Today is the first Thursday in April. And that means Welcome to National Burrito Day! Yum. Have you ever had a burrito that was unforgettable? You know, the one by which all other burritos are measured by.
Years ago, Hubby and I bought a Jeep. We were so excited to do some off-road exploring. One of the first “adventures” was a trip to Virginia City, Nevada. There’s a lot of desert around Virginia City to explore. And then there’s the charm of Virginia City. It is a step back in time.
It was in Virginia City that Hubby and I had an awesome meal in a little hole in the wall restaurant. Since we were there mid-week, not everything was open. Much of Virginia City is reliant on visitors from nearby Reno and Carson City. Many come via an old train. And a few crazies find their way to Virginia City along dirt roads. However you get there, it’s worth a visit. Come on the weekend when the town is booming, or visit mid-week when things are a bit more quiet.
If you are thinking of visiting Virginia City and want to see some crazy races, come in September for the International Camel and Ostrich Races. Not only are camels and ostriches raced, but zebras, too. The first camel race took place on the streets of Virginia City in 1959 as the result of a rivalry between the Territorial Enterprise, Virginia City’s newspaper and the San Francisco Chronicle. The editor of the Territorial Enterprise printed a fictitious story about camel races in Virginia City as a hoax, and the editor of the Chronicle reprinted it. The following year, not happy about being made a fool, the Chronicle sent a team to race in Virginia City with a camel borrowed from the San Francisco Zoo – thus beginning a tradition.
I wish I could tell you where to get that unbelievable meal we once had during your visit. Honestly, I don’t know if that particular Mexican Restaurant still exists. It was one of those eateries you stumble upon. I don’t know if we could even find our way back to that spot. After all, it’s been thirty years or more since we were there. I do remember that it was just off main street. It smelled old and musty with creaky wood floors and old drafty windows. The food was incredible. And the serving size, like most good hole-in-the-wall establishments, was enough to feed a small country. Best of all, their burritos were jammed packed with everything – flavorful grilled steak, with just the right amount of rice, spicy beans and sweet corn all wrapped in a giant flour tortilla.
If you are lucky enough to find your way to this Mexican Cantina in a high desert town in Nevada, great. If not, no worries. You could always enjoy an amazing Steak Burrito on National Burrito Day with a burrito made right in your own kitchen.
Flank Steak Burritos
1 box Mexican Rice
2 cups Water
1 can Ro-Tel Tomatoes
2 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Yellow Onion, finely diced
1/2 Red Onion, finely diced
1 lb Flank Steak, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons Taco Seasoning
1 cup Corn
1 cup Black Beans
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
3 tablespoons Water
1 cup Mexican Cheese Blend
3 Roma Tomatoes
1 cup Lettuce
6 large Flour Tortillas
Empty box of Mexican Rice and the seasoning packet into a saucepan. Add water and Ro-Tel Tomatoes, stir to blend. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to simmer and cook for 25 minutes.
While the rice cooks, peel and mince garlic. Cut onion in half from root to tip. Reserve half for another use, peel and finely dice remaining half. Set aside. Repeat with red onion.
Slice flank steak against the grain into thin strips. Place in a bowl, season with taco seasoning, toss to coat.
Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 2 minutes until onion is lightly browned. Add beef strips and cook until only slightly pink. Add corn and black beans, warm through. Stir in the cheese, let it melt.
Add tomato paste and water, cook for 3 minutes until the water is mostly evaporated while the beef is still juicy. Remove from heat, fold in the Mexican Rice rice. Let cool for 10 minutes. Filling should still be warm but not piping hot.
While the filling cools, dice tomatoes and tear lettuce into small pieces. Set aside.
Place a burrito on a work surface. Divide filling among tortillas. Scatter lettuce and tomatoes over filling. Fold up the bottom to cover the filling then fold the edges in. Roll up tightly, then wrap in foil. to keep warm.
Serve with the usual sides such as Refried Beans and more Mexican Rice. Optional garnishings such as Pico de Gallo and guacamole are also nice touches. Garnish with cilantro.