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Cook2 hrs 30 mins
Toucan Taco, an old, hole-in-the-wall family-owned and operated restaurant in Laurel, Maryland, serves some of the best and most unique Mexican food I have ever tasted. Until I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, I had gone to Toucan Taco at least once a week for a delicious Sunken Meat Burrito. But now that I am on a low sodium diet, Toucan Taco is "off limits" to me. So I embarked on a mission to clone these sunken beauties and, after numerous “close-but-no-cigar” attempts, I did it! I have isted “regular” ingredients, but it’s incredibly easy to significantly reduce the sodium content by using reduced-sodium, low-sodium, or sodium-free beef stock, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and tortillas.
- 4 flour tortillas, at least 9-inch diameter
- dried onion flakes
- shredded colby cheese or shredded monterey jack cheese
- hot sauce (optional)
- crumbled tostados (optional)
- sour cream (optional) or guacamole (optional)
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 1⁄2 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder (or more, to taste)
- 1 -2 tablespoon recaito (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt or 1 teaspoon salt substitute
- 2 ounces onions, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried onion flakes
- 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 dash garlic powder
- 3 ounces beef stock
- 1 ounce white vinegar
GRAVY FOR SINKING
- 3 tablespoons bacon fat (or cooking oil of choice)
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 3 -4 ounces mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups beef stock
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons Kitchen Bouquet (or Marmite, or other prepared seasoning/browning sauce)
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) cancrushed tomatoes or 1 (14 1/2 ounce) cancrushed diced tomatoes, , drained
- 2 teaspoons chili powder (or more, to taste)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 dash white pepper
- 3 tablespoons prepared jalapeno relish (, or other hot pickle or pepper relish)
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- 1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (or more, to taste)
- 6 ounces cider vinegar
- 3 ounces molasses
- In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef with the flour, red pepper, chili powder, salt, minced onion, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.
- DO NOT include the cocoa powder.
- Use your hands to thoroughly mix the ingredients into the ground beef.
- Add the seasoned beef mixture and all the liquid to a crock pot.
- Sprinkle a little cocoa powder on the mixture.
- Cook on low for about 2 hours.
- Every 20 to 30 minutes, sprinkle a tiny amount of cocoa powder on the mixture, and mash with a potato masher.
- Remove meat and water to saucepan.
- Add refried beans, if desired.
- Simmer gently until water evaporates.
- ----------TheSinking Gravy---------------.
- Melt bacon fat or oil.
- Gently sauté chopped onion and mushrooms until tender.
- Set this mixture aside.
- Combine ¼ cup of the beef stock with the flour in a jar with a tight-fitting lid- shake mixture vigorously until smooth.
- Combine stock/flour mixture with remaining stock in a heavy saucepan.
- Add tomato paste and whisk until tomato paste is thoroughly mixed in.
- Bring the stock mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or so, whisking frequently, until mixture begins to thicken.
- Add all remaining ingredients as well as onion/mushroom/fat mixture.
- Simmer until heated throughout.
- Add salt, pepper and other spices to taste.
- ----PUTTINGIT ALL TOGETHER----.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place 3 to 4 ounces of beef or beef/bean mixture in the center of each tortilla.
- Sprinkle minced onion and then cheese, generously, on top of beef.
- Fold the filled tortillas into oblong burritos.
- Place each burrito, folded side down, into an 8" x 4" baking pan OR place all the burritos into a baking pan large enough to accommodate them without letting them touch one another.
- Pour gravy into baking pan until burrito is barely covered.
- Sprinkle more cheese, generously, on top of each burrito.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes OR bake 10 to 15 minutes and then broil until cheese is bubbling.
- Add hot sauce, crumbled tostados, sour cream and/or guacamole, if desired.
- Serve with a taco salad (or other salad of your choice) on the side.