I have nothing against meat at all, but these bean burritos are so good that you will not miss the meat. If you do, I will add two types of meat recipes that go well with most meats.
This is a nontraditional recipe in that it is all about exploring the mix of flavors involved. There are no flavor packets here, just good old herbs, spices, and a little seasoning.
Let’s break down the flavor profile of burrito beans (or meat)…
A burrito tastes ‘Mexican’ and this flavor can be derived from dried and ground red poblano peppers (chili powder) and ground cumin. The cumin adds a lot of ‘stink’ and leans more towards taco seasoning so add a smaller amount of this than the chili powder. If your burrito filling his not burrito enough, add more of a mix of these two. If it tastes more like a taco than a burrito, add more chili now and less cumin in the future.
A burrito has a ‘base’ flavor. I get this with a mix of onion, garlic, and oregano. These flavors become a backdrop for the other flavors, so it is important to avoid loading up on these herbs and spices. You will know if your burrito needs more body if the flavor is pretty weak overall. I usually mix the onion and garlic about equally with about a quarter amount of oregano. If anything I bump the onion up a notch on this one. Too much garlic with jump out at you too much.
A burrito is also spicy and has heat. I get this heat from a mix of black, red, and white pepper. You could also play with a mix of jalepeno, habanero, ghost, or other more punishing peppers. My clan enjoys the less spicy version, though I enjoy some good heat. Red pepper (cayenne) is very hot up front,but tends to fade off without actually ending for a while. Black pepper will come on slower and not peak so high, but it will tend to linger a bit longer than with red pepper. White pepper is quite similar to black pepper. I also use white pepper in my cheese sauces because it does not leave black flecks in a light colored sauce. White pepper comes on slower and does not peak as spicy as black pepper.
That covers the ‘red’ (rojo) version, but what about the green (Verde) version? Anaheim Chile’s work well here and are available in many stores year round. If you want to save some time and energy, get yourself some canned green chilies, though canned peppers tend to lack certain earthy flavor I love… They tend to taste weak from a can.
Begin by melting a part of butter in a frying pan and adding diced onions. Cook this until just before the onions are clear (slightly see thru) and add your diced Chile’s. After a minute or two, add about 3-4 cloves of garlic (crushed) and saute about 1 minute longer.
Add your diced, ground, or other meat to the mix and cook until browned.
As with any burrito, add rice, corn, black beans, olives, cheese, lettuce, onion, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, mole (raisin paste), or more.
This burrito recipe can be tweaked any way you like it, and now you understand the flavor profiles that will form your perfect burrito recipe after some experimentation.
This recipe avoids the typical chemicals involved in “taco packets”, involving large quantities of off-flavored salts, such as MSG or mono or do glycerides. You will notices a distinct lack of weird after tastes right away, and your recipe cold very we’ll taste better each time you make the recipe!
Here is a ‘standard’ recipe that is full bodied and distinctly ‘Mexican’, without much heat.
Rojo frijoles (red beans) version
1 can of refried pinto beans (or cooked, mashed pinto beans)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp oregano
1 tbsp chili pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
Dash of cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 Tsp white pepper
Verde Asada (Green meat) version
3 anaheim Chile’s (diced) (or 1 can)
3 cloves garlic
Pat of butter
1 lb meat
These are easy to make and my 14 year old son has been whipping this up for years (asking me how every time). Now, you can always find the recipe and my secrets behind this dish to use as you wish.