- Start to Finish: 30 minutes
- Servings: 6
- Difficulty Level: Novice
You don't have to drive up to a fast-food window to satisfy a craving for a burrito with all the trimmings. Create a batch of meat filling at home, chop up some veggies, grate a hunk of cheese and whip up a knock-off in less time -- and less money -- than it takes to make the round trip to pick up the takeout version.
For the Meat Filling
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced onion or dried onion flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup water
For the Rest of It
- 6 burrito-size flour tortillas
- 1 16-ounce can refried beans
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons medium or mild salsa
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 cup medium or mild salsa
- 3/4 cup sour cream (go light if you wish)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 medium white onion, diced (a little finer than the tomato)
If you really want a shortcut, just cook the beef with a packet of taco seasoning, 2 tablespoons of salsa and the 1/2 cup of water. Taco Bell offers both the seasoning and its signature salsas for sale in many supermarkets and box stores.
In a medium bowl, and with clean hands, mix the ground beef with the spices and the flour. Throw the beef into a large skillet and stir it with a spatula, breaking the meat into small pieces as it browns. Add the water and continue to cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, continuing to break down the meat. By the end you'll have something that resembles lumpy brown library paste -- but not in a bad way. Turn the flame to low and cover the meat to keep warm.
Mix the refried beans with 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons salsa. Zap the mixture in the microwave for 2 minutes.
Put the tortillas in a plastic tortilla warmer or on a plate covered with plastic wrap and heat for 45 seconds on high.
Now, work fast! Grab a tortilla, spread 4 tablespoons of refried beans in the middle and cover that with 1/6 of the beef mixture -- about 1/3 cup -- and then a thin layer of cheese and a hefty tablespoon of salsa. Stir up the sour cream and spread 1 tablespoon over the previous ingredients, trying not to disturb the layers. Add more cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions and a few dots of sour cream.
Grab the side of the tortilla closest to you and fold it over the ingredients, tucking the end in and slightly under. Now, fold the side bits inward and roll the whole thing as tightly as you can, rather like a miniature sleeping bag. Hand that burrito off to the first person in line -- or the one you like the most -- and continue to roll on.
Adding some of the cheese next to the warm meat makes it go all melty. Feel free to substitute jack cheese or pepper jack for the cheddar. It's okay to reheat the tortillas for 20 seconds if stuff starts cooling off.
- Pair your burritos with ice-cold Mexican beer topped with a slice of lime or with a refreshing slushy margarita.
- Whip up some quick guacamole by smashing up an avocado with some of the leftover salsa -- it comes in 16-ounce jars -- and serve it on the side with corn tortilla chips.
- Use the mixture to make tacos in premade hard shells or your own soft tacos.