Posted by: Rachel | April 30, 2011

easy as (burrito) pie

My neighbor told me she made this and I asked for her recipe. We share food and recipes back and forth frequently in my cul-de-sac as you probably know by now, and I think this one is a winner. Here are several versions; take your pick or make up your own!

Oh and why “pie”? One friend suggested that it sounds like a sort of “Tex-Mex shepherd’s pie”. And the bean base layer does make a sort of crust… anyway “pie” it is and mmmmm!

Thing is, you could take hours or even days over this, especially if you choose to make your own re-fried beans (you know, soak beans overnight in a pot of water…). If you have the foresight and requesite planning skills, I applaud you. Me, I was hungry, so I went with a “less-than-slow-food” version this time. Prep time was about 10 minutes, only slightly longer than it took the oven to preheat.

You know I can’t leave anything alone, so here is the recipe as it came to me originally as a point of reference:

Original Burrito Bake

1 C Bisquick
1/4 C water
1 can re-fried beans
ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
chunky salsa
grated cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Brown and drain the meat and onion, set aside. Put Bisquick, water, and re-fried beans in a bowl and mix well. Pat into a 9×9 non-stick baking dish. Cover with cooked ground meat, then salsa, then cover with cheese. Bake until “bubbly”.
***

I made a few changes based on available materials and taking into consideration my dining partners’ tastes. I used a can of “vegetarian” (ie: unadulterated) re-fried beans as the other re-fried bean option included bacon and jalapenos and sounded a bit overwhelming to me. Use what you enjoy, of course.

I also added some canned sweet corn (whole kernel) and used (because I know what I like) part salsa and part fire-roasted tomatoes. And I went easy on the meat. Here is what I did:

Burrito “Pie” take two

a serving of burrito "pie"

easy as... (grin)


1 C buttermilk pancake mix
1/4 C water
1 can re-fried beans
1/2 lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 C sweet corn, drained (whole kernel)
1/2 C fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
1/2 C chunky salsa (mild)
1 C grated cheese*

Preheat oven to 350. Butter or oil a 9X9 baking dish.

Brown the meat, remove and set aside. Gently sauté the onion in the same pan (why waste that good fat?). In a medium-sized bowl, put the re-fried beans, thin them a bit with the water then add the baking mix and combine thoroughly. It will make a soft paste. Using a rubber spatula, pat this into the baking dish. Be sure to cover the entire bottom and corners – no holes!

In the now empty (why “dirty” another one?) bowl, mix the salsa, tomatoes, and sweet corn. Spread the cooked ground meat and onion mixture over the bean “crust”, then top with the corn, salsa and tomatoes mixture, and cover liberally with cheese. Bake, uncovered, until “bubbly”, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and eating.

*I used a mixture of cheddar and jack. Use what you like!
Note: There is no added salt or pepper in this version, but again, do as you like.
***

The final “pie” made nice even squares and left me a very clean pan. (Yay!) This was pronounced “like a taco without the shell” and got an enthusiastic “can we have it again tomorrow, please?” which pretty much indicates a “two-thumbs up” in my book! Left-overs keep well in the fridge, and reheat (covered tightly with foil, as not to dry out) nicely.

You can, of course, go as spicy or mild as you like, add garlic and some cumin and coriander to the onions as you sauté, add more ground beef, or you could use ground chicken or shredded roast chicken. You can easily do a vegetarian version with black beans and chopped mushrooms and sautéed chopped sweet green pepper instead of the meat. Add some green chiles if you like…

You could crumble a few tortilla chips and put them on top or just under the cheese for some crunch. Ask the kids what they’d like to add!

You could try it with soy “cheese” for a vegan version. You could sub in a gluten-free baking mix… I gotta stop – I’m getting hungry again! Basically this will serve 4 to 6 with the addition of nothing more than a green salad (and bread if you like). Oh and I think maybe a beer…

Let us know what variations you try, OK? Mmmm… and enjoy!

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Responses

  1. Out here in the wilds of New Mexico, that sounds like awfully good Tex-Mex chow.

  2. Good (she said modestly) and *easy*! Let us know if you try it… mmmm!

  3. Wild. For as often as we have tacos (oh, say, every Tuesday??) I’ve never thought to try a pie version before. I’ve got a whole bag of frozen roasted green chiles in the freezer that I’ve been dying to use in something but it would be too watery for crispy-shell tacos. Does the crust get crunchy or stay soft?

    • The “crust” stays soft. I think perhaps I should have called it the “base layer” instead. I’m thinking that for crunch sake I’ll try crumbling some tortilla chips on top of or just under the cheese next time. Mmmm… hungry *now*!


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