We recently ate at our local Chipolte Grill and had their humongous steak burrito. Now, for those of you who have not had the experience of eating at a Chipolte, I have to tell you that in my opinion it is a little pricey for a semi-fast food style restaurant. It will run you about $8.00 for the steak burrito and an extra $1.80 if you want to add guacamole (The biggest reason I see this as pricey is because I can eat at my favorite local Mexican sit-down restaurant for less.) On the upside, you get a tone of food. The burrito is HUGE and stuffed full. There is a large variety of toppings, and it is delicious! We had a buy one get one free option the day we went, and Jason and I ate for $12 and had leftovers.
Anyway...this trip then spurred me to try to figure out how to create the Chipolte experience at home for less. I began by looking for their marinade for the steak. The following recipe was a pretty close match to the flavor of the Chipolte marinade. (It was not perfect, but it still tasted great so it is a keeper.)
CHIPOLTE'S STEAK MARINADE
¾ tsp. Chili Powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped or 1/2-1 tsp
6 cloves garlic
1/2 red onion, quartered
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 small steaks or a 1-2 pound roast (6 ounces each)
Add all ingredients except meat in food processor. Blend until smooth.
Spread mixture over the steak and refrigerate at least one hour, up to 24 hours.
After marinating, heat grill to about 400 degrees F, or if cooking
inside, heat small amount of oil in skillet or grill pan over high
heat. Salt meat to taste (optional), and grill lightly, turning only
once, until done. 4 minutes per side for chicken, 8-10 minutes per
side for 3/4" thick steak. Cut the steak in small bite-size cubes and keep warm in skillet.
- For time sake, I did not do the "grilling" step which was probably a big difference in my flavor verses the Chipolte style. I used a tender roast and diced it up (before cooking) and poured the marinade over the top. I put it in the refrigerator over night, then cooked it fajita style in my iron skillet. Next time, I will definitely try to grill the whole steak then cut it up for serving to see what the difference is.
- Toppings: Sauted peppers and onions cooked in a separate skillet sprinkled with chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper, Cilantro and Lime rice (recipe found below), Chipolte style Black Beans (1 can black beans, 1/4 tsp. oregano, 1/4 tsp. lime juice stirred and heated), salsa, sour cream, cheese, Mexican style corn (we actually just used plain can corn and it tasted fine), tomatoes, Pico de gallo, and guacamole.
- We make our homemade tortillas for this recipe. I made them the larger 12-14" tortilla (Chipolte tortillas are really big!).
- You can also prepare this recipe in advance and freeze the meat in the marinade. Just make sure you take it out of the freezer in time to thaw completely before you need it for your meal!
CHIPOLTE'S BASMATI RICE
1 teaspoon vegetable oil or butter
2 tsp. fresh cilantro
2/3 cup white basmati rice or long grain rice
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Lime (juice of one lime)
In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat oil or butter over low heat, stirring occasionally until melted. Add rice and lime juice, stir for 1 minute. Add water and salt, bring to a full rolling boil. At
boiling, cover, turn down to simmer over low heat until rice is tender and the water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.