You can take the girl out of California, but you can take the California out of the girl?! People are surprised when you tell them that burritos are more of an Americanized version of Mexican food than authentic Mexican. The big debate is ongoing… who invented the burrito?? Texas or California??? I don’t care who did it, I am just so happy they did!! My first real experience with California-style burritos is when my dad was hired to do jobs at Ramona’s Mexican Foods. It was, at that time, one of the biggest tortilla factories in Southern California and they made the biggest burritos I had ever set eyes on. I hope to return home one day and to be able to enjoy Ramona’s chile colorado burrito.
Yields 4-6 servings
For the Pork:
1 1/2 pounds pork butt, fat trimmed
4 chiles ancho, stems and seeds removed
1 small white onion, cut into quarters
3 garlic cloves
½ tablespoon cumin
½ tablespoon Mexican oregano
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
For the Roasted Poblano Salsa:
2 large poblano peppers
1/2 white onion
2 cloves roasted garlic
2 to 3 serrano chile
4 large tomatillos, peeled and washed
2 tablespoons cilantro, optional
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon oregano, crushed
Juice of 1 key lime
1/3 cup chicken broth
Salt to taste, to taste
For the Roasted Poblano Pico de Gallo:
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 large Poblano pepper
½ of a medium red onion, diced
1 serrano pepper, minced (optional)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 key limes
Salt and pepper to taste
You Will Also Need:
1½ cups of your favorite refried beans recipe, set aside
1 avocado, sliced
Romaine or your favorite lettuce, shredded (about 4 cups)
Lime wedges for garnish
4 (12-inch) flour tortillas
1. Preheat broiler to high for 5 minutes. On a foil lined baking sheet, add all of the the poblanos, tomatillos, white onion, 2 cloves garlic (with skin on), and serrano pepper. Drizzle lightly with oil, cook under broiler for 5 to 7 minutes, turning as needed. Remove from oven once skins have blackened and blistered on poblanos. Cover with clean kitchen towel, set aside to cool.
2. In a medium pot, combine the pork,onions and garlic, with enough water to cover, add 1 tablespoon of salt. Cook at medium heat until it comes to a boil, cover reduce heat to simmer and cook for 1½ hours or until pork becomes tender. Remove from heat and let cool in broth.
3. While the pork is cooking, transfer the chile ancho to a glass bowl, cover with water and cook in the microwave for about 6 minutes or cook for 10 minutes in boiling water. Remove from microwave, cover and set aside.
4. Once pork is tender enough and slightly cooled, remove from broth onto plate or cutting board. Using two forks or your fingers, shred the pork and set aside. Remove the blistered skins, seeds, and stems from the poblanos. Reserve one poblano for pico de gallo. Combine all of the ingredients for the poblano salsa into blender or processor and pulse to blend. If you like a smoother salsa, blend on high. Taste for salt, pour into serving dish, set aside. In another bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the pico de gallo, cover and set aside.
5. In the blender, combine the drained chile ancho, the onions and garlic cooked with the pork, 1½ cups of pork stock, cumin, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper, blend until smooth, set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil to medium heat, add the sauce from the blender and bring to a boil, add the shredded pork, stir well to combine. Lower heat, taste for salt. Cover and continue cooking for 30 to 45 minutes. If pork becomes too dry, add a little more broth.
6. To assemble burritos, heat tortillas on a comal or a griddle on medium heat for just 25 to 30 seconds on each side. Warm the poblano sauce for just a minute in the microwave. On a large plate, lay the tortilla, add about 1/3 cup of beans, ½ cup shredded pork, 2 avocado slices and a couple of tablespoons of your favorite salsa or guacamole. After folding burrito, add about 1 cup of lettuce onto plate, then burrito on top, add warmed poblano salsa and roasted poblano pico de gallo. Serve with your favorite rice recipe. They are big burritos and can be cut in half to serve 2 people per burrito.