I keep thinking life will calm down a little bit and I’ll have more time to cook more elaborate meals. But that doesn’t seem to be happening. How could it, with kids in the picture?! Thankfully, I have enough dishes in my repertoire that taste great but don’t take a ton of time, that I manage to put a good meal on the table ALMOST every night. The night I came up with this dish was definitely a proud moment. I got ooo’s and ahhh’s when I took it out of the oven and raves as the family ate it eagerly. There were enough leftovers for a couple of lunches too and it tasted even better then.
Make-Ahead Pork Green Chili Burritos
Serves 6-8 depending on whether they are cut in half or not
6-7 large flour tortillas
1-1 1/2 pounds cubed pork*
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can beans of your choice, drained (I used black beans)
1 large jar 505 brand Green Chile (any brand or variety would do but I liked their All Natural one)
1/2 pound shredded cheese of choice (I used a Mexican blend but you can use whatever you prefer)
Shredded lettuce, diced red onion, avocados or guacamole, sour cream or plain yogurt, cilantro, diced tomatoes – all of these things add a fresh element, some crunch and additional nutrition.
1. Cook the meat and onion. If you have a pressure cooker, this is the time to use it. Brown the cubed pork in some oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker, add the onion after the meat has started to brown. Add enough water (plus a chicken bouillon cube if you want for additional flavoring) to cover the meat. Then use the pressure cooker function and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain off the liquid and throw in the garlic. If you DON’T have a pressure cooker, dice the pork into smaller pieces and brown it in a skillet low and slow, adding the onion and then garlic, in that order. Because it’s diced, the garlic can burn easily so it shouldn’t go in until you are almost ready to take everything off the heat.
2. Add the beans to the meat mixture.
3. Spray the bottom and sides of a long baking dish with non-stick spray.
4. Place a tortilla at one end of the baking dish and add some of the meat/bean filling. Roll it up snuggly, keeping it in the baking dish, placing it seam side down. Repeat the process, continuing to assemble the burritos in the baking dish until you can’t fit anymore. For the average baking dish, 6-7 fit. Don’t squeeze them in too much or it will be too difficult to get them out.
5. Pour the green chile over the top making sure every bit of tortilla is covered so that it all stays moist. Then sprinkle cheese over the top, evenly.
6. Spray non-stick spray to a large piece of aluminum foil and cover the dish very loosely, leaving some space between the cheese and the foil if possible. NOTE: If you are making this ahead, go ahead and snugly cover the baking dish and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. Remove the foil for the last five minutes.
7. Bake for approximately 30 minutes (if it has not been refrigerated) at 350 degrees to heat everything through and melt the cheese. If you have refrigerated the dish, figure another 20 or so minutes more.
8. Just like the first piece of cake or pie, the first burrito out of the pan is a tricky thing to manage. If it comes out looking a little mangled, quickly cover that one with all the garnishes and no one will ever know the difference!
9. Garnish as you like and enjoy!
*Helpful hint about the pork – Sometimes you can get pork already diced but a handy trick I use is to buy a large pork loin at my local big-box store. The price-per-pound is usually very good and the meat is lean. From one long one, which is usually about a foot and a half long, I cut off a big chunk to be a roast, six slices for pork chops and then the rest, I cut into cubes. That will be three different meals from one pork loin! Good deal.