Sunken Meat Burrito

Want more from Genius Kitchen?

Watch on your Apple TV, Roku, or Fire TV and your iOS, Fire, or Android device.

Learn More
“Toucan Taco, an old, hole-in-the-wall family-owned and operated restaurant in Laurel, Maryland, serves some of the best and most unique Mexican food I have ever tasted. Until I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, I had gone to Toucan Taco at least once a week for a delicious Sunken Meat Burrito. But now that I am on a low sodium diet, Toucan Taco is "off limits" to me. So I embarked on a mission to clone these sunken beauties and, after numerous “close-but-no-cigar” attempts, I did it! I have isted “regular” ingredients, but it’s incredibly easy to significantly reduce the sodium content by using reduced-sodium, low-sodium, or sodium-free beef stock, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and tortillas.”
4 burritos

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. ------TheFilling--------------.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef with the flour, red pepper, chili powder, salt, minced onion, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  3. DO NOT include the cocoa powder.
  4. Use your hands to thoroughly mix the ingredients into the ground beef.
  5. Add the seasoned beef mixture and all the liquid to a crock pot.
  6. Sprinkle a little cocoa powder on the mixture.
  7. Cook on low for about 2 hours.
  8. Every 20 to 30 minutes, sprinkle a tiny amount of cocoa powder on the mixture, and mash with a potato masher.
  9. Remove meat and water to saucepan.
  10. Add refried beans, if desired.
  11. Simmer gently until water evaporates.
  12. ----------TheSinking Gravy---------------.
  13. Melt bacon fat or oil.
  14. Gently sauté chopped onion and mushrooms until tender.
  15. Set this mixture aside.
  16. Combine ¼ cup of the beef stock with the flour in a jar with a tight-fitting lid- shake mixture vigorously until smooth.
  17. Combine stock/flour mixture with remaining stock in a heavy saucepan.
  18. Add tomato paste and whisk until tomato paste is thoroughly mixed in.
  19. Bring the stock mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or so, whisking frequently, until mixture begins to thicken.
  20. Add all remaining ingredients as well as onion/mushroom/fat mixture.
  21. Simmer until heated throughout.
  22. Add salt, pepper and other spices to taste.
  24. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  25. Place 3 to 4 ounces of beef or beef/bean mixture in the center of each tortilla.
  26. Sprinkle minced onion and then cheese, generously, on top of beef.
  27. Fold the filled tortillas into oblong burritos.
  28. Place each burrito, folded side down, into an 8" x 4" baking pan OR place all the burritos into a baking pan large enough to accommodate them without letting them touch one another.
  29. Pour gravy into baking pan until burrito is barely covered.
  30. Sprinkle more cheese, generously, on top of each burrito.
  31. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes OR bake 10 to 15 minutes and then broil until cheese is bubbling.
  32. Add hot sauce, crumbled tostados, sour cream and/or guacamole, if desired.
  33. Serve with a taco salad (or other salad of your choice) on the side.

Watch more

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a