My Favorite Homemade Burritos
Well, mostly homemade
I was born and raised in the great state of Michigan. When you say “burrito” to us, we think of a mess of seasoned beef, tomato salsa, loads of cheese, sour cream, and soft tortillas. We call ‘em “wet burritos” for a reason. This recipe really builds on the standard make-at-home burrito, based on a packaged seasoning mix. You can make your own if you have the cumin, paprika, cayenne, and so on… but I’m lazy.
- 450–500g 95% lean ground beef (about one pound)
- One medium cooking onion, diced finely
- 2–3 T olive oil
- One 0.8 L (about 28 fl. oz) can of diced tomatoes
- One packet of Trader Joe’s Taco Mix (you can use any medium-hot taco seasoning mix)
- Garlic powder to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Chili Powder to taste
- Dried oregano flakes to taste
- Refried beans
- Burrito-size tortillas
- Finely-shredded Mexican cheese mix
- Salsa (heat to your preference)
- Sour Cream
Pour the olive oil in a really large skillet and turn the heat on the medium-high. Finely chop your onion (I use one of those whack-choppers—I’m lazy, remember?) and add it to the now-hot oil. Sauté for about one to two minutes. When the onions are sizzling, add the ground beef and break it up so it can start browning. Pour about one third of the seasoning packet in now and mix it in with the beef and onions. Cook for a minute or two. Add the entire can of diced tomatoes, including the juice, and stir everything up. Let it bubble for a couple of minutes. While it’s doing that, add the other seasonings and enough of the seasoning packet to total about half. The stuff from Trader Joe’s is pretty piping hot, so if you like your Mexican food stomach-searing hot, go ahead and add more. I supplemented the packet with the seasonings I had on hand and I think it was a good mix.
After a few minutes of bubbling on medium-high, turn the stove down to high simmer and let it cook until most of the juice has evaporated—it took me about fifteen minutes, all told. Stir it occasionally to check on the consistency of the mix and sample to make sure it tastes the way you want it to. When there’s still enough wetness to keep the mixture moving easily around the skillet, but not so much that there are pools, you can turn the meat off.
Build your burrito however you like, but I like this way: start with a big ole’ flour tortilla. Smear some tasty refried beans in the center lower half of the tortilla. Add some shredded cheese—not tons, but enough to sort of cover the beans. Then spoon on the meat mixture. Add enough that the tortilla will be plump, but not so much that it can’t maintain structural integrity. Fold it up and over. If you’re hungry, make a second one now, too. Once that’s assembled, liberally douse it/them with more shredded Mexican cheese and spoon salsa on top—enough for a decent coating, but not so much that it won’t heat in the microwave. Pop the plate in the nuker and heat for about a minute on medium-high, to help melt the cheese and warm up the salsa. Add sour cream (I didn’t say this was HEALTHY, people), sit down and dig in.
You should be able to get six to eight burritos out of this recipe.