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How to Grill the Ungrillable: Beef Burritos

Burrito Fixins

There are many things that are naturals for the grill: Steaks, ribs, chops, hamburgers, chicken and more. You can toast your hamburger buns on the grate too. Some veggies and fruits go great when scorched too: Onions, pineapple, corn and peppers come to mind. Others may not be readily apparent, but they work: Sliced zucchini, squash, portabella mushrooms, asparagus, endive, radicchio, avocados, fennel, you name it. If you can slice it or skewer it, you can try it on the grill. (I’ve not attempted mango myself.)

Mexican food has many dishes that are grilled specialties. Carne Asada is one I met first as a kid. Fajitas came along later. I found Pollo Dorado only recently, and it’s good, very good.

But burritos? How do you grill those, exactly?

I’ve got an answer for you. You don’t. Oh, you can try, but somehow it’s a bit too messy. There IS a way out of this little problem, though. Grill the meat, and maybe some of the vegetables, and THEN make your burritos.

To do this, though, you’ll have to consider one of several approaches, based on the type of meat you intend to use. Does the meat need to cook a while to become tender? Then you should set the grill for fairly low heat, maybe indirect as well. Put the meat in a covered metal dish with some liquid, such as a mixture of red wine and some bouillon, and braise slowly. Or maybe your cut of meat doesn’t need that much cooking to be tender; dry heat, and plenty of it, is the answer. Fajita beef or skirt steak will work, but if you’re worried about it being tough, use a tenderizing marinade overnight; just like you would for fajitas, in fact.

Then grill, assemble and bake.

See how easy that is? Aren’t you glad you came here to learn that? Besides it being the usual inspired genius that you’ve come to expect from the Elves here at the Chile Underground, it’s just good sense. But you knew that already, right?

Enjoy the (Tex-Mex Tube Steak) Heat!

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