The combination of beef, refried beans and cheese. Is there anyone that doesn’t love it? Probably as many people as there are that don’t like chocolate.
If you do like the Tex Mex trio, reading a description that says, “…combines the delicious flavor of tacos with the heartiness of burritos,” probably makes you smile. It did me. And it earned this recipe a tab in the magazine.
The other good thing about this is that it’s kid-friendly. There isn’t as much heat as many Tex Mex recipes feel the need to add, so those with tender taste buds will enjoy this too.
It all begins with the roux, which is a quarter cup butter and a quarter cup flour whisked together until smooth. Then water is gradually added and whisked until all combined. Bring it to a boil and whisk until things thicken. Which didn’t happen for me. I added another two tablespoons of flour mixed with a bit of water before I got what a sauce that wasn’t totally watery.
After that point, I added a lot of chili powder and garlic salt. Don’t worry, chili powder doesn’t really have as much heat as many think it does. Three tablespoons is fine. Trust me. Seriously.
While the sauce simmers, brown the beef, pork sausage and onion in a large skillet. After draining off grease, add refried beans and mix to heat. That’s it and you’re ready to put the tacoritos together.
A layer of sauce goes on the bottom. The recipe called for a quarter cup, but it took a half cup to get even a thin layer over the whole 9×13 pan.
More sauce is spread on a tortilla, then the meat/beans mixture is plopped in a line down the middle. Add some cheese, roll up and place seam side down in the pan. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.
At this point, I was asked to pour the rest of the sauce over the tortillas. I had used about a half cup of the sauce so far and had three and a half cups sitting in the sauce pan. That was a lot of sauce and my gut told me that I’d ruin the whole dish if I used it all; so I didn’t. There’s a difference between following directions to the letter and ruining a family meal.
I poured about a cup’s worth of sauce over the tortillas, enough so they were well covered, and a good amount was in the bottom of the pan. Then I sprinkled the remaining cheese on them and put the dish in the oven.
My decision not to use all the sauce was the proper one (thank goodness). There was still a good amount of sauce in the dish after we portioned out the tacoritos, which we were able to spoon on the if we wanted. As you can see, we did opt to add sour cream as well.
As promised, this was mild enough for youngsters. Dudette said she loved it and asked for seconds. Hubby also had two servings, which means it was at least acceptable to him (remember, with his sinus problems, tasting food isn’t happening much at the moment). I liked this as well, but found it to be a bit bland.
The recipe is a good launching point for a lot of adaptation. Cumin is the first spice that comes to mind. Adding salsa to the insides does too. Even mixing a packet of taco seasoning to the meat mixture would be fantastic.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups water
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 pound ground beef
1 pound bulk pork sausage
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup refried beans
8 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Optional toppings: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced ripe olives and sour cream
In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add water. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in chili powder and garlic salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the beef, sausage and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in refried beans; heat through.
Spread 1/4 cup sauce in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Spread 1 tablespoon sauce over each tortilla; place 2/3 cup meat mixture down the center of each. Top each with 1/4 cup cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in prepared dish. Pour remaining sauce over the top; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Serve with optional toppings if desired.