Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 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.
this was a great recipe, a little sweet when its all done, id recommend cutting back on the cider vinegar ( i think thats what made it a little sugary) maybe use half water instead, and dont start this unles you have all afternoon available! but otherwise it tasted great!
FABULOUS! This recipe was fantastic - the filling was PERFECT and the sauce was just as good - I spiced it up a bit more by adding more jalapeno's to the sauce and some hot sauce to the filling! Even better the next day! GREAT recipe! Worth the time it took to put it together!
My family loved this. Admittedly, it was time consuming to make, but then I knew that going into it. Worth the time and effort. I wouldn't change a thing.