Smothered Burritos

This recipe is home cooking at its best. The sauce is homemade, rather than using pre-made elements such as beef gravy and a can of enchilada sauce. When I was developing the recipe I tried a shortcut by making my own gravy, but using canned enchilada sauce. When I tasted it, my mouth went into convulsions at the flavor and I threw the “easy” sauce away. Homemade is definitely the way to go.

Burritos are generally served without a sauce or gravy. As you can see, these burritos are covered with a spicy gravy. This style of burrito goes by several different names—smothered burrito, wet burrito and enchilada-style burrito.

Smothered Burritos

illed with seasoned ground beef, rice and beans, then topped with a spicy sauce and lots of cheese, these burritos will leave you full and satisfied.

Spice Blend
  • 3 ½ tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Meat
  • 1 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, medium diced
  • 3 cloves garlic. minced
  • 3 tablespoons Spice Blend, recipe included
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups unsalted beef stock
For the Spicy Gravy
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups unsalted beef stock
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 ½ tablespoons Spice Blend. recipe included
Additional Ingredients for the Burritos
  • 1 15 ounce black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups prepared Cilantro Lime Rice, see notes, Mexican rice (see notes), or plain, cooked white rice
  • 6 large 10-inch burrito-style tortillas
  • 12 ounces Colby-jack cheese, grated
For the Spice Blend:
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Set aside.
For the ground beef:
  1. Use a deep frying pan with a lid to cook the ground beef. Heat frying pan over medium heat; cook together the ground beef, onion and garlic, breaking up the ground beef well. When ground beef is no longer pink, remove pan from burner and drain grease.
  2. Return pan with meat mixture to the burner. Sprinkle with Spice Blend; stir well. Whisk together the tomato paste and beef stock. Pour it over the meat mixture.
  3. Bring meat mixture to a simmer then cover pan, leaving lid slightly askew to allow steam to escape. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, but the meat mixture is still moist. If meat mixture becomes too dry, add a little water or additional stock. While meat is cooking, make the spicy gravy.
For the spicy gravy:
  1. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Make a roux by sprinkling the melted butter with flour and whisking together until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, just until the roux begins to turn a light golden brown and smells nutty.
  2. While whisking briskly, slowly add the beef stock to the roux. Be careful because of the steam and sputtering when the stock is added. Add the tomato sauce and whisk together. Add the Spice Blend. Whisk well. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until gravy has thickened to the consistency of tomato sauce. If it gets too thick, add a little water to thin the sauce.
For the assembly of the burritos:
  1. Heat oven to 350F. Lightly butter a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Place one end of a kitchen towel on a dinner plate. Place the tortillas on the towel and cover with the remaining portion of the towel. Warm the tortillas in the microwave for 1 minute at 50% power. Check tortillas for warmth and pliability. Repeat process in microwave if necessary. An additional method of warming the tortillas is to warm them one at a time in a hot skillet. Just heat one side of the tortilla until softened and then turn it over to warm and soften the other side. Keep warmed tortillas between a folded over kitchen towel.
  3. Working with one tortilla at a time, lay a tortilla on a flat surface such as a cutting board or a clean counter top. Spoon approximately ¼ cup meat mixture, ¼ cup prepared rice and 3 tablespoons black beans a little off center across the tortilla. Fold in tortilla sides, wrap one end snugly over filling and roll up in remaining tortilla, tucking in sides as needed. Place burrito in baking dish. Repeat process with remaining tortillas.
  4. Ladle spicy gravy over the burritos. Note: You may not need all of the gravy. Extra gravy can be passed at the table. Sprinkle grated cheese over burritos. Place in oven and bake until cheese has melted, about 20 minutes. Serve as desired.

Recipe Notes
  • Suggested toppings: guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream and chopped lettuce.
  • Links on That's Some Good Cookin': Cilantro Lime Rice, Easy Mexican Rice
  • Recipe by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’

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