Fast green chili with carne picada

Everybody likes fast meals, if they are tasty.  This one might be a bit different than is commonly found on the Gulf Coast though, as it takes on a lot of Southwestern influence along the way.

It starts with the popular and convenient carne picada.  For those who are not familiar with it, it’s thinly sliced strips of meat commonly found in the meat coolers.  While it’s not top-of-the-line steak, it does work very well with a number of dishes, and this is one of those.  This comes together with cans and frozen vegetables to make a fast stew or filling for green chili burritos.

I happen to love green chili burritos that are stuffed with the thickened green chili and meat mixture, then covered with red enchilada sauce.  For speedy preparation while staying homemade as much as possible, this recipe uses a mixture of canned green enchilada sauce with homemade red enchilada sauce, sparing me from roasting chilies, preparing tomatillos, and slow cooking for an hour or more.

Green Chili (for burrito filling)

  • 3 tbsp plus 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. frozen fajita mix (peppers and onions)
  • 1 1/2 c. (roughly 1 lb.) carne picada (beef strips)
  • 1 lg. can green enchilada sauce
  • 2 cans chopped green chilies
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. instant beef stock (the paste kind)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano, crumbled (preferably Mexican oregano)

In large, heavy skillet, heat 2 tbsp. oil.  Add meat and fajita mix, cook, while stirring often until vegetables are tender.  Remove from skillet.

Heat 3 tbsp. vegetable oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add flour, stirring and cooking to make a roux.  Cook roux just until it is golden brown.  Add enchilada sauce all at once and whisk to create a smooth, thick sauce.  Reduce heat to low, and stir in instant beef stock, cumin and oregano.  Add meat mixture back into sauce.  Cook over low heat for 15-30 minutes, stirring often, until meat is tender.  Taste & adjust salt, if necessary.

Red Chili Enchilada Sauce

  • 1/4 c. red chili powder (without salt)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. instant beef stock (the paste kind)
  • 1 1/2 c. water

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Stir in flour, cumin, oregano, and chili powder.  Stirring constantly, cook for 1-2 minutes, ensuring that everything is a smooth paste.  Add water, whisking constantly to make a smooth sauce.  Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 3-4 minutes, continuing to whisk often.  Remove from heat.  Taste & adjust salt, if necessary.  Keep warm until served.

To assemble burritos: Spoon mixture into center of tortillas, folding ends towards the middle over the filling.  Starting on one side, fold and roll tortilla around filling to make a neat package.  Place burrito on plate and ladle enchilada sauce over burrito to cover entirely.  Sprinkle with finely shredded cheese.

To duplicate restaurant experience: accompany burrito with about 1 c. finely shredded lettuce, topped with about 2-3 tbsp. of diced tomato.  Top lettuce with 1 heaping spoon full of sour cream and about the same amount of prepared guacamole or sliced avocado.  Serve salsa on the side.  Refried beans and Spanish rice may also accompany burritos.

About giascott

Writer, blogger, cook, grandmother, mother, wife, radio personality, outdoor enthusiast, dog enthusiast, crafter, artist, and part-time nut~~I've earned a lot of t-shirts in my day! I'm one of those crazy independent women who can cut down a tree, build you a shed, sew you a dress, cook your dinner, make some soap, pitch a tent, build a fire, catch some fish, dig in the garden, chase a kid or two, write you a poem, paint you a picture, and a dozen other things...just don't ask me to sing! I'm also embarking on a relatively new portion of my life, one of being disabled. I'm learning some lessons along the way about a lot of things too.
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