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- Prep time:
- 30 min, plus 30 mins resting time
- Cook time:
- 10 min, plus 3 hrs boiling time
For a taste of Mexico at home, try Thomasina Miers’ steak burritos with home-made tortillas, re-fried beans and salsa
MethodFor the beans
1. Rinse the beans in cold water, drain, place in a large pan and cover with 10cm water. Add the garlic cloves, thyme, half the bay leaves, epazote and onions and cook for 2-3 hours until beans are just soft. Skim foam from the top and add boiling water as needed.
2. When the beans are just soft, add salt and cook for a further 15- 20 minutes. Strain through a sieve.
3. Blend the beans with a stick blender, adding just enough of the reserved cooking liquid to get a smooth, thick purée.
4. Heat the fat in a heavy-set pan and when it is gently foaming, add the finely chopped onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onions are soft. Add the chopped garlic, chilli de arbol, coriander and the remaining bay leaves, cooking for a further few minutes.
5. Add the puréed beans to the onion mixture and cook for another 10 minutes, turning down the heat to very low after a few minutes and stirring constantly.
6. Add a little more of the black bean cooking liquid so you get a smooth puree that falls off the spoon.
7. Taste and season again.
For the tortillas
8. Put the flour in a large bowl and rub in the lard with your fingertips until it is fully incorporated. Add a teaspoon of salt.
9. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add some warm water, stir with a fork and keep adding water gradually until you get a soft dough that is not sticky to the touch.
10. Knead for about five minutes on a floured board and then transfer to a clean bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
For the steak
11. If the skirt steak is cut into thick slices, butterfly it into thin steaks by cutting it down the middle with a sharp knife.
12. Bash the peppercorns, oregano and garlic together with some salt. Add the orange and lime juice. Sprinkle over the steaks and leave to rest for half an hour.
For the tortillas
13. When the dough is smooth and elastic, divide it into balls about the size of a large walnut. Keep the balls covered with a damp dishcloth while you roll out each tortilla, using either a tortilla press, with each side lined with a plastic half of a shopping bag, or better still a floured board and rolling pin. Press out or roll each ball into a thin tortilla.
14. Place a frying pan over a medium-high heat and brush it with olive oil.
15. Griddle the tortillas on each side until they are puffed up and golden in patches. Keep them warm by wrapping them in a cloth in a basket, or placing them in a warm oven (about 100C).
16. Heat up a griddle or heavy-set frying pan until smoking hot and add a touch of lard or oil.
17. Pat the steak dry with some kitchen paper, season with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Sear for a minute or two on each side.
18. Leave to stand for a minute on a chopping board while you sear the spring onions. They should be soft and slightly charred.
19. Chop up the steak into bite-sized pieces across the grain.
20. Fill the tortillas with the steak, beans, salsa and the spring onions. Add the mashed avocado, a dollop of soured cream and the cheese.
For more Mexican-inspired recipes, see our Central American favourites
For the re-fried beans
- 600 g cooked black beans, with cooking liquid reserved
- 250 g dried black beans
- 4 garlic cloves, bashed with a rolling pin
- few sprigs thyme
- 1 handfuls bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp anise seeds, or fresh epazote (optional)
- 1 onion, cut into quarters
- 50 g lard, or butter or olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 chilli de arbol, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 tbsp coriander roots, or stalks, chopped
For the flour tortillas
For the steak
- 2-3 skirt steak, lightly pounded
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- few pinches dried oregano
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 orange, juiced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 4 spring onions, sliced into thirds
- olive oil, for frying
- roast chipotle salsa, see Cook's Tip for recipe
- 1 avocado, mashed with 1 lime, juiced
- soured cream
- mature cheddar cheese, grated
Tips and suggestions
- Thomasina Miers' roast chipotle salsa recipe
makes a smoky side to this recipe.