Our pre-fourth of July weather has settled in this week. Sunshine doesn’t normally commit in Seattle until July 5th. After that, summer is perfect. But, for now, it is burrito weather. And that ain’t half bad. Things are looking brighter this week, though. I’m convinced it’s because I made a simmer-all-day kind of meal. You know, kinda like washing your car only to have it rain the next day. I made a burrito and the whole weather report flipped.
This filling takes about 4 hours to simmer so it can be made in advance so it is ready on burrito night.
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 large carrots, finely diced
- 3 stalks celery, finely diced
- 5 garlic cloves
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 1 fresh jalapeno pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 a stick)
- 8 ounces ground beef
- 8 ounces ground veal
- 8 ounces country style ground pork
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cup water (1 cup may be replaced with a dry white or red wine if you’re feeling especially fancy pants)
- 3 tablespoons beef Better Than Bouillon
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon epazote
- 1 tablespoon ground Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
- 8 grande flour tortillas
- 2 cups cheddar cheese
Most meats come in about one pound packages. If making one recipe, you can freeze the other halves. You’ll be making this again soon. I promise.
Preheat oven to 350F. It is a good idea to dice veggies in advance. This is a long-simmering dish; but, it is also pretty busy in the beginning. Set veggies aside.
Cut tomatoes into quarters and jalapeno in half then place on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Add garlic cloves (still wrapped in peels) to pan as well. Bake for 20 minutes. This is the only step that requires the oven so you can turn it off.
In a large pot, pour olive oil and add butter. Melt over medium-high heat. Add diced veggies. Cook until onions are translucent.
While veggies cook, place milk, water, Better Than Bouillon, and tomato paste into a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
Remove tomatoes, jalapeno, and garlic from oven when they are done. Place tomatoes & jalapeno into the food processor. Remove peels from garlic (they should practically slide off) and add. Process until still a little chunky, but soup-like.
Add ground meats to veggies in a pot. Using utensil, chop the meat up well while cooking. Pieces should be very fine. Allow to cook until juices evaporate and meat is beautifully browned and somewhat sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add bouillon mixture to the pot. Stir in. Add processed tomatoes, jalapeno, and garlic to the pot as well. Add chili powder, paprika, epazote, Mexican oregano, cumin. Add beans. Stir all together.
Allow sauce to simmer on lowest heat with a lid partially covering for about 4 hours. The filling can also be transferred to a slow cooker at this point. You’ll just want to place lid tilted and be sure to stir about every 20 minutes as normal. Make sure to check and stir once and a while. The sauce will become redder and be kind of oily in texture as it cooks. Near the end is a good time for additional salt since it may reduce down and become too salty if you add a lot in the beginning. After filling is ready, stir in chopped cilantro at the last minute.
Place tortillas out to fill. Place freshly shredded cheese (waaaaay better than pre-grated) on each one then add a couple scoops of filling to each one. Fold sides inward, then roll away from yourself. Place closure side down onto baking sheet. Continue process until all or ready for baking. If eight is too many, you can save the filling in the freezer for another time.
Bake for 20 minutes. Tortilla shells will be lightly browned and cheese will be melted. Toppings like sour cream or guacamole can be added, or you can eat plain.
Welcome back, sunshine. We’re looking at the mid-seventies all week, Seattle. You’re welcome. My work here is done… and that’s a wrap.