Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Week 5: The Ultimate Burrito

Ugh, the photos this week are just not good - a certain small child got fingerprints all over the camera lens, and I didn't realize every picture was sort of blurry and weird until it was too late.

At any rate, I have been on the search for the ultimate burrito, and I think I've created it. Actually, I've been craving a really awesome burrito for weeks, and this was the first time I got a chance to create one, and it came out just fantastic. My husband agreed, declaring it to be his favourite thing he's ever eaten. Now that's some high praise!

This involved a couple of new recipes, and some old favourites, all put together in one big wrapped up pile of awesome. The homemade flour tortilla. The long slow cooked pork shoulder. The red chile rice (the one part I'm not 100% happy with, I'm going to tweak that part the next time I make these). The burrito sauce. The salsa.

It is, as the kids would say, epic. I got every pot and pan I own dirty, plus the food processor and the stand mixer. It was a mess.

But so, so worth it.

Making your own flour tortillas takes a bit of time, but is fairly easy. The dough is 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons of lard, a pinch of salt, and about 3/4 cup of water. Knead together (I used my stand mixer) into a smooth dough, then let it rest at least a half an hour before you roll out the tortillas:

I have discovered that this very thin rolling pin is much, much easier to use than a standard rolling pin for rolling out tortillas and pitas and such things.

Seperate the dough into roughly 5 equally sized pieces, flatten each one slightly:

Roll out using short strokes, from the center out. I like to make the tortilla as thin as possible.

Fry it in a hot skillet or on a hot griddle for about 2 minutes per side. Wrap the finished tortillas in a clean tea towel - this will trap the heat/steam and keep them moist and pliable.

The major component of these burritos is the pork. I used a pork shoulder. Rub both sides with salt, pepper, and chili powder.

Cut slits in both sides and insert peeled cloves of garlic. I used six of them, because garlic rocks.

Fry up some onions until soft, then stir in a cup of salsa verde and cook for about two minutes. Dump into a crock pot. Then sear the pork on both sides until nicely browned, and add that to the crockpot. DON'T add any more liquid. Cover and put the crockpot on high for about 4 hours or low for about 8.

You know it's done when just touching it with a fork causes it to start to disintegrate! Once that happens, shred the pork and then cook for about another 30 minutes with the lid off to evaporate some of the liquid. Unfortunately, none of my photos of the finished meat is worth sharing. they don't do the flavour justice anyway. Mind blowing. Seriously. Use to fill tacos, burritos, or just toss on some rice and eat as is.

The rice for this burrito is a Rick Bayless Recipe from Mexican Kitchen. It's the one component I'm not happy with; I'll type up the recipe tomorrow and append it to this post, along with the ways I think I screwed it up (namely, using the wrong dried chiles!). The overall burrito was still amazing because frankly the other parts totally overwhelmed the flavour of the rice!

Also included are my burrito sauce (1/3 cup mayo, 2/3 cups sour cream, 2 tbsp salsa verde, and a dash of hot sauce) and some fresh salsa (diced tomato, onion, cilantro, garlic, salt). Both of these should be made ahead of time so the flavours can develop. Add some cheese, and you are ready to eat!

It's also especially good if you can wrap up the burrito and then grill it before you eat it to crisp up the tortilla a bit and meld things together.

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