Monday, June 08, 2009

Naked Salsa Verde Pork Burritos

You know a recipe is going to be fun when it has "naked" in the title! For our dinner tonight, we left the tortillas behind so we could prepare these Naked Salsa Verde Pork Burritos!

Instead of using that starchy wrapping, the pork filling is rested upon a version of Mexican rice, which is a little more involved than cooking your rice simply in broth or water. We took the fragrant grains of basmati rice and heated them first in a slick of canola oil until they were lightly toasted. A pureed mixture of plum tomatoes, onion and garlic are then poured into the rice and left, giving the sauce a chance to cook briefly. Enough vegetable broth (or water if you wish) is then poured in to finish cooking the rice through.

Now that the rice was taking care of itself, we moved on to the filling by smashing lean ground pork in a hot skillet to crumble and cook the meat through. To mimic the rice, chopped onion and more garlic are tossed in to soften, along with a few pinches of cumin and oregano to season. Pinto beans are added to the mix, bulking up the filling with protein and fiber, with salsa verde thrown in to add moisture and a tangy zing. Just before this was ready, we tossed in a bit of chopped cilantro to freshen up the filling with a bright note.

When the rice looked like most of the of the liquid had been absorbed, we took the pot off the heat and left it alone for about 5 minutes - this gives the rice a chance to settle down a bit before plunging a fork in to fluff and loosen the individual grains. After spooning the now tinted rice on the plates and adding a healthy portion of the meaty filling in the center, we dropped a simple dollop of mashed avocado, laced with fresh lime juice and a single green onion, for a cooling condiment on top.

While I'm sure this would have been just fine wrapped up in a tortilla, leaving it out of the picture and serving it as a layered dish added to its composed attractiveness and let what would have been a hidden filling be the stars of the show. I've never prepared rice in this fashion and I can see why those extra steps are worth doing to infuse those subtle flavors right each grain. If you don't care for the version with green salsa we used, don't let me stop you from using your favorite red - you may want to add some green chiles for a little pep though.


  1. Mm! What a great idea - wrapped foods can be quite messy and this eliminates that problem. Looks delicious.

  2. What a great idea! Looks super flavoful. I usually end up eating the bottom half of burritos with a fork and avoiding the tortilla because it fills me up too much.

  3. Hi Joe,

    If you have a rice maker you can cook the rice and then add salsa heated in the microwave and let sit on the warm setting till you are redy to use it. I do this a lot saves me time and effort and there are so many salsas avaiable the taste can be different each time.

    Love what you've done here. I'm trying to figure out how to make this while accomidating my GERD.

    I love this Blog - keep it going forever.


  4. What a great meal for the week. It's quick to make and looks delicious Joe. :)

  5. Sasha - Messy foods can be fun though!

    Kerstin - Thanks!

    Karen - I hope you are coping well! I know exactly what you mean.

    Helene - Fun twist for sure!

  6. This was FANTASTIC. I was a little nervous because when I got home I realized the salsa verde I'd bought was very high on the 'Hot' scale... but I went ahead and made it all as written, and we loved it all. The pork mixture was just great. Thanks a bunch!

  7. Leigh Ann - Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you gave this recipe a try!