Friday, September 6, 2013

Chorizo Burritos with Black Bean Sauce

The original recipe from Rick Bayless is for enfrijoladas, which looking back, I kind of should have done verbatim since I've never had them before. With his enfrijoladas, you just dip tortillas in the black bean sauce, fold them up and serve the chorizo, salsa, onions and whatnot on top of them. I decided to put the chorizo inside the tortillas for this and I think it worked out well. You could also adapt this for use as a plate of enchiladas very easily. Whatever you're in the mood for.

By the way, this is a vegetarian recipe. Actually, it's vegan (depending on your tortillas). I'm watching my cholesterol and as a result have been eating a lot less meat recently. Feel free to use regular chorizo if you are so inclined but I didn't miss the meat at all.

Chorizo Burritos with Black Bean Sauce
(adapted from Rick Bayless, here)

8 oz dried black beans
4 cups of vegetable stock or water
2 bay leaves
1 whole star anise
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
12 oz Soyrizo (or regular chorizo if you're eating meat)
4 medium (10") flour tortillas
A few of thin white onion slices
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped cilantro


Start by cooking your black beans. Since they are dry it's going to take a little while to cook them but we want the nice color that the dry beans give the sauce. The canned version just can't imitate this richness.

Weigh out 8 oz of beans.

Grab 4 cups of stock or water or whatever you have on hand. I had some leftover homemade vegetable stock. Very nice.

Add the stock to the beans in a medium sauce pan.

Add 2 bay leaves and a star anise pod. If you have avocado leaves, use a small handful of them instead.

Cover and bring to a boil over medium/high heat.

Once you are at a boil, give it a stir and drop the heat to a simmer.

You'll notice the aroma of the bay leaves and star anise at this point. I thought it smelled amazing. It reminded me of sausage simmering on the stove.

Lid it up and cook for 2 hours or until they are soft.


When your beans are about 15 minutes from being done, start the filling.

Dice an onion and mince 4 cloves of garlic.

Toss the onion and garlic into a pan with 1 tablespoon of oil.

Ready your "meat".

I cooked the onion for about 5 minutes because I wanted some texture in the burritos. I just tossed the chorizo on the inside to fry a bit.

Once it gets some color, toss everything together and cook until it tightens up a bit, maybe 5 minutes tops, over medium heat. 

When your filling looks good, kill the heat and let it cool a bit.


When your beans are ready, strain them and save the liquid.

Discard the bay leaves and star anise pod. 

Throw the beans back in the pot. We'll eat these separately or most likely just let the kids eat them.

I had about 2 cups of liquid left.

Add ¾ cup of the cooked beans and 2 cups of the cooking liquid to a blender.

Blend for 2 full minutes.

Pour the blended beans into a sauce pan and put over medium/high heat for a boil.

You can doctor up your beans a bit if you'd like.

I normally add a little fat (of your choice) some leftover taco seasoning and about 1/2 a cup of vegetable stock and let them simmer for a bit. You can smash them a little to get them creamier.

But I digress.

Back to the sauce.

Once the sauce comes to a boil, drop the heat to a simmer until it thickens up (uncovered). It'll take 30 minutes at the least. 


I'm using 4 tortillas, so I like to portion out my filling before I use it.

Fill your torts with 1/4 of the filling mixture.

I had some leftover salsa that I used along with some of the black beans, but this wasn't necessary. It's just fine with just the chorizo/onion/garlic mixture but you can add what you feel like!

I rolled them up and placed in a greased 2 quart baking dish.

It fits 4 burritos perfectly.

Your beans are done with they are nice and creamy.

Your sauce is done when it's nice and thick.

Season with salt. I started with about 1/4 teaspoon but taste as you go.

If it gets too thick on you, dilute with some water. I had to. It'll still taste great.

Bake the burritos at 400F for about 15 minutes or until they are just getting crisp around the edges.

Prep your garnish of cilantro and sliced onions.

When your burritos are done, pull from the oven and stand by.

I plated each one individually.

Pour your sauce over top.

Garnish with cilantro and onions and dig in.


These burritos were surprisingly delicious. The sauce was outstanding and complimented the filling really well. It was smooth and rich and flavorful - almost like a black bean soup. You could taste the essence of the anise and bay leaf, which I thought was really good. The soyrizo was very satisfying and the flavor was complex with just the right level of heat. I also really liked the crispness of the tortillas as they held up to the sauce a bit better than if they were uncooked which added a nice textural element. 

Overall this was a fairly simple meal to put together and yielded great results. Next time I think I will try the more traditional enfrijoladas plating just to see the difference.

Give this a try if you're sick of your old burritos or enchiladas!



I actually just made these last night and stayed with the tradition of the enfrijoladas as the original recipe was written and man, it was great.

Here's a pic of what it looked like:

I just dipped the flour tortillas (though corn is more traditional) straight in the sauce and folded them over and spooned some of the black bean sauce over top.

Then I topped the whole thing with this fantastic Roasted Tomatillo Salsa from Rick Bayless (which you can actually buy at the store under his Frontera label), chorizo, queso fresco, sliced onions and some parsley (as that's how it's done in Oaxaca, apparently - no cilantro).

I have to admit, I actually enjoyed the traditional way very much but making this as a burrito was still very good. All the flavors are there, it's just texturally much different like this.

Either way, give it a try!

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