Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Beef and Bean Burritos with Cilantro Lime Rice

This recipe is a classy version of one of my favorite teenage food crushes.  As a youngster there would usually be a pack of beef and bean burritos lurking in the freezer.  The filling resembled neither beef nor beans, but when loaded up with plenty of cheese and the hottest salsa I could get my hands on, they were fabulous.  The crush continued into adulthood and the poverty row years before I started cooking, when a 10 pack could be had for $2.  And then I grew up, learned to cook, and stopped eating things that only tasted good when buried under cheese. 

Today these are the burritos that you will find tucked away in my freezer.  All about the beef, with an extra hit of creaminess from the beans.  Sitting on top of a bed of cilantro lime rice.

That rice tho.  The first time I made these, I found myself nibbling at the rice and adding some more as a side.  I never make less than twice the amount called for in the original recipe.

Adapted from Cook's Country
Yield: 6 large or 10 medium burritos

  • The rice
    • 1 1/2 cups rice
    • 3 cups broth
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1/4 cup cilantro
    • lime juice to taste
  • The burritos
    • 1 pound ground beef (I used 96% lean)
    • 15oz can pinto beans
    • 1/2 cup broth
    • 1 cup chopped onion
    • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1 tablespoon cumin
    • 1 teaspoon oregano
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • The fixings
    • sour cream
    • cheddar cheese
    • flour tortillas
      • For six large burritos, 10" 
      • For ten smaller burritos, 8"

Start by sauteing the onion in a little olive oil for five minutes while you measure out the seasonings and tomato paste.

Add in the tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano, chile powder, and a dash of salt.  

Cook for about a minute and add the beef.  Stir occasionally while you prep the beans.

Drain and rinse the beans.

Put half of the beans in a blender and puree with the broth.

When the beef is no longer pink, add in the pureed beans.  Cook for a few minutes until the liquid is absorbed.

Extract a tablespoon of juice from the lime.

Remove the pan from the heat.  Add in the whole beans, lime juice, and another dash of salt to finish the filling.

For the rice, add the rice, garlic, and broth to the pan and heat to boiling.  Remove the lid and let simmer until the liquid evaporates.

Fluff the rice and stir in the cilantro.  Finish by squeezing the rest of the lime juice over the rice.

Now to finish.  Layer a few spoonfuls of rice and top with the beef filling, in proportion to the size of your tortilla.

Now here at the Birchwood, we're all about leftovers, so the path differs on whether you're eating these now or saving them for later.  If eating now, add a little cheese and salsa to taste.  If you're saving these for later, skip the cheese and salsa and just add them as toppings when you're ready to eat them.

Wrap 'em up.

Toast up on all sides.

To finish, top with more cheese (put under the broiler or microwave to melt), more salsa, sour cream, and add some more rice to the side.

And eat 'er up.