Blended mushroom beef burrito

Food is always better when it is wrapped in other foods. Stuffing in turkeys, rice in vine leaves and beef in a tortilla. The first burrito I ever had was from a street-side food truck found in a border town of Arizona, USA and Mexico.

I was 13 and hadn’t ever eaten a tortilla, let alone a burrito. The operator asked me some frank questions about my personal tastes and prepared me a simple beef and bean burrito.

I don’t like cheese, I don’t like sour cream, they are abomination in my eyes. What I do love is baked beans, mushrooms and spice. I’ve had this recipe in my mind for ages, but until a couple of weeks ago, I never got the chance to prepare this meal.

The opportunity to cook for my family doesn’t come up very often, we live in different parts of the country; so I wanted to make them something special. I decided as we were spending a week in Sedona, AZ, I’d prepare something with a touch of the South and voila, my Blended Mushroom Beef Burrito has come to life.

The ingredients are simple. You can find all of these things at your local grocery store. The spices I used this time around were spice packs, similar to what you’d find in a taco kit, but I double up on them. I didn’t want to spend $30 in spices to prepare one meal.

Meal cost: $26
Servings: 10 burritos

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of white mushrooms
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 5 green onions
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1.5 pounds of lean ground beef (you can substitute for any ground meat)
  • 3 ounces of italian herb dressing
  • 1 cup of water (to help blend, use as needed)
  • 2 taco kit spice packs, one hot, one mild (if you aren’t traveling and have access to your kitchen, try using the following: 1 cup of chili powder, 1 tablespoon of cumin, 2 tablespoons of garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of onion salt, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper and add cayenne pepper to taste)
  • Salsa of your choice
  • 1 package of 10 flour tortilla wraps (American style = large)
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Cheese of your choice (optional)

Kitchen equipment required:

  • Decent knife
  • Colander
  • Can opener
  • Large cake or roasting pan
  • Blender
  • Measuring cup (or just eyeball everything)
  • Cookie sheet
  • Spatula and or tongs
  • Large spoon

 

Click the photo above to see a slideshow of the steps.

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Wash your mushrooms, vegetables and beans. Unpack your mushrooms, onions and pepper and give them a good wash in the colander. Once they’re clean, put them aside on your cutting board. With your colander now empty, put it in your sink, open the can of beans and empty its contents into the colander; rinse your beans thoroughly.
  3. Chop up your mushrooms, onions and pepper. They don’t have to be too fine because your blender is going to do most of the work for you.
  4. Take your beans, spices, italian herb dressing and chopped veggies/mushrooms and throw them in your blender. Depending on your blender, you may need to add some water to get the machine working properly. You don’t necessarily need the salad dressing, but it didn’t detract the richness of the burrito.
  5. Blend the mixture until it is smooth and frothy.
  6. Pour the contents of blender into your roasting pan. You want something with a lid and wide base. Think of this roasting pan as a giant skillet.
  7. Add your meat, mix it around by any means necessary. If you decide to get as involved with this recipe as I clearly did by using your hands to mix, remember to wash them first. If you can’t get the smell off later, try using a lemon and scrub your hands with it.
  8. Put the lid on your pan and get your fixings in the oven. Check on the mixture in 30 minutes.
  9. After 30 minutes your meat will have really started to cook. This is a a great time to pull the pan out and give its contents a mix.
  10. Turn your oven up to 400 degrees, remove the pan’s lid and cook for another 30 minutes. After that, check on the mixture again, depending on how much water you used to blend the materials you may still have quite a bit of excess liquid. If that’s the case, spoon some of it off and cook for another 30 minutes or as needed at 400 degrees.
  11. With your beef, bean, mushroom mixture cooked, pull it out of the oven. You can either take the filling and roll it now, or chill it and roll it when it’s cool. I find that when you roll burritos when they are hot you get a soggier tortilla. Also the hot mixture can make rolling the burrito either dangerous or uncomfortable.
  12. Chill your filling for an hour. When it is chilled, grab a plate and a tortilla wrap. If you’ve never done this before it can be tricky. Place two large spoon-fulls of the mix in the center of the tortilla wrap, but lengthwise. You want the pile to be about 6 inches long and 2.5 inches wide. Fold the edges of the tortilla over the ends of the filling pile. Roll the edge of the tortilla that is closest to you over to the other side and all of the way around. Then roll the tortilla until the other edge is all encompassed.
  13. Repeat nine more times, you’ll get the hand of it by the second or third one.
  14. Place all of your burritos on a cookie sheet and add cheese as you prefer.
  15. Bake the burritos in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. The burritos will be crispier and easier to eat with a knife and fork this way.
  16. Once they’re baked, you can add more fresh cheese, sour cream or salsa s you prefer it.
  17. Enjoy with friends and family!

Burritos are portable, freeze well and can be made in enormous quantity without much more work. You don’t have to blend the mushrooms and beans, but believe me, the result was worth the extra work.

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