Burritos with Spicy Shredded Jerky

Burritos de Machaca
From Season 8, Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Servings: 2 1/2 cups, enough for 8 to 10 burritos


  • 4ounces home-style beef jerky (preferably from a Mexican grocery store)
  • 5tablespoonsrich-tasting lard or olive oil or vegetable oil, plus a little more if needed
  • 1large white onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 fresh poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2medium-smallred ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • Salt
  • 8 to 10 flour tortillas


1. Shred the beef jerky. Lay the jerky on a baking sheet and set under a heated broiler. In 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the thickness and dryness of the jerky, the fat will bubble on the top and the edges will be lightly browned and crispy. Cool the meat, then tear into thin shreds. Reduce the shreds of meat to fluffy, fine threads: Either pound them a little at a time in a mortar (it should look like a coarse, loose felt), or process them in 2 or 3 batches in the blender, pulsing the machine on and off quickly, until the meat looks like a fluffy heap of light-brown threads.

2. Make the filling. Heat the lard or oil in a medium (10-inch) skillet over medium high. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the threads of jerky, reduce the heat to medium and stir frequently until the mixture is well browned and the meat crispy, 5 to 7 minutes more. (If the meat absorbs oil immediately, add enough so the mixture fries and browns rather than toasts.) Add the poblano, tomato and garlic and cook several minutes until the mixture is homogenous. Taste and season with salt (jerky can vary widely in saltiness so salt carefully).

3. Finish the burritos. Roll 1/4 cup filling in each warm flour tortilla and serve at once.


  1. Hi Rick, love your show, like your burritos with spicy shredded jack recipe, i do a simpler burrito and taco one with jack links peppered beef jerky or buffalo jerky, i also like to use deer,elk or wild boar some times, maybe if you like them you could cook them on your show, i also have a question for you, how about opening a restaurant here in San Francisco, you might not believe this but there are not a lot of good mexican restaurants here, there are a few that stand out, but not many, please think about it, thank you.

  2. Hi Rick, My wife bought some beef jerky that she didn’t like. I remember reading the the original burrito was made with dried beef an corn tortillas, so i went searching for a recipe. Came across this one. Have seen you many times on TV and have one of you cook books, so I new it would be good. Even with the wrong kind of dried beef, using bacon fat instead of lard, and misreading the directions by putting the beef an the onions together at the start, it was awesome. My wife devoured it! Although I do think that extra caramelization of the onion would have improved it even more. Going to track down the Mexican beef jerky for next time.

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