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A Lighter Carne Asada Burrito Recipe

You don't have to overstuff a tortilla in order to make the perfect burrito.
A Lighter Carne Asada Burrito RecipeMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The modern burrito is a tortilla swollen to the size of Chuck Norris’s bicep, stuffed to the point of bursting with meat, cheese, and condiments. It’s delicious stuff, but capable of packing up to 1,500 calories a pop. Our version of the carne asada burrito, modestly scaled down, concentrates on the most important parts of the burrito: guac, black beans, and, above all, juicy chunks of marinated skirt steak.

Nutrition: 420 calories, 20 g fat (6 g saturated), 660 mg sodium

Serves 4

You’ll Need

1⁄2 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp chipotle pepper purée
1 tsp cumin
4 cloves garlic
1 lb skirt or flank steak
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 large whole-wheat tortillas
1⁄2 cup shredded Jack cheese
4 Tbsp guacamole (make your own, or use a high-quality packaged guacamole like Wholly Guacamole)
1 cup pico de gallo (make your own, or buy pre-made)
1 can (15 oz) black or pinto beans, drained

How to Make It

  1. Combine the juice, oil, chipotle purée, cumin, and garlic in a blender and puree.
  2. Place the steak in a sealable plastic bag and cover with the marinade.
  3. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
  4. Preheat a grill over high heat.
  5. Remove the steak from the marinade, pat dry with paper towels, and season all over with salt and black pepper.
  6. Grill, turning occasionally, for 8 minutes, until the surface is nicely browned and the meat is firm but still yielding to the touch.
  7. Remove and rest for at least 5 minutes before chopping into bite-size pieces.
  8. Heat a cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan over low heat. Place a tortilla in the center and warm on one side for 30 seconds.
  9. Flip and cover with 2 tablespoons of the cheese.
  10. Continue heating until gently toasted.
  11. Remove to a plate and top with 1 tablespoon guacamole, 1⁄4 cup pico de gallo, and one-quarter of the beans and steak.
  12. Fold opposite sides over toward the center, then roll the tortilla to create a tight, sealed burrito.
  13. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Eat This Tip

Burritos are fine every so often, but you can achieve the same harmony of flavors by making tacos instead. Follow the same marinated steak recipe, but ditch the big tortilla and serve the meat with a pile of lightly grilled corn tortillas instead—plus all of the fixings, of course. A pile of grilled scallions, a staple of taco carts all over Mexico, makes for a nice side dish.

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