Jul 15, 2014

Batch Making Burrito Basics

A friend, her teenage daughter, and I knocked out 60 burritos in about an hour this morning.  Well, we assembled 60 burritos in an hour.  Much of the work was done in advance in bite sized pieces. My friend and I each went home with 30 burritos - or 6 meals for my family!

These burritos are perfect for when your family is on the go (i.e. need to be on the baseball field at dinner time?)  Or if you are crazy busy and just want an easy, quick, nutritious dinner option.

Because I use this blog as a personal cooking notebook of sorts, I thought it would be helpful to record the portions in this space.

60 large burrito shells
3 large roasts (about 16-17 pounds, total), shredded
16 cups cheese, shredded
4 cups (dry) brown rice, soaked and cooked in broth
2 pounds dry pinto beans, soaked and cooked with ham bone
2 pounds dry black beans, soaked and cooked
5 pounds onions, sliced and roasted at 425*
10 bell peppers, various colors, sliced and roasted

More Cooking Details
The roasts were cooked in a crock pot on low overnight with a rub made of 2 parts chili powder, 1 part of (each) sea salt, cumin, garlic powder.  Onion powder would have been good, too but I didn't have any.  You could add a can of tomatoes but we didn't.  Save the broth and use it for a Mexican inspired soup.

After the pinto beans were cooked, I poured off most of the water and used my immersion blender to make them like refried beans.  You could also do this with a potato masher - or leave them as beans.  I like the texture of pinto beans in my burritos.  Any kind will do.  I seasoned them with salt, spicy paprika, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder.  If I had more jalapenos growing in my garden, I would have chopped them up and added them.

One pound of dry beans is equivalent to 5-6 cans.  You could save time by buying cans - be sure to drain and rinse canned beans.  I figure if I'm going to make such crazy amounts of food, it is easy enough to cook dry beans.  Beans can be cooked in a crock pot; it's not that much trouble.

As for roasting the onions and peppers, the reason is to remove some water before freezing.  Doing this step not only enhances flavor but also keeps the burritos from being too soggy after they are thawed.  You can omit them all together if your crew does not prefer them.  Also, caramelizing onions is a super-yumma-lish option but takes a bit more time.

All ingredients were approximately divided among three very large bowls.  We used one crockpot as a bowl since it was already dirty full of shredded meat.  Mix everything together and taste.  Ours needed more salt; otherwise the spices were right.

We have a tutorial here on how to roll and package burritos.

To Heat
Place frozen foil wrapped burrito in a crockpot and turn to high for about 3-4 hours.  If you can, turn mid way through cooking.  If they are thawed, it will take less time.

If you like the tortilla texture crispy like a chimichanga, heat in the oven.  Unwrap (thawed) burrito, slather in butter & bake on a cookie sheet at 375* till golden. About 15-20 minutes.  I use the foil as a barrier on the cookie sheet for easy clean up.

Serve with sour cream and sauerkraut or other ferment of choice.   My favorite ferment pairing is radish relish, followed by sauerkraut and banana peppers or jalapeños.

Other links:
Stewed Chicken for Burritos
Carnitas (Pork) for Burritos

Anyone else batch-making these days?  Are these kind of posts helpful or I should I just write this down in a kitchen notebook?


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