This recipe is from a friend and neighbor back in the 80s. Yes, she was Mexican for those who are into “authentic”, whatever that means. Our families made things by what we could find at the store, no matter what ancestry we were.
I call this recipe “Burrito Meat”, but I also use it in chimichungas and tacos. You can use shredded or ground meat. The difference of the two forms of meat is how long you simmer it. For chunks of meat, it needs to be simmered longer to tenderize it. You can use any meat you prefer. I use extra-extra lean beef or pork, either ground or chunks. The chimichungas pictured below is using chunks of beef. The photos only show a half-batch. I used the rest of the meat for something else. The meal shown is from-scratch- Mexican rice, refried beans, a tamal I froze (recipe in another post) and a chimichunga. What a feast that was!
We are eating burritos tonight using the same recipe with ground pork. It is delicious and not spicy-hot. Of course, you can make it spicier if your digestive system allows it. I first list the filling recipe, then how I make them in chimichungas. I BAKE mine instead of deep-frying them. They come out very good without the mess.
whole meat – 1 large round steak, whole chicken
ground meat – 1 lb.
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp garlic powder or 4 chopped cloves of garlic
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper, ground
2 tbsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb can tomatoes, chopped and undrained
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
Using whole meats:
Cube meat into small pieces. You can coat in flour first before lightly searing brown in a little oil or fat. You can also boil the meat in water to cover for 2 hours, until it falls apart. Drain and shred if boiling when the meat is done. If using chicken, boil the chicken in water to cover until done, 2 to 4 hours, let cool enough to handle and shred the meat.
For ground meat:
In a large skillet with a cover and on medium to medium-low heat, add the meat and onions. Cover and cook until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally. Proceed as written below.
Add all of the dried spices (not the fresh garlic if using) with just enough water to barely cover. Cover the skillet and let simmer 15 minutes. Add water if necessary, though it rarely is required.
Add the onions if using the now-shredded meat, tomatoes with juice and bell peppers. If using fresh garlic, add it now. Cover and simmer until tender, about 30 to 45 minutes for shredded meat; 15 minutes for ground meat. You may want to take the cover off the last 15 minutes to reduce the amount of liquid for the shredded meat. If using ground, you can do the same. It will not over-cook the meat.
Make into burritos, tacos or chimichungas (below).
1 recipe of burrito meat filling
1 pkg flour tortillas (12)
non-hydrogenated lard or coconut oil
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with lard or coconut oil or line with parchment paper. I found these two fats work best with the ideal crispiness. They do not get soggy when refrigerated for later reheating or if frozen for another day. I prefer to line the pan with parchment paper, but used the greased pan method this round.
I eyeball-divide the meat using a spatula to somewhat even out the filling. Spoon the filing on the tortilla, a little close to one edge. Fold it over just enough to cover the filling. Fold over towards the middle the two sides, then finish rolling up the tortilla. Place in the baking dish, seam-side-down.
When finished rolling up all of the tortillas, melt 2 tbsp of lard or coconut oil. With a *pastry brush, lightly coat the tops and sides with the fat. Put into the oven and bake until they start getting lightly browned and crispy. This can take from 1/2 of an hour to 45 minutes, depending on your oven.
*I found those silicone brushes to not work well. They do not lightly and evenly coat the tortillas as well as the brush.
Serve as-is, or sprinkle with shredded cheese, salsa, whatever you prefer. We eat them with a little shredded jack cheese. Enjoy!
Loves and hugs…