Shredded Beef Chimichangas

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Shredded Beef Chimichangas

Mexican food was never a regular part of my life until Ben also became a regular.  See, my family’s choice restaurant and food was Italian as I was growing up.  I can’t even remember one time when my parents took us out to have Mexican.

Enter Ben…whose family adores Mexican food and would often go out to enjoy it together as a treat.  As we were dating and during our first few years of marriage, there were numerous times we dined out with his family at a Mexican restaurant, much to my disappointment.  What did I order?  I typically stuck with quesadillas or something as Americanized as possible.  🙂

Incidentally, in the past couple of years and after continuous visits to more authentic Mexican restaurants, I decided to give in, branch out, and try some new dishes.  To my surprise, I actually now like Mexican.  It still isn’t my first choice when choosing what I want to eat (who prefers a side order of beans and rice over fries?), but I’m not thoroughly opposed to it anymore.

Now that we live in the Southwest, I feel a bit obligated to enhance my cooking skills in Mexican food.  Additionally, Pennies on a Platter has made it to the next round of Project Food Blog (thank you for your votes!) and the next challenge is to make a dish from another culture, that I’m not as familiar with.  So, this is my challenge post.

In order to stay true to my Pennies on a Platter theme, I was opposed to picking a dish that would force me to buy a bunch of ingredients with the likelihood of Ben and I not even enjoying the meal.  That would definitely be a waste of money!  So, I asked Ben for his favorite Mexican dish and he came up with Chimichangas.  My response?  “What the heck is that?”

After some research, I learned that Chimichangas are merely fried burritos.  I chose a Mexican flavored shredded beef recipe that I’ve never made before to use as the filling, along with some Monterey Jack cheese.  After rolling these ingredients into the tortilla, the burritos are quickly fried on all sides then served with your choice of toppings, including salsa, sour cream, lettuce, guacamole, etc.

What did Ben think?  He said they were the best Chimichangas he’s ever had!  Wow!  I really enjoyed them, as well.  I loved the crispy tortilla wrapped around the deliciously flavored beef (this shredded beef recipe is definitely a keeper!)  I’m so glad I branched out from my comfort zone and made such an easy dish that I know we’ll continue to enjoy, when I thought it would be so challenging!  It proves that I need to dive into new recipes more often.  🙂

You need to make the meat ahead of time, as it is prepared in a slow cooker for 6- 8 hours.  I had it cooking during the night.  It was a late night preparing the meat, as I was also prepping some pumpkin waffle batter to enjoy with friends the next morning.  Imagine what my kitchen looked like late at night as I was preparing both of these recipes at the same time.  Well, you don’t have to imagine…just take a look:

Messy Kitchen

Voting for this challenge starts tomorrow, September 27 at 6AM Pacific Time and ends September 30 at 6 PM Pacific Time.  Thanks, again, for your votes!  Hope you can make this recipe and enjoy it as much as we did!

Shredded Beef Chimichangas

Printable Recipe

Yield: 6 chimichangas

4 – 6 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 lb boneless chuck roast
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup beef stock (or broth)
1 Tbs tomato paste
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (original calls for 1, but next time I’m using 2)
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced (original calls for 3, but I love garlic)
flour tortillas
choice of toppings – lettuce, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, etc.

To make the shredded beef:

Combine the spices in a small bowl.  Rub into the beef, covering all the nooks and crannies and each side evenly.

In a large skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil until shimmering.  Sear the meat on each side, using tongs to flip it.  Remove and place in the bottom of a large slow cooker.

With the skillet remaining over the heat, deglaze with the beef stock and scrape up any brown bits.  Whisk in the tomato paste and chipotle peppers.  Once sauce comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes until slightly thickened and reduced.

Meanwhile, add the onion and garlic to the top of the beef in the slow cooker.  Carefully pour the sauce over top.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Once the meat is fork tender, remove and shred with two forks.   Pour a portion of the sauce, including the onions, over top of the meat and let soak to enhance flavor.

To make the Chimichangas:

Heat 3-4 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until shimmering.

While waiting for the oil to heat up, warm the tortillas in the microwave for 10 – 20 seconds.  Fill with a few tablespoons of shredded beef and about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.  Roll the tortilla into a burrito shape.

Once the oil is heated, place the burritos (2-3 at a time) into the skillet and brown on each side until golden.  Start with the seam side down first.

Place on paper towel lined plate to drain any excess oil.  Serve with desired toppings.

Source:  Shredded Beef adapted from Gimme Some Oven and My Kitchen Addiction. Chimichanga recipe inspired from Real Mom Kitchen.

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  1. I need to make more Mexican dishes myself. Steve grew up in Greeley Colorado so he’s part Mexican by default and would eat Mexican dishes everyday if he could. He LOVES green chili.

  2. You are Wonderbread

  3. It’s been a LONG time since we’ve had chimis! I’ll be trying this recipe for sure, and it’s fun to see you becoming a Mexican connoisseur!

  4. Kev and I became Mexican food fans after we moved to Colorado in our early years, and trying authentic dishes was so much out of my “comfort zone”. What has drawn me into enjoying it from the start is that Mexican food is so colorful and flavorful. I call it “happy” food, fit for any party.

  5. This looks so good. I need to make more Mexican dishes myself. Great post!

  6. This is how we make “tacos” in our house… wrapped in flour tortillas and cooked in the skillet…. it makes all the difference! Soooo good.

    • Can i have your recipe for your tacos?

      • Hi Debra,
        I do not have a recipe for tacos, as I actually never make them! Weird, I know! It is something I would like to start making, though, so I’m going to start experimenting and get a good beef taco seasoning down. You’ll see it here on the blog once I figure it out! 🙂

  7. I love chimichangas and your pictures look awesome! This is the only dish I eat when we go to Mexican restaurants. You got my vote. Good luck with this round.

  8. Your photo caught my eye, so I had to check out your entry. Glad I did…I am very happily voting for you – I like your story, photos, and the recipe. Great job!

  9. I just kind of want to say that I’m in love with your penny person. It’s hilarious and adorable all at once. I’m digging the chimi’s as well, of course.

  10. Your chimichangas look excellent, I may have to use your recipe in the near future.

    You’ve got our vote, good luck moving on!

    Lick My Spoon

  11. Your chimichangas look delicious! One of my favorites. Good luck in this round!

  12. These look delicious. I recently made baked burritos, and I’d be eager to see a photo tutorial on how you “roll” the tortillas so perfectly and neatly.

    Thanks for sharing!

  13. I love chimichangas and have made this recipe with both beef and chicken and both have turned out really well. My whole family loves these and I will be making them more often!

  14. What size tortilla did you use? I’m throwing together some freezer meals for when our newest addition arrives in a few weeks. I was going to use your shredded beef recipe mixed with some mexi rice and cheese as a filling, but was thinking of maybe using the smaller tortillas instead of the big ones that we usually buy. My beef roast is also bigger so I know that coupled with the rice and cheese will stretch the filling further than just doing meat.

  15. This looks so good! I am trying it today, meat is already in the slow cooker. Took your advice and used more garlic and an extra pepper..thanks so much for sharing!

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