Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Burrito Pie

This is one of the meals I've cooked the most for the family. Always a crowd pleaser and you can experiment with different aspects of the dish to your liking. Different meats, cheeses, salsas and tortillas make this really customizable. 

It's a really simple meal to throw together, but you can take more time being super anal. I've done it both ways and it turns out well either way. I'm showing the OCD way just as a means of comparison.

There's almost no prep for this meal. Chopping an onion and some garlic and gathering some spices. So it's actually an easy family do-together meal if your kids are old enough or care.

If you haven't noticed, I've had decidedly less Mexican/Latin meals recently as my wife has been going through a phase of her pregnancy where Mexican food makes her ill. Well, it looks like that phase is giving way, and she is starting to be able to eat it again, so we went with this tonight.

Burrito Pie (from here)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water or broth
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
4 (10-inch) flour tortillas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa
8 ounces Cheddar or Monterey Jack, grated


We begin with the filling. 

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.

Toss in the onion, give it some salt and pepper and let cook for 5 minutes. 

Chop up some garlic and toss it in. I used 5 cloves because we love garlic. Saute for 1 minute.

Add the ground beef. You can get really creative here. Pork would be nice. I've used turkey many times with great results. This time I used some extra ground sirloin. 

Add the spices and cook until the meat is done.

Add the black beans, corn and broth. Again, you can use water, chicken, beef, veggie or even beer. If you use turkey or pork, I recommend using beef broth.

Bring this to a boil and let it cook for around 20 minutes. You want all the liquid to reduce out.

While the filling cooks, prep your pan and tortillas. Here again, you can use any kind of tortilla you want. I've used whole wheat, "carb smart", 8" and 10". You could even use flavored torts. Whatever.

If you want to be perfect, trace out the inside of the pan on the tortillas with a knife to get a perfect circle on 3 of the tortillas. Leave the 4th uncut for the bottom. 

I've not cut these at all and it works fine, so there's the perfection question you can ask yourself.

When your meat is done, kill the heat and pat the mixture down in the pan.

Lube up your pan with butter so it doesn't stick. I've used spray oil and it doesn't work as well. Use butter.

Place the uncut tortilla in the bottom of the pan.

Yet another customization. The salsa. You can use any kind you like, but I have had really good luck using this Newman's Own Black Bean & Corn salsa. I can only find it at Vons, here in San Diego. It's really awesome in this recipe. 

Ok, let's build the pie.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Start with 2 tablespoons of sour cream on the bottom tortilla.

Spread it out and add 1/4 cup of the salsa.

Spread it out.

Cut a quarter of the filling out of the pan and add it to the pie.

Spread it out and add a quarter of the cheese. "Mexican cheese" blend, Jack, Cheddar, whatever. 

Add another tortilla and repeat.

After the last layer is finished, pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes.

When it's finished, pop off the spring form pan and serve like pie.

So, feel free to experiment with the ingredients. You can have a different version of this almost every time you make it, and that's nice.


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