Monday, August 1, 2011

Pork Chop Burritos - Yes, you read that right!

Pork Chop Burritos with Black Bean Puree

Given we're moving very soon and most of my pantry will be in storage for a couple of years (sigh), I am starting to get pretty creative with the meals around here.  Otherwise known as, I am not buying a bunch of groceries so you'll eat what I make...dammit!  There are no complaints, mind you, but it feels strange to feed someone you love with...whatever is left in the cupboard.

So today, instead of our typical ground turkey burritos, I made pork chop burritos.  That's couldn't even call these puppies "carnitas" burritos.  It was literally pork chops cut up in tiny pieces and stuffed in a burrito.  Of course, that's not giving the meal NEAR the credit it deserves.  It was a pretty good amount of work (well, it was for me and I am definitely no Rachel Ray).  If you take some extra time with the pork chops, you really can make them tender enough to put in burritos.

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (I didn't have one on hand so I substituted 1 TBSP Cayenne and 1/2 TBSP Chili Powder)
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
4 boneless pork chops
2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups chopped onions
1.5 carrots, chopped
2 TBSP chopped garlic
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp of ground red pepper
1 can chopped canned tomatoes
1/2 can 8oz tomato sauce
2 cups low-fat chicken broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (or pinto if you prefer)
1 pkg (20-oz size) burrito-size flour tortillas
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (Or cheddar or Mexican blend.  I used non-fat..shocking!)
1 cup shredded lettuce (optional)

Rub half the cumin and half the salt on both sides of the pork chops. Heat a medium size Dutch oven (or skillet) over medium-high heat and add the oil. Brown the pork chops in the oil for about 2 minutes per side. Remove chops from pan/Dutch Oven and transfer to a cutting board. Cut the meat into 1/2-inch pieces, discarding any fat, and place pieces in a bowl. Set aside.  (You might want to try 1/4 inch pieces but if you do, I can offer no guarantees on how tender the pork will turn out)

Reduce the heat of the Dutch oven to medium and add the jalapeno, onions, carrot, garlic, cinnamon, red pepper and the remaining salt and cumin. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onion becomes slightly translucent.  Add canned tomatoes and tomato sauce and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, black beans, and cut-up pork. Bring mixture to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Prepare rice per directions on box.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the bean mixture without any pork to a food processor or blender and puree (return any pieces of pork to the pan).   When pork is close to being done, bring pureed been mixture to a slight simmer over medium low heat (until cooked through).

Spoon some rice down the center of one tortilla. Spoon some bean mixture on top of rice.  Add burrito mix and sprinkle with some of cheese.  Wrap up burrito and secure with toothpicks.  Spoon a tad of bean sauce and a tad more cheese on top of burrito (optional).  Heat in oven until cheese is just melted.

Use remaining bean sauce or salsa for condiments.

Braising is so important with recipes like this

Like I said, you might want to chop your pork into 1/4 inch pieces but you'll likely lose some tenderness.

It doesn't look like much but after pureed and heated, it was yum!

Leave the burritos open-faced if you want to add lettuce later

Leave these in the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt.  Watch out for scorched toothpicks!
 Hindsight is 20/20:  
  • Don't forget the bean sauce.  It will be kind of a pain to strain out the pork but it's worth it in the end.  The puree is yummy and you'll need to remove some of the beans and juice from the Dutch Oven or you'll have to much liquid to make non-messy burritos.  (NOTE: There will still be some extra liquid even if you take out the 1.5 cups of juice/beans but that's ok.  Just use a slated spoon when you're building your burrito.)

  • I'd have made this spicier...but that's just me. :) 

  •  It's possible cutting the pork chops into smaller bites would make the meat a little chewy but you might want to go for 1/4 inch pieces because they'll fit better in the burrito.  Z said it was a little strange that the pork was in chunks but that it tasted good.

I modified the below recipe to make this meal.  You didn't think I'd be brave enough to be the first to try pork chop burritos, did you?  Anyway, props to the original author.  This was a pretty good meal.


sherry said...

well, I, for one, will definitely miss the recipes and you of course!!! I actually took pictures of my chicken dinner last night in preparation! too bad I don't have a blog, huh? Or maybe not!

Kristal said...

If it has that many picture's too involved for me! LOL!

drollgirl said...

i haven't had a pork chop (in any format) in forever! suddenly it sounds good!

i hate beans, so i'll take mine without!

LindseyD said...

Kris: It wasn't that hard, I swear. And btw, it's nice to see your name instead of anonymous!

Drollgirl: It was pretty tasty but I'm sure you could make some adjustments to have it be sans beans.