Build-Your-Own Burritos, Steak Style

There is a place in my heart that is occupied by a Chipotle burrito (or a bol). It’s a large place on account of the size factor, so it’s hard to miss. In fact, I don’t know that there are many days I would turn down a Chipotle burrito if it were offered to me. The appeal of Chipotle to me is the stretchy tortilla, the fragrant lime and cilantro rice, the guacamole mounded right near the end just before wrapping…the fact that I don’t need to get chili-corn salsa. I can get the tomatillo green instead. It’s all about the choice. Those of you claiming not to like Chipotle but to like other kinds of tacos and burritos, you obviously haven’t perfected your burrito-building skills. You should practice and make your own.

Ole’s marinade and grilling contributions:

The meat is the first thing you need to consider. This method will work equally well for beef (sirloin), chicken breast or even shrimp. Around our house the steak/shrimp mix is king. This time was an all beef episode. I’ll leave it to you to make substitutions as needed.

To begin, you will need a pound or two of sirloin (or other meat – get creative – goat? catfish? SHRIMP!). In a Ziploc bag, mix a half bottle of Chipotle Tabasco sauce with a teaspoon of black pepper, kosher salt and cumin. To that, add one clove of garlic and the juice of one lemon or lime (or a mix). Shake well, add meat and allow it to soak. Overnight in the fridge is ideal, but whatever time you have is fine.

When it comes time to cook, get your grill nice and hot, we want to do this quick. Sear the outside, lock in the juices, and then pull it off when you achieve a nice medium doneness (or more if you must). I set my burners to the high side of medium and let the grill get up to 500 degrees or so. Flip every two and half minutes or so and trust your tongs to tell you when it’s time to quit.

Before you grill, you will probably want to prepare the rest of your fixins.

Shredded lettuce.

Maybe a quick pico de gallo made with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, salt, pepper and lime juice. Don’t forget the guacamole.

Rice with cilantro, lime and salt.

And warm the tortillas – it really makes them much more workable. Just spritz them with a little water and heat them in a pan or on the grill. Just keep a close eye on them, if they go too long, they’ll turn into chips.

Set up your own assembly line.

It’s like you work in a burrito joint, except you get to eat all the burritos.

Pull your meat off the grill and…

Slice into bite-sized pieces.


Assemble. I like to start with beans and cheese and top them with meat. This helps the cheese to melt between the warm layers.

Roll by folding over the top and tucking the sides. My mom’s first job was for a Mexican restaurant (Zantigo’s). She passed on her burrito-folding abilities.

All rolled up. If you’re having problems, grab a sheet of foil and wrap it up in that. It will hold your burrito together and prevent leakage.

Guacamole recipe on its way.

Build-Your-Own Steak Burrito


1-2 lbs steak
1/2 bottle Chipotle Tabasco
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
juice of 1 lemon or lime
1 clove garlic

Combine all in a zip top bag and refrigerate overnight (if possible). If you must, an hour, two hours, the afternoon will suffice.

Cilantro Lime Rice
2 cups white rice, cooked according to package directions or steamed
4 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 small lime
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Add cilantro, lime juice and kosher salt to warm rice. Mix gently, folding over to combine.

Suggested Fixings
6-8 tortillas
Cilantro Lime Rice
Chipotle Marinated Sirloin
shredded lettuce
shredded cheese
refried beans
pico de gallo
sour cream
your favorite brand salsa or hot sauce
_________: insert your favorite burrito filling

Gently mist tortillas with water and place on grill for 10-15 seconds to warm slightly. If not usin ga grill, misted tortillas can be placed in the microwave for 10-15 seconds on high.

Fill burrito with your choice of fillings and wrap. Feel free to use a piece of foil to keep your burrito together if needed.


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