Anyone who knows me, knows that my all time favourite author is Stephen King and that his Dark Tower series of books are an obsession. For those who aren't familiar with this series of seven books by Stephen, you can check out this website. This is an amazing series of books that took Stephen three decades to write and the story is incorporated in some way into almost every other book he has written. That in itself is sheer genius!!
Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because when I was reading the last few books in the series...actually waiting agonizingly for each new one to come out and nearly having a heartache when I found out Stephen was hit by a truck and may never finish, at around book 4....I got my hubby onto them as well. We were discussing them again last week and he came up with a challenge for me....to make my own version of a gunslinger burrito.
Now, most are probably thinking what the hell is that?? And in order to answer that question, I have to refer to the story of the Dark Tower............
The main character is Roland Deshain, who is a gunslinger. The books are set in a time that is a cross between now and the old west. Roland lives in Mejis and is trained to be a gunslinger as was his father before him. However, the world is changing and the fabric of time is becoming warped. The Dark Tower, which is at the center of all universes, is dying and it is up to Roland, the last gunslinger, to get to the dark tower and fix it. This, obviously, is an epic journey that occurs over the series of seven books and is a bit like Lord of The Rings, crossed with Indiana Jones.
The gunslinger burrito, mentioned above, is the meal of choice for Roland on his journey as he has to eat whatever he can find. He usually makes his burrito with some sort of animal meat (that he has killed) wrapped in a leaf. Not particularly appetizing...so I asked hubby if he wanted an authentic gunslinger burrito (hoping of course the answer was no)...and thankfully, he said he just wanted me to come up with my own burrito recipe that we could affectionately call a "gunslinger burrito".
Yes we are dorks...I'll freely admit it. But you gotta keep life interesting :)
At first I had no idea how to make an interesting burrito, but I knew I liked Chipotle burritos and wished to emulate something like that. For those not in the US, Chipotle is a chain that sells organic, environmentally friendly burritos and is super yummy. I particularly like their Barbacoa beef burrito, which is lovely and spicy.
So, after researching a fair bit on the web about what makes up the Barbacoa beef in a Chipotle burrito and switching it up to my own particular tastes, I hereby present my answer to Hubby Challenge #1 - The Gunslinger Burrito!!!
4-6 Chipotle Chile's in adobo sauce (canned)
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp allspice
zest of one lemon
4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 Spanish onion, roughly chopped
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2-3lb beef roast
salt and pepper
3 star anise
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup basmati rice
juice of one lime
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
3 ripe avocados
2 tbs minced onion
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 small Serrano chili, seeded and minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
salt to taste
2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and cored
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tbs red onion, minced
1 small clove of garlic, minced
2 tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
salt to taste
large flour tortillas
shredded cheddar cheese
1. To prepare the meat, place all ingredients into a slow cooker, then cook on low for 6-8 hours. remove meat from juices and shred with a fork. Drizzle some of the pan juices over the meat and set aside.
2. Cook rice as per packet instructions, then add oil, juice and salt. Allow to cool slightly then add cilantro.
3. To make guacamole, halve the avocados, remove the pits and dice. Place into a large bowl and mash together with onion, garlic, chili, cilantro, salt and cumin. Add the lime juice and stir to combine. (Will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two).
4. For the salsa, finely dice the tomatoes. Place in a bowl with jalapeno, onion, garlic and lime juice. Season with salt and set aside.
5. To serve the burritos, place desired amount of meat, rice, guacamole, salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream and shredded lettuce onto a flour tortilla. Wrap the tortilla around the filling and place on a plate. Alternatively, serve ingredients in individual bowls on the table and let people make their own with whatever ingredients they choose.