Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cheesy Beef and Bean Burritos: For Here OR To Go

Part One: For Here

Some of my readers may remember my post titled How to Make Your Man Love You More: Philly Cheese Mac. This recipe also qualifies for the How to Make Your Man Love You More Category. It was so good, so cheesy, so delicious. Everyone at our table adored it. The idea for this post was actually inspired by my good friend Amy. I called her up during the long 5 1/2 hour drive home from our visit to Indiana. Don't worry mom, both hands were on the wheel, I was using my bluetooth! Our conversation turned to grocery shopping. We were joking that if we allowed our husbands to do the household shopping, we'd have a freezer full of those individually wrapped burritos.

Then she said, "That's what you should make for your blog! You should figure out how to make those." Hmm. I thought, maybe I will make burritos this week. I've made tacos, fajitas, quesadillas, enchiladas, and chimichangas, but I've never made burritos. I set out to create the perfect burrito recipe for a crowd or for one.

I began by melting 5 tablespoons of butter in a skillet.

Then I chopped half of a very large onion and 1/3 cup of green pepper.

Add to the butter and cook until tender.

Then stir in 1/2 cup of flour.

Next, I gradually added 3 cups of beef broth. I just drained the liquid from my canned beef. Cook and stir until smooth and thickened.

Next I stirred in a can of tomatoes with green chilies.

Add in a seeded and diced jalapeno pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Stir and simmer for about 5 minutes.

I also added a can of Hormel chili and 8 oz. of cream cheese, cubed. Cook and stir until the cream cheese is melted.

Now for the beef. You'll need about 8 cups of shredded beef. You can roast or cook your own beef. This would be a good recipe if you had lots of leftover beef roast. I have an abundance of home canned beef, so I used that. Pressure cooked in the jar, it's extremely tender and flavorful. It was perfect in this recipe.

Go ahead and shred the beef.

Now add the beef to the sauce and cook until heated through. If you must, taste it now. A little sneak preview of how delicious these burritos are going to be.

Now we're ready for assembly. You'll want to start with flour tortillas. I had quite an assortment. A couple of half used packages were chillin' in my fridge and I needed to use them up. Then, I picked up a new package at the grocery earlier this week. Good thing! This recipe makes quite a few burritos. I used them all!

I believe that a good burrito needs a bean element present. So I gave each tortilla a nice bean schmear. That sounds appetizing, doesn't it?

It looks as appetizing as it sounds. We're going for flavor here,'s not a beauty contest.

Next, I topped with a blend of cheddar and monterrey jack cheese. I didn't measure, I just "eye-balled" it. You can buy Jack and Cheddar already mixed together. I happened to have a couple bags of each in my fridge, so I mixed them in a bowl.

Add about 1/2 cup of the beef mixture to each tortilla.

I rolled each burrito up, with the ends tucked in, and placed them seam side down in a baking dish. I sprinkled with some extra cheese before I popped them into a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

Here is the result:

Let's lean in for a closer look... Have mercy! It's pure burrito bliss! I'm not kidding.

Part Two: To Go

Sure, leftovers are good, but they only last a day or two. I decided to try my hand at mimicking a well-loved convenience food, the freezer burrito. To be honest, I've never eaten one. I know, what's wrong with me?! Well, if they taste like these, I might be inclined to spend the $2 plus dollars per burrito. For now, I know these are good and although I didn't add up the cost of my ingredients, I'd bet they're more cost effective too.

While my dish of dinner burritos baked, I continued to assemble burritos for individual packaging. I wrapped each burrito in waxed paper.

I wrapped them again in foil.

Then I sealed each with a label complete with cooking instructions and a little love.

I added one more safeguard against freezer burn, by placing them into a freezer bag and then I took them to our garage freezer. Perfect placement for my husband to grab one for his lunch on the way out the door to work.

I should note that if you are not feeling ambitious enough to assemble 24 (or more) burritos, you may want to cut this recipe in half.

Cheesy Beef and Bean Burritos

1/2 large onion or 1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups beef broth
1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 diced jalapeno pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can Hormel chili
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
8 cups beef, shredded
24 flour tortillas
6 cups shredded Monterrey Jack and Cheddar cheese blend
1 can refried beans

In a large skillet, saute onion and green pepper in butter until tender. Stir in
flour until blended. Gradually stir in broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir
for 2 minutes. Reduce heat; add the tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, and
seasonings. Cook for 5 minutes or until heated through. Stir in chili and cream
cheese until cheese is melted. Stir in beef.

Spread some refried beans down the center of each tortilla. Sprinkle with 2-4 tablespoons cheese. Spoon about 1/2 cupful of beef mixture over the cheese.
Fold ends and sides over filling. Place into two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking
dishes or wrap some burritos for individual servings (see below). Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake burritos at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until heated through. Serve with lettuce and sour cream.

Yield: 2 casseroles, 1 dozen burritos each or 1 casserole and a dozen individual frozen burritos.

For individual servings: Wrap each burrito in waxed paper, then aluminum foil. Freeze in a large resealable freezer bag for up to 3 months.

To reheat: Remove foil and waxed paper. Place one burrito on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with paper towel. Microwave on high for 2-1/2 to 2-3/4 minutes or until heated through, turning burrito over once. Let stand for 20 seconds.


Anonymous said...

Who doesn't love burritos? The best part: you created individually wrapped burritos. I think everyone's had the frozen ones you pictured; yours will be so much better.

Mary | Deep South Dish said...

Hot dang those look GOOOD!! You know, my goofy hubs isn't into burritos much, but I sure am!! I wish I had some of that canned beef - that looks mighty good too. Yum, now I want a burrito from breakfast LOL!

Reeni said...

Those look ooey-gooey and oh-so-yummy! Your hubby will be the envy at lunchtime when he heats up one of those!

Amy said...

YUM~!!! I am so making these, Thanks for coming up with this fabulous treat ;o)

Stacy said...

I've been doing some freezer cooking lately for when baby #2 comes in November. We made these last night and it made a TON! I thought we would end up with less burritos than 24 because my husband kept "sampling". We both LOVED them! We had them for dinner, have another freezer dinner of them, and have a lot left over that we wrapped for lunches. Thanks so much for this great recipe!!

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