What makes these simple burritos special is how reheatable and portable they are. A friend of ours turned us on to this burrito recipe and we've never made them any other way since.
These burritos are as good reheated as they are fresh from the oven. They're even good cold, and I'm not one to eat cold stuff out of the fridge. There's been many a time, however, that I had to eat a cold one while another heated up, I simply couldn't wait. They're actually GOOD cold! We like to make a bunch of these at a time because they keep so well and, of course, because they're tasty. Problem is... we can never make enough. They're the perfect "after the morning hunt" brunch and/or hangover food. I love them for breakfast and they're one of the few foods I break my wheat rule for.
3 lbs. ground beef or ground venison
1 and 1/2 cans refried beans or 24 oz. homemade beans, refried. I used homemade beans (you can see them above, first in the Ziplock bag they'd been frozen in and then during the process of "refrying" them) that I weighed before I refried and 24 oz. was the perfect amount. About 1/2 can of refried beans per pound of meat usually works out nicely.
3 serrano peppers, seeded and minced
10 ounces of grated cheddar cheese (optional)
12 large (burrito sized) flour tortillas or burrito sized wraps
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
*Seasonings--see second paragraph down
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Almost brown the meat, draining it as you are cooking it. I use a turkey baster to continually drain the meat as it cooks. I don't want it completely browned before I add the next ingredients. But once hamburger meat gets hot enough, done or not, the fat and liquid will separate from the meat and you can drain it just fine before it's completely done. Once meat is drained but not completely browned add the onions and serranos and cook until onions begin to get tender but not until they are opaque. I don't like to brown the meat all the way first becuase I don't like overcooked meat. And if you add the onions and serrano to the raw meat, you'll lose a lot of that flavor when you drain the meat.
*At this point I would normally season the meat with various combinations of oregano, cumin (lots of cumin), salt, and the slightest dash of chili powder but I had some Killer Enchilada Sauce in the fridge and used 1/2 cup of that to season the meat instead. It was great! You could also use a packet of taco seasoning or whatever floats your culinary boat.
Once you have added the seasonings, throw in the beans and cook this all until it's heated through. Taste test it to see if it needs some extra salt or seasoning. Now you are ready to build your Britos! First off, your tortillas need to be plenty warm so they don't tear. I just open the bag they come in and microwave them for 30 seconds, flip them over and warm them for another 20 or 25 seconds and this is usually enough to make them soft enough for burrito building. Don't overload your burrito. Spoon some meat and cheese (if you want) into the center of your tortilla. Fold opposite sides of the tortilla towards each other, one over the other, then fold the ends over and flip the thing on the folded side to hold it closed. If you've overloaded it, you'll know. Don't worry about a tortilla tearing, it won't ruin it, it just won't be quite as pretty. And these aren't all that pretty anyway.
Once you have a pan of burritos ready to go, pop them in the oven, uncovered, for 15 or 20 minutes. The goal here is to get the bottoms crispy. My oven won't brown the top of anything I bake in it so I have to put them under the broiler after the bottoms have gotten nice and toasted. I have no idea how long these take to get crispy on both sides in an oven that cooks evenly. The bottoms of these didn't "look" toasty, but they were hard and crunchy to the touch which was all I needed. The tops need to get golden and crispy. This is the secret to these burritos. The crispy tops and bottoms are what make them so great to stick in a container in the fridge and reheat whenever. It keeps them moist on the inside and holds them together. If they don't get crisp, they're just going to fall apart.
If you are putting them up while they are still warm, then make sure and layer paper towels between them or they'll stick to each other. They'll keep beautifully for several days in a Ziplock bag or a container with a tight fitting lid.
To reheat a burrito (if you are just too good to eat one cold) wrap it in a paper towel and microwave it for about 1 and 1/2 to 2 minutes. To make these look a little more gourmet, serve on a plate (we usually eat them like sandwhiches wrapped in the paper towel we warmed them in) and cover with crema OR sour cream OR a mixture of sour cream an salsa verde OR melt some cheese on top and drizzle with cream OR cover with enchilada sauce and garnish with a bit of cilantro. You can dress 'em up however you like. I like them with a heavy splash of Cholula and a bit of crema.
This burrito recipe makes one dozen burritos and the three serranos just makes them warm, for a nice kick use five.
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