Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Beef Chimichangas

Beef and bean chimichangas

As I said last week, I’m in a Mexican mood.  So it was a no-brainer when it came time to figure out what to do with this beef roast I found in the clearance section a couple weeks ago—beef chimichangas!!

Final price:  $2.09/lb.  Slightly over my spending limit,
but beef roast wasn't under $2/lb. in my area at all
this winter.

About a year-and-a-half ago, Kimiko posted a recipe for oven-fried chicken chimichangas, which are easier and healthier than my beef ones.  But Cinco de Mayo is on Saturday, so I splurged and went authentic by frying mine.

Of course, in Near to Nothing style, I did bump up the nutrition and lower the cost by filling them with half fat-free refried beans and half beef.  That means I got twice as many chimichangas out of one roast!

To save prep time right before dinner, you can fill and roll the chimichangas ahead of time.  Take them out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you are ready to fry them.  You could also choose to oven fry these according to Kimiko’s directions.

The meat can be made ahead of time too.  I made my meat in the slow cooker one day, shredded it, and refrigerated it until I was ready to use it the next day.  Just microwave it enough to loosen it up so it is easy to work with.  And this meat can be used in just about any Mexican dish—burritos, tacos, enchiladas…

Beef Chimichanga Filling
2-3 lb. beef roast
4 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. oregano
1½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cumin
Few dashes pepper
1½ Tbsp. vinegar
½ c. water

Place roast in slow cooker, fattiest side up.  Crush garlic over top.

My apologies for the fluorescent lighting pics.

Add chili powder, oregano, salt, cumin, pepper, and vinegar.  Pour water over, washing some of the spices down the sides of the roast.

Cook on low 10 hours.  Brush spices off top and remove any fat.  Shred meat.

Beef Chimichangas
Vegetable oil for frying
Flour tortillas
Beef chimichanga filling
Garnishes (optional):  shredded cheese, sour cream or yogurt, avocado or guacamole, hot sauce, shredded lettuce

Fill skillet with about ½ inch oil.  Heat over medium-high heat.  Meanwhile, warm tortillas to make them pliable.  On each tortilla, place spoonful each of beans and meat about 1/3 of the way from the bottom.  

Fold sides over filling, then fold up bottom, and roll closed.  

(Kind of reminds me of making baby burritos.)  Secure with a toothpick.

To test oil, toss in a small piece of tortilla.  If it sizzles immediately, the oil is ready.  Fry chimichangas 2 or 3 at a time—avoid overcrowding the pan.  Once first side browns, turn and fry other side.  Drain on rack, paper towels, or paper bag.

Remove toothpicks once they are cool enough to handle.  Serve with garnishes.

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