A popular Mexican favorite outside of Mexico is the burrito, a tortilla wrapped entrée that is is both delicious and convenient. It’s a meal you can hold in your hand. There is a lot of folklore surrounding the origins of the Burrito and like most “peasant” food, its history is unclear.
The modern burritos have been around since at least the late 1800s. The idea of wrapping food in a flour tortilla dates back much further. The Mesoamerican peoples of Mexico used tortillas to wrap foods, typically peppers, tomatoes, squash and other vegetables. In the Southwestern United Stages, the Pueblo people also used tortillas to hold beans and meat sauces, much more closely resembling the modern burrito of today.
Authentic Mexican Burritos are long and thin, typically containing only one or two filling – meat, bean and/or rice. The burrito itself is either steamed or grilled lightly. While we think of burritos as “Mexican” as a whole, it is more of a regional dish found in Northern Mexico and Sonora. The burritos of America are fat – stuffed with all sorts of things such as meats, rice, beans, vegetables, cheeses and sour cream.
My burritos are a blend of the two – typically long and thin. The main ingredient is meat, with a little sour cream, cheese and finely chopped tomatoes thrown in for good measure. Mine are finished on a grill-pan for nice scoring marks or a griddle for a golden brown outer shell. By grilling the burritos at the end, they hold their shape much better and stay folded around the filling from that first bite to the last. If desired, you can grill up slices of avocado to serve alongside your burritos for added color to the plate.
Spicy Grilled Beef and Chorizo Burritos
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground chorizo meat
1-2 tablespoons taco seasoning
Shredded Mexican blend cheese *
2 large tomato, finely chopped
8-10 flour tortillas depending upon size
Warm tortillas on a griddle sprayed with cooking spray until soft, 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside and keep warm until ready to use.
Crumble ground beef and ground chorizo into a medium-hot cast-iron skillet. Brown meat until cooked through, breaking up any large chucks.
Add taco seasoning to absorb some of the grease, retaining some of the flavor. Drain well, return to pan, cover and keep warm
Place warm tortilla on a flat work surface and begin to assemble, grill burritos.
To assemble: Spread sour cream on tortilla. Place meat in center, top with cheese and tomatoes. Fold side closest to you over meat, tuck in sides, then fold over/roll away from you, seam is now down.
Place assembled burritos on a lightly greased griddle seam side down. Cook until golden brown, pressing down lightly with spatula to help hold folds, about 2-3 minutes. Turn and grill other side.
* For Jim-Boy Style burritos, use nacho cheese sauce instead of shredded cheese. Spread nacho cheese on tortilla, then spread with sour cream, top with meat and tomatoes. Fold and grill.
Note: Assemble 1st burrito. Place on griddle or grill pan, press down with spatula. Assemble 2nd burrito, place on griddle or grill pan, press down, then turn 1st burrito over and press. Assemble 3rd burrito, place on griddle or grill pan, press, remove 1st burrito, and turn 2nd burrito over. Repeat this rhythm until all burritos have been grilled. The finished burritos can be held in a warm oven to serve together or plated and served as they come off the griddle or grill pan.
Leftover suggestion: If you have some meat filling left over, store it in the refrigerator. This meat is awesome warmed with scrambled eggs for a morning breakfast burrito.
If grilled the burrito on a grill pan, go for nice grill marks. Serve with grilled avocados for nice color.