We are all surely familiar with the cute and often repeated fragment of a folk tale about a man named Juan Mendes. During the Mexican Revolution, he sold tacos at a street stand in the Bela Vista neighborhood of Ciudad Juarez in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, a city bordering El Paso, Texas.
At that time, the merchant Mendez carried the food on his donkey Burrito. For the food to be soft, fresh, and warm, the Mexicans wrapped large tortillas made of homemade flour in a small tablecloth that the donkey Burrito carried on his back in wicker baskets. "Little donkey food" became popular, and "burrito" was adopted as the name for these large tacos. The origin of the burrito is unknown.
The forerunner of this dish takes us back to the time of a thousand and a half years ago, during the Mayan civilization. Their ancestors then would wrap the food with sauces filled with chili peppers, avocado, zucchini, tomatoes, and mushrooms in corn flour tortillas.
The Pueblo peoples of the American West prepared something very similar, they made tortillas that they would fill with beans and meat sauces - similar to a modern burrito, but it was more like tacos. That's how Juan Mendes, because of the "little donkey," was remembered as the creator of this phenomenal dish, now known to everyone as "burrito." The burrito is a traditional food of Ciudad Juárez and can be ordered in a restaurant or bought from roadside street stalls.
What is a REAL Mexican burrito?
A real Mexican burrito is small and thin. Their tortilla is made from wheat flour filled with only one or two fillings. The fillings include meat, fish, potatoes, rice, beans, and chili. The Barbacoa burrito is an authentic Mexican dish made from a tortilla filled with chopped beef, goat, or lamb enriched with dry, hot spices.
If the filling is chopped blanched steak, we are talking about a "deshebrada burrito," which has a variation with chili colorado (a sauce that is classified as mild to moderately hot on the Scoville hot pepper scale) and with salsa verde (categorized as very hot). The Mexican burrito can have variations - Tacos de Canasta is a traditional northern variation for main meals.
In the Mexican state of Sonora, the most popular is the "burro percherón" stuffed with grilled meat, avocado, and Mexican cheese. The right burrito is like an old wine – it's hard to come by, but it satisfies all the senses.
Now that we are familiar with the history of this dish, for all those who may not have a good place to eat a burrito nearby and for those who are good in the kitchen, we have put together a guide to the perfect burrito that can be made in the warmth of your home.
Recipe for homemade burritos
This dish boils down to a tortilla and a filling. As with everything, a little imagination and a wicked bit of experience are enough. It would also be good to have a deep pan or something similar to a wok with the necessary ingredients, such as seasoned rice, dried beans, meat, and various sauces, which are some of the essential elements that will make the magic of the taste of the burrito.
Tortilla - make or buy
Tortillas for burritos should be made of wheat flour. If you have enough time and energy, knead the flour and fat dough to make your tortillas. Make the dough thin enough to roll easily but thick enough, so it doesn't fall apart. Unless you're a professional cook, it will probably take a few tries until the tortilla looks the way you want it.
If the weather is not on your side, you won't go wrong buying ready-made tortillas in a nearby store, which you will fry in vegetable fat on high heat until they turn brown and warm.
Season the rice
That may be why it's attractive. It's optional, but we recommend refining your rice. Here are some ways you can do it. While cooking the rice, add flavor to the rice.
Cilantro-lime (chopped cilantro leaves and stems) with a little lemon juice is a classic option. You can also add some salt to some traditional Mexican rice. Some people like to cook rice in chicken broth instead of plain water or to add various spices, usually bay leaf and a little cumin in combination with other spices. It's all a matter of taste.
Prepare the beans
Like the rice, the beans you use in the burrito can be adjusted to your taste. A healthy option is black beans, but the classic burrito comes with regular or refried pinto beans. For maximum freshness, use dried beans instead of canned beans.
Buy some dried beans at the market or health food store and soak them or put them on the stove. Cook the beans in a pot or instant pot, and add six cups of your favorite broth and salt. In the absence of broth, the substitute would be garlic or onion. Add the flavors to the beans, as you added to the soft rice.
Add meat or vegetables
We'll leave the choice to you whether you want a meat or vegetable burrito. In our experience, a good veggie burrito is just a meat burrito without the meat.
U Meksiku postoje četiri glavne vrste mesa koje se obično koriste, i koji god izabrali sigurno će biti ukusan burito:
- Carne asada - Steak
- Pollo asada - Chicken
- Al pastor - Pork
- Carnitas - Slow-braised pork
We recommend experimenting with each, but chicken is probably the easiest to make of the four. For maximum taste, use the fattiest part of the chicken - the leg. Some safe seasonings include salt and lime. Remember, chicken is only as good as the seasonings used, so play around until you find what you like. If desired, cut into noodles, cubes, or slices and fry in a hot pan with a few drops of oil; it can be ready in 15 minutes.
Prepare your avocado or salsa
Your burrito will be complete with guacamole or avocado, as well as a salsa for those who want a hot mustache. Guacamole can add a little more flavor. Add jalapeno pepper (very hot) if you want some heat and salt to taste. Avocado, of course, is just guacamole without lemon juice and spices, which has yet to turn into the structure of guacamole.
Salsa is an integral part of any burrito, and it's important to get it right. For a traditional burrito, you'll want to go with the classic pico de gallo. The freshness of its taste defines pizza. Extremely easy to make and adds an instant taste of freshness to your burrito. Simply dice Roma tomatoes, onions, and jalapeno peppers and mix with lime juice and salt. Try to use fresh ingredients instead of frozen or vacuum-packed ones. Of course, you can add tartar sauce, chili mayonnaise, or Mexican dressing to taste.
Sprinkle with cheese
Add a classic Mexican cheese combination to your burrito while the ingredients remain warm. The melted cheese will hold all the ingredients together and complete the top note of taste.
Wrap Your Burrito
This is the hardest process for non-professional burrito makers. It takes time, and we're not sure what the trick is. Is it years of practice? Is "everything in the wrist"? Whatever it is, the good news is that burritos are good even when they fall apart.
Set the correct proportions when filling your burrito to avoid ending up with a bowl full of broken burritos. We suggest that about ¼ cup of rice and 1/3 cup of beans would be enough to fill the tortilla so that it can be eaten and keep everything in proportion so that you can add other sauces and ingredients as desired without the burrito falling apart. Because the more the burrito is filled, the less wrapping is possible.
A trick from our master's recipe - wrap the burrito in foil
Even if you eat at home and don't take your new burrito with you, wrap it in foil. This will ensure as much as possible that everything stays where it is and doesn't fall apart while you eat it and keeps it warm for longer. Thank us later, and enjoy!