14 October 2013



These burritos rendered me speechless... and that is not easy or often achieved ;-) We have a lot of black beans at home that need using up, so I googled a couple of recipes, this being one of them. It is a little elaborate and time-consuming, especially if you make your own tortillas and cook your own beans, as these will need soaking over night. I like to make things from scratch and learn about the flavours and techniques that go into a dish, but you could cut corners and use ready-made tortillas and tinned beans. I did cut one corner by using a jar of bought salsa that we had as a pre-taste for the weekend with Tortilla chips. I soaked the BLACK BEANS Thursday night and cooked them Friday night, so we had them ready to use over the weekend.


The flavours we discovered where mind-blowing. The black beans add a velvety texture and a lot of substance to the burrito, and are perfect in combination with the cinnamon-sweet and spicy beef-paprika filling. Topped with the tangy salsa, a dollop of the cold, creamy sour cream, and the fresh and lightly soapy-flavoured coriander leaves cutting through the rich flavours... and every so often a hint of roasted cumin... it was an explosion of flavours in the mouth.


With the beans so healthy and the meat and vegetables cooked rather quickly, this is a recipe we want to repeat often. There were a lot of steps and my kitchen full of stuff, so at some point I brought the camera into safety. Will try to take more pictures next time. 

Recipe adjusted from: 'Low-fat beef and bean burrito with lime yoghurt, by Tim Maddams, BBC FOOD . (There's a video of Tim Maddams making the dish in his original version.)

Makes 4 portions: 

For 4 tortillas: 
100 g all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
100 g wholewheat flour
100 ml hot water, depending on the flours used
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

For the beef: 
1/2 red onion
1 red pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
a pinch of chili powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
200g Sirloin Steak
1/2 Tbsp olive oil

For the beans: 
1 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp cumin seeds
app. 250g cooked BLACK BEANS (click for recipe) (or one 400g tin, drained)

To serve: 
Sour cream
Mild salsa
Fresh coriander leaves

Make the dough for the tortillas: 
Put the flour into a mixing bowl, add the salt and stir until well incorporated. Add the baking powder and stir under, then add the olive oil and some of the hot (not boiling) water. Mix with your fingers, and add more water as necessary to bring together to a soft dough. Remove to the work surface and knead for a minute until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover in cling film and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes. 

Meanwhile prepare the meat: 
Peel and thinly slice 1/2 red onion, wash and cut the pepper into thin strips and put both into a bowl. Add 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp smoked paprika powder, a pinch of chili powder, 1 tsp cumin seeds, and 1/2 Tbsp olive oil. Mix well. Cut the steaks into small bite-size pieces or strips, add to the bowl and stir well with the vegetable and spices so that the meat is well coated. Cover and leave to marinate for 10-15 minutes. 

Next, bake the tortillas: 
Dust the work surface with a little flour. Cut the dough into four equal size pieces, then roll out each piece into a thin circle with a rolling pin, always from the centre to the side, making sure the surface and dough are sufficiently flour-dusted for the tortillas not to get stuck. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat and cook the tortillas individually in the dry pan for 2-3 minutes. When the tortilla starts to bubble up, turn it over and cook for another 2-3 minutes until fully cooked and golden brown. Transfer immediately into a large food-grade plastic bag, then close the bag to lock the steam inside. This will help to keep the tortillas warm but also to soften them so that they can be rolled up later. Cook the remaining tortillas and keep warm. 

Then fry the beef: 
Put a frying pan on high heat. When really hot, add the beef mixture, season with salt and fry for app. 3-4 minutes, or until the beef is browned and cooked to your liking. Remove from the pan and leave to rest on a plate while cooking the beans. Keep the pan for the beans. 

Finally fry the beans: 
Peel the garlic cloves then cut them it into very thin slices. Add 1 tsp olive oil to the pan you cooked the steaks in. Add the sliced garlic and the cumin seeds and cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes until the cumin is crunchy and the garlic is slightly browned. Add the cooked BLACK BEANS and stir well. Crush the beans lightly with a wooden spoon as you heat them through. Taste and season with additional salt if necessary. Once hot, remove from the heat and set aside.

Make Burritos and serve (we took all ingredients to the table and assembled our own, which was much more fun...)
Spread some beans over each tortilla, then top with the beef. Drizzle over a little salsa and spoon over some sour cream. Add plenty of coriander leaves on top, then roll up into a Burrito: to avoid the filling from falling out during eating, first fold the far end of the tortilla over the filling a couple of centimetres. This will become the bottom of the burrito holding the ingredients inside. Then fold over the two sides to make a roll.

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