Mexican Chorizo Burritos have been on my mind the last few days as Cinco de Mayo celebrations are just around the corner. The 5th of May in Mexico celebrates the unexpected defeat of the French army in the battle of Puebla in 1862. While this was not the definitive ending of the French occupation of Mexico it marked the turning point for Mexico’s liberation from French rule.
As there is sometimes confusion about the differences between tacos and burritos, a short clarification follows. Both tacos and burritos us tortillas as a base. Tacos are generally made with 6 inch corn or wheat flour tortillas as a base. The tortillas can be either soft or fried and crispy. Tacos are served flat along with various salsas to add as condiments. Soft tacos are then folded and eaten using your hands. A burrito is best described as large 10 inch soft flour tortilla filled with various ingredients that are then wrapped and rolled into an open ended cylinder and eaten beginning at the open end. The burrito is the precursor of the contemporary“ wrap” if you will. Burritos are considered Mexican street food. Burrito is the diminutive word for burro. And so the burrito was aptly coined as a donkey loaded down with an assortment of ragtag cargo.
The Aztecs were making corn tortillas as far back as 10,000 BC, once they had devised a method called nixtamalization, in which native corn was soaked in water and lime which released vital nutrients in the corn. The corn was then boiled, dried, and ground into meal that was used to make corn tortillas. Tortillas were all made with corn until the Spanish arrived in Mexico in the mid 1500’s, and introduced and cultivated wheat that was integrated into the Mexican diet via wheat flour tortillas which are used to this day as burrito wrappers.
Fast forwarding to twentieth century North America, where the fist commercially handmade tortillas were introduced in San Antonio, Texas, in 1947. Then In 1972 Villamex introduced the first machine made tortillas into the North American market and Mexican foods went mainstream.
The breakfast burrito, which includes fried chorizo and scrambled eggs, has become a favorite the world over. But the more common rustic chorizo burrito found all over Mexico that is filled with beans or rice, some Mexican cheese, and salsa is the real deal and pure perfection in my mind’s eye.
The Mexican chorizo burritto recipe that follows involves making several traditional components, but once they are prepared the burritos are easily assembled. Just think of the preperations as honing your Mexican cooking skills that you will be using again and again!
Mexican Chorizo Burritos makes 6
Homemade Mexican chorizo For recipe (click here)
Follow the instructions for preparing the chorizo mixture and marinate it for at least 24 hours before you intend to use it.
Divide the chorizo mixture into 12 2 oz/57g portions. Shape each portion into small torpedo shaped sausages and place them on a parchment lined baking tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Any leftover chorizo mixture can be frozen for later use.
Preheat the oven to 375f/190c
Brush the Chorizo with olive oil and transfer the tray to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Assembling the burritos:
- 6 large flour tortillas, wrapped in a kitchen towel and warmed in the oven or microwave
- soft cooked beans, or refried beans, warmed For recipe (click here)
- For refried beans recipe (lick here)
- Mexican cotija cheese (or mild Feta), crumbled
- 12 small warm cooked chorizos (2 per burritto), cut in half lengthwise
- sprigs of fresh cilantro leaves
- fire roasted tomato salsa For recipe (click here)
Have all the components assembled before you begin making the burritos.
Place a warmed large flour tortilla on a large flat plate or cutting board.
Spread a generous amount of warm cook beans or refried beans over inner surface of the tortilla, leaving about an inch around the edge of the tortilla as it is.
Place 4 halves (from 2 sausages) on top of the beans in the center of the tortilla from top to bottom.
Scatter the crumbled cheese over the surface as pictured.
Spoon salsa around the center and topping the chorizo. Top with fresh cilantro sprigs to your liking.
Fold about ¾ of an inch of the bottom edge of the tortilla towards the top as pictured. Then fold the left side of the tortilla over the filling, gently tucking the inner edge of the tortilla under the filling as pictured.
Then gently roll the filled burrito until it meets the right side of the tortilla. Spread a small amount of beans near the edge to act as a “glue” before closing the burrito.
Serve promptly while still warm with additional salsa on the table.
If you prefer making the burritos ahead of time, omit the salsa and the cilantro sprigs. Place the burritos on a backing tray and tent the tray with foil and secure the edges tightly. Place the tray in the preheated 300f/150c oven for about 20 minutes. Serve right from the oven with salsa and cilantro sprigs placed on the table.