First I have to decide which type of meat I'll be having.
Then I decide on the type of tortilla...I guess we're talking burrito so mine would be flour for the most part except when eating carnitas then it has to be corn and only corn, but then I guess you'd call it a taco.
Those are my two essential ingredients. All other things added depend on the type of meat. More then likely salsa will be added but not necessarily so. For example; with chili colorado or chili verde, no salsa. Otherwise salsa.
My list of top 3 "things" to a great burrito:
1. PROPORTION. Regardless of what you stuff it with, it's got to have the right proporation. Too much grilled carne and too little rice (or beans or whatever) then you've basically got a sandwich or a soft taco with an oversized tortilla wrapper.
2. TORTILLA. Gotta be hand-made and fresh; no steaming either.
3. CONDIMENTS. Guacamole and the salsa have to fresh and bring enough "wetness" to the burrito to counterbalance the "dryness" of the meat and tortilla.
Coming from am L.A. Chicana...
1) You start with the filling, which is either fresh made meats or day old stews. My favorite burrito is made with Chile Verde my mom made for dinner the night before.
2)BIG Flour Tortilla, cooked on a comal, so that is just starts to get crisp. You roll with the slightly more done side on the inside so it can hold the stew in without the tortilla getting to 'wet'
3) Good Salsa. ON the side. Putting salsa in a burrito is NOT the same as putting salsa inside a taco. THere is too much mass to cover, the salsa pools in uneven spots. The best thing to do to make sure you get even heat is to spoon in the salsa with each bite.
That is it... no rice! not beans! ANd goodness me... NO STEAMED TORTILLAS!!!
The One True Burrito must contain:
1) best quality tortilla possible, never steamed, big enough Only for a 'one handed' pickup
2) meat trimmed, marinated and cooked appropriately. Beef - grilled, chicken - roasted, pork - as appropriate
3) bare minimum of refried beans or rice (<10%) unless veggie;
fresh salsa, chopped onions, cilantro (con todo, por favor); no other options UNLESS REQUESTED!
Note - breakfast burritos are a Whole 'nother subject.
i always order my burrito's with melted cheddar cheese and a creamy garlicky ranch type sauce............yumm...........
and of coarse the re-fried beans are necessary.
The place I go to always grills the outside of the fresh tortilla so its crisp and warm...............all these combined make for one great burrito!
1. Great Rice
2. lime and cilantro (a single entity for me)
3. Grilled, not greasy, veggies
ambience: funky aluminum foil statues (for other Texans out there)
1. soft corn tortilla
2. flavorful carne asada with some chew
3. avacado "glue" between meat and tortilla
ambience: bright clashing colors and a circa 1975 pinball machine
I'm on board with TT's suggestion of fresh ingredients - no matter what you choose to put in it.
A tip I learned from a friend - if you have gas burners, lightly (& quickly) drag store-bought flour burrito wraps over the flames with tongs until you begin to see slight browning. DO NOT BURN and do NOT leave them and walk away! They 'toast' quickly. You just want to bring out the flavour so they aren't so doughy to the taste. I so miss my gas stove!
I'm not an expert on cooking rice or beans, and others may vary in whether this is too much going on in the rice.. but I'd think something along these lines for the rice... I suspect cooking in a good stock has a lot to do with it all:
... maybe something like this for the beans:
Though I suspect a bit of saturated fat would improve the taste.