Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Beef and Bean Enchurritos
Mexican influenced cuisine was never part of our family fare when I was growing up in suburban Chicago. The first time we experienced anything close was during a vacation trip to Los Angeles in the very early 1960’s when my older brother begged my parents to try something he had heard about called a Taco. The fact is that most of what is referred to, here in the U.S., as Mexican food is actually only a bunch of really distant cousins to the cuisine of our southern neighbors. (This is not all that different from our westernized versions of any other culture’s foods!)
What we call Burritos, like a lot of the Tex-Mex and/or Cal-Mex foods we’ve all come to enjoy, started as a portable food to be eaten with your hands. They are filled then rolled with the ends tucked in and usually grilled. Enchiladas are made in a similar fashion, but rolled with the ends left open and are baked while simmering in a sauce. The primary difference is the inclusion of beans in a Burrito.
My combination of these two dishes, leans more toward a Burrito but is served like an Enchilada. I happen to really like Frijoles Refritos (Refried Beans), and decided that I needed another way to enjoy them when I make a batch. Thus was born the Enchurrito.
Beef and Bean Enchurritos
Yield: 6 Servings Preparation Time: 20 Minutes Cooking: 40 Minutes
• 1 Pound Lean Ground Beef
• 1 Cup Spanish Onion, chopped into ¼” dice
• 1 Clove Garlic, finely minced
• 2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
• 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
• 1 Teaspoon Smoked Ground Cumin
• ½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
• ½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
• 2 Cups Frijoles Refritos
• 1¼ Cups Enchilada Sauce
• 6 Flour Tortillas, 9” burrito size
• ½ Pound of Monterey Jack, Queso Blanco or Asadero Cheese, shredded (or a combination of all three)
Step 1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Step 2. In a medium bowl, combine Ground Beef, ¾ cup Onion and the Garlic.
Step 3. Set a large fry pan over medium-high heat and add the Beef mixture. Cook stirring until the Beef has browned. Stir in the Chili Powder, Oregano, Cumin, Salt and Black Pepper and then reduce heat to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the ½ cup of the Enchilada Sauce until heated through and then stir in the Refried Beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Step 4. Wrap the Tortillas in aluminum foil and warm in the preheated oven for 10 minutes to soften.
Step 5. Spread ½ cup of the Beef and Bean mixture along the bottom edge of the warmed tortillas. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the Cheese or Cheeses on top of the Beef and Beans. Roll up the Tortillas and place them with the seam down in a 9” x 13” baking dish sprayed with non-stick. Bake for 20 minutes.
Step 6. Remove the baking dish from the oven and brush the remaining Enchilada Sauce over the top and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup Onion. Return the baking dish to the oven for 15 minutes.
Step 7. Remove the baking dish from the oven again, top with the remaining shredded Cheese(s) and bake for an additional 5 minutes until the cheese melts and bubbles. Let the finished Enchurritos rest for 5 minutes then carefully separate and serve.
Serve with shredded lettuce and some diced sweet red peppers, chopped scallions, sliced Kalamata olives and sour cream.
Tips and Trending
~ For a more handheld burrito only version I don’t put any sauce or cheese on the outside. Instead brush the flat tortilla with a light coat of the remaining enchilada sauce before adding the beef mixture. Spread ⅓ cup of the cheese over the beef and beans and then begin to roll. When you have rolled the tortilla halfway, fold about 1½” of both ends of the tortilla in and continue to roll the rest of the way. You’ll end up with about a 6” burrito. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes and serve.