Hello Snobs! Time for the latest installment of What Herman Made, Homemade Chipotleez!
I know what you’re thinking. What the hell is Homemade Chipotleez? Well I’ll tell you, but a little back story first. As you may have guessed, Denny and I are not big fans of Chipotle, the uppity restaurant chain famous for their organic, GMO-free, all-rice, no meat, overpriced, sorry excuse for burritos. That is if you are even halfway normal and still order a burrito over the trendy burrito bowl. The idea behind this eludes me. I paid for a tortilla! Give me a damn tortilla! And let’s not even start with the recent news behind Chipotle. It’s bad enough that you get all organic and hormone free food. Then they charge you a fortune if you want guacamole. But don’t worry, you can get that extra side of e. coli and norovirus for free! NO THANKS! I’ll pass…
This leads me to What Herman Made. I decided to take it upon myself to make my own Chipotle. And just so no one is confused, I call it Homemade Chipotleez (pronounced chip-pole-teez)! What exactly does it in entail? Well, much like Chipotle, there is meat. Of course the difference is that I put A TON of meat in my burritos. My meat of choice is pork. And not just any pork, pork butt, HO HO!! Yeah, I couldn’t resist. So if you don’t know, a pork butt is actually the pork shoulder. My grandpa was a butcher and I can honestly say that to this day, I don’t know why they call them butts. Oh well. Whatever. I like to use pork butt for this particular dish because they have a decent amount of fat. This works really well with the method of cooking too. When I make my Chipotleez, I like to smoke the pork. One, it adds a ton of flavor. Two, it couldn’t be simpler. So let’s get to some pictures, shall we?
So here we have a pork butt that is brining. I like to brine my pork before smoking. Again, all about the extra flavor. If you are not familiar, a brine is really just a salty water solution that you soak your meat in (insert inappropriate comment here, you know you want to). I also like to add some additional ingredients to my brine. This one has some whole garlic cloves, peppercorns, ginger, brown sugar, molasses, and of course some sriracha, just to piss Denny off! You combine this with the water and salt over heat, just until everything dissolves. Then add some ice to cool it down. Insert the pork and keep in the fridge for at least 24 hours. The longer you keep it in there, the more flavor you are going to impart. Believe it or not, there is some science involved here. It’s kind of complicated. Something about osmosis?!? Who cares. It makes it taste good. So just do it!
Above is the result of your brining. Mmmmmm! I left mine in for a couple days. So, is that it? NOPE! We’re not done yet. Now that we’ve soaked our meat, it’s time to rub it! There really is too much material here. Maybe I should have put NSFW in the title. We’re all mature adults, aren’t we?!? Nah…. Prepare to rub!
Just look at it. Isn’t it beautiful? I think so. Rubbing your meat is probably even more essential than brining it. What’s in the rub you ask? Well, again the most important ingredient in a rub is probably salt. Salt just makes everything taste better. I also like to put a few other things in there, like pepper, more brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, maybe some ground mustard powder, and for a little heat, cayenne pepper. Combine everything together and proceed to rub. Get it all over the meat, every side. Don’t be shy! The rub really does make a difference. The salt draws out extra moisture from the meat. The sugar helps to form a crust over the exterior. Barbecue experts call that the bark. More on that later. Now, we smoke!
Take a look. This is the torture device that I use to smoke my meat. It’s a nice little cage that fits down into an electric smoker. Yes I said electric. I’m a Fewd Snob, not a coal miner. If I had to tend a fire for 12 hours, how would I get any beer drinking done? My particular model just needs wood chips added every 30 or 40 minutes. Done!
So, 12 hours is indeed a long time to cook something. But believe me, it’s worth it. And actually, I only keep it in the smoker for the first 6 hour or so. After 6 hours, I take it out and wrap it in aluminum foil. Then into a 250 degree oven it goes for the rest of the cooking.
Here is what it looked like before going into the oven. Denny and I needed a sample. You know, to make sure it isn’t poisoned or anything! Also at this point, I like to give my meat a little something to drink to keep it moist. In this case, tequila! Pour it in right before wrapping. All the booze gets cooked out, but I really like the flavor it adds. Set a timer for 6 hours and take a nap. I also like to use a thermometer at this point to make sure the meat is done. For a smoked pork butt, you want an internal temp of at least 195 degrees. At that point, all the fat liquefies, making the pork super tender and juicy.
There you have it. The (almost) finished product. Notice the black bark on the outside. That is my favorite part. It’s crunchy and full of flavor. Don’t let the color fool you. It may look burned, but it isn’t. At this point, let the meat rest and cool down. After that, you should be able to easily remove the shoulder blade bone and then shred the meat.
Here’s the best part about a pork butt. Well second best. The first part is that they taste damn good. The second is the price. This sucker was less than 12 bucks. Before cooking, it probably weighed between 7 and 8 pounds. There aren’t too many meats out there you can get for less than 2 bucks a pound, and I have seen it even cheaper than that when it’s on sale! So take that Chipotle. For the price of one of your burritos, I can cook enough meet to make 20.
Now that the meat is taken care of, time to move on to the additions. And this, to me, is just as important. I like a lot of stuff in my burritos. I plan to feed an army with this meal after all.
First we have the beans. Two kinds to be exact: pinto and black (shown above). Both of which I prepare the same way. Take canned beans, strain them and rinse them. Put them in a pot over low heat and add onions, garlic, salt and pepper, and most importantly BEER! After all, why use water when you can use beer! Let those warm up nicely.
Here is the overhead view from my stovetop. You’ll notice on the bottom right that I also have onions and green bell peppers. These are just lightly sauteed in butter with some garlic, salt, and pepper.
Lastly, we have guacamole. To this day, I don’t get why Chipotle charges so much for this stuff. It’s not that hard to make. Mush up some avocados, with lime juice, salt and pepper, garlic, diced jalapeno, dice red onion, and some tomato. Add cilantro if you want. That’s it! Takes 10 minutes.
So, we have our filling. Now for the wrapper. Find the biggest tortillas you can get your hands on. I like these ones. They are made local and taste great. Before you assemble, make sure you throw the tortilla in the microwave for about 15 seconds. This makes it a lot easier to wrap.
Pile up your filling in whatever order you like. Add some salsa (or hot sauce) and some cheese and there you have it! You’ll notice no sour cream. Honestly, I can’t stand the stuff. If you like it, enjoy. Not gonna happen with my burrito.