North of the Border Burritos
with Chile Rellenos

I lived on this quick burrito recipe and a handful of other dishes for years when I was a poor student and struggling young professional. Its dirt cheap and very filling. I've improved it with some easy but very good side dishes, notably the chile rellenos.


  • 1 lb Ground Beef or (preferably) Venison (makes 2 to 4 servings)
  • 10 oz Can of Ro-Tel Extra Hot Diced Chilies and Tomatoes (or Ro-Tel Habaneros and Tomatoes)
  • Mesquite Smoke Flavoring
  • Large Sweet Yellow Onion
  • 15 oz Can of Refried Beans
  • Diced Green Chilies or Other Peppers
  • Cumin
  • Hot Sauce
  • Pace Hot Picante Sauce (or other good brand) or Ranchero sauce
  • Rice
  • 10 oz Can of Ro-Tel "Mexican Fiesta" Diced Chilies and Tomatoes
    with cilantro and lime juice
  • Fresh, Soft Wheat Flour Tortillas
  • Asiago, Monterey Jack or Other Cheese
  • Poblano peppers (1 per serving)
  • Golden raisins
  • Slivered almonds
  • The Method:

    Fry the diced onion in a deep skillet with a liberal splash of the mesquite smoke flavoring. When the onion is done to your liking (I like them golden and translucent) add the ground beef or venison. If you intend to decant the liquid released from the frying meat, for the love of all that's good please set aside the fried onions and fry the meat alone. Don't waste all that flavor.

    If you want something really good, its very easy to make some chile rellenos at the same time. Pre-heat the oven to 400 while you are browning the meat. Then, cut out the stem and insides of some poblano peppers. Don't use bell peppers! They are much too strongly flavored and yet not nearly as well flavored as poblanos. Set aside a small quantity of browned ground meat for the filling of the poblanos. Mix this meat with an equal quantity of shredded cheese, then add some golden raisins and slivered almonds. Spoon this mixture into the poblano peppers through the hole left by the stem. Bake on 400 to 450 F until the peppers are darkened and tender and the cheese inside is melted.

    Back to the burrito making... Add the green chilies, Ro-Tel diced chilies and tomatoes and the refried beans. Season with cumin and hot sauce to taste. The cumin imparts a traditional and distinct flavor. Please use a decent brand of hot sauce and preferably one with chipotles, habaneros or some other quality pepper. For the love of Santo Incendio, patron saint of peppers!

    Let simmer for 30 minutes or so on low heat until all the juiciness is gone and it becomes a thick paste. While that is going, boil water to make rice, but add the can of Ro-tel Mexican Fiesta chillies and tomatoes to the water (do not drain!). When it comes to a boil, add the rice, cover and let cook on low heat for 12 to 15 minutes. You may want to stir quickly after 6 to 8 minutes because the tomatoes and chilies settle to the top.

    Ladle the burrito mixture into warm tortillas, top with cheese and salsa, roll and devour! Serve with the Mexican rice and some real beer, like Negro Modelo or Dos Equis.

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