsa verde, then some crumbled cheese and to finish some chorizo chunks...