Room for Seconds

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Illustration for article titled Cheeseburgrito (Im... so sorry)

Late night TV is kinda slim pickin's quality-wise, so a few nights ago I found myself watching some Rob Dyrdek dreck where they started talking about further Americanizing tacos by making cheeseburger and pizza tacos. Normally I'd write that off as a dumbass idea and move on, but cheeseburgers are my weakness and we happened to have a bunch of flour tortillas we needed to use, so I went to work on making it a slightly less terrible idea.


Quick note about the tortillas, I would have made them from scratch but that's one of the few things I've tried a bunch of times and failed at every time. I found uncooked ones at the store and got them, so depending on whether you get those or the ones you just have to re-heat, you might be able to skip the first step.


1/2 pound of ground beef
2 strips of bacon
2-3 flour tortillas (how many depends on how big you make each one)
2 regular size or one big clove of garlic, finely chopped
seasonings to taste (I use salt, pepper, and Kroger brand "zesty" seasoning mix)
a glug or six of your favorite whiskey
your usual burger condiments (I use ketchup and mayo)
shredded lettuce (I take one thin slice off a head of iceberg lettuce, then chop it up a bit more)
your choice of hot sauce (I like Cholula for these)
your choice of cheese (I mixed pretty much every cheese we had in the house except blue, so I ended up with a blend of cheddar, 'Murrkan, mozzarella, parmesan, and queso fresco)
3 toothpicks



If you got the uncooked flour tortillas (or you made your own dough and have the rounds all rolled out), put the first one in a dry pan and turn the heat up to high. When medium-sized bubbles start to form, turn the heat down to medium and flip the tortilla. Use a spatula to puncture the bubbles and flatten the tortilla back out so that the other side will cook more evenly. It's done when the whole thing is dry and there are golden-brown spots where the bubbles were forming. Repeat this with the other tortillas and set them aside on a plate, and once they're all done cover the plate in aluminum foil to keep them warm.


Cook the bacon in the same pan over medium heat until they're slightly browned but not burned, cooked enough that once you dab all the grease off the finished pieces it'll be crispy and easy to break up into small pieces. When they're done, put them on a plate with a layer of paper towel under and over the pieces, and press the paper towel down so that all the residual grease comes off. Turn off the pan and let it cool for a few minutes.

While it's cooling, prep the cheese. I knew I wanted mine pretty cheesy but the large number of different cheeses meant I wouldn't need a huge amount of each. The main thing is to make pieces as small as possible so that it all blends well and you won't have pockets where one particular type dominates the mix. I did short strokes on a box grater for the mozzarella and cheddar, broke 2 pieces of 'Merkin cheez into about 32 pieces each, and broke the queso fresco up by hand into chunks as small as I could. Combine the whole thing with your hands until you have a pretty homogeneous mix.


When the cheese is ready, put the garlic in the pan with the leftover bacon grease and cook over medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, stirring fairly frequently. Break up the ground beef into the pan, the smaller the better (although raw meat is a lot harder to break up than browned meat, so do what you can but remember you're gonna do the final breaking up later with the spatula) and season it. I don't really measure my seasoning, I just sprinkle it over the pan until I have a light dusting of each over all the meat. Pour in a few glugs of whiskey and however much hot sauce you like (I went for pretty low heat, where it was a flavor component but nobody in their right mind would actually have trouble with it), and mix everything together so the whiskey and bacon fat get to all the meat and the garlic and seasoning is evenly distributed.

Turn the heat back up to medium and brown the meat, stirring it and breaking the meat up with the spatula every minute or two. While the meat is browning, prep the tortillas, lettuce, and bacon. For the bacon, divide each strip down the middle length-wise, stack them, then tear them into 1/4-inch bits. I put a 2-inch swath of mayo down the middle of the tortilla and a couple rows of ketchup over that. Put the shredded lettuce on top of that, and set it aside until the meat is ready. Once the meat is all browned stir in the cooked bacon bits, and move the meat over to one side of the pan. Tilt the pan so the liquid goes to the now empty side of the pan, and spoon out all but about a tablespoon or two, saving the liquid in a bowl rather than discarding it so you can add some back later depending on how everything looks. Move the meat back so that it covers the whole pan, stirring so that the liquid gets evenly distributed, and add some back in a teaspoon or 2 at a time if it looks too dry. Once you have it to your satisfaction, pour the cheese into the pan, turn the heat down to medium-low, stir the cheese so it gets evenly distributed, and cover the pan so the cheese can melt.


Once that's done, spoon however much meat/cheese mix you want on top of the lettuce, leaving about 1/2-inch on one end bare. Fold the bare end over the meat, pressing down on the parts where the meat isn't so that it's flat against the other side of the tortilla. Holding it down, fold one side of the tortilla over the meat, then repeat with the other side, and put a toothpick about 1/3 of the way down the tortilla. Put another toothpick halfway between the first one and the other end of the burrito so it's it's held together evenly. Take the third toothpick and put it horizontally through the end that's folded up, making sure to thread it in and out of the end flap at least once to hold it in place. As you make your way through eating the whole thing, move the vertical toothpicks so that they hold the whole thing shut evenly but you still have enough room to get a good enough-sized bite out of it without stabbing yourself in the mouth. The best way to make sure you're not gonna get a surprise facehole injury is to pick up the burrito and put the toothpick all the way through, holding the tortilla up near where the toothpick's gonna go through so the pressure doesn't mess up the fold you have going at the top. If you start eating at the open end and keep moving the toothpicks as you go, you shouldn't have much, if any, of the filling fall out.


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