Shredded Beef Chimichanga And Ranchero Recipe

shredded beef chimichangas topped with ranchero sauce
shredded beef chimichangas topped with ranchero sauce - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Indulge in a burst of Mexican flavors with recipe developer Patterson Watkin's irresistible recipe for shredded beef chimichangas accompanied by a rich and zesty ranchero sauce. Watkins says, "This semi-homemade chimichanga recipe is a meaty mass of store-bought brisket, savory refried beans, melty cheese, and a zesty ranchero sauce — all wrapped in an oversized flour tortilla and deep fried crisp!"

This dish encapsulates the essence of authentic Tex-Mex cuisine, offering a harmonious blend of tender, slow-cooked shredded beef and a tangy ranchero sauce. The process begins by purchasing shredded seasoned beef that's already melt-in-your-mouth perfection, ensuring a depth of flavor that truly captivates the palate.

Assembling the chimichangas involves wrapping the succulent beef as well as refried beans in flour tortillas, creating a delightful contrast between the crispy exterior and the juicy, savory filling. The dish reaches its crescendo when generously drizzled with homemade ranchero sauce, a tomato-based concoction featuring bold notes of chili, garlic, and herbs. Whether you're seeking a hearty weeknight dinner or a crowd-pleasing party treat, these shredded beef chimichangas with ranchero are guaranteed to satiate your cravings for genuine Tex-Mex excellence.

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Gather Your Shredded Beef Chimichangas And Ranchero Ingredients

ingredients for shredded beef chimichangas
ingredients for shredded beef chimichangas - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

To make these shredded beef chimichangas with ranchero sauce, you can start by gathering your ingredients. For this recipe, you will need olive oil, garlic, yellow onion, ground cumin, chili powder, ground coriander, smoked paprika, chicken bouillon powder, tomato sauce, lime juice, cilantro, beef brisket, refried beans, flour tortillas, shredded Mexican cheese, and vegetable oil.

It's also a great time to get out those ingredients you plan on serving with these chimichangas. Watkins recommends, "Traditional Tex-Mex ... rice and beans, elote, or a simple side salad would pair nicely with this recipe. These are hearty chimichangas, so a combination of lighter starches and veggies would work well."

Create The Ranchero Sauce

ranchero sauce in saucepan
ranchero sauce in saucepan - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

To create the ranchero sauce, heat olive oil in a skillet and add the garlic and onion. Then, add the spices of cumin, coriander, chili powder, paprika, and bouillon to the skillet. Stir these ingredients together and then add in the tomato sauce and lime juice. Stir and continue to cook these ingredients for about 10 minutes. Next, remove the pan from the heat and allow the sauce to cool for about 5 minutes before pouring into a blender with cilantro. Blitz up these ingredients to blend the ranchero sauce.

Make sure to plan ahead! Watkins advises, "If you're looking at making this a weekday meal, the ranchero sauce can be made a few days in advance (cooked, cooled, and reheated) to speed up the process."

Assemble The Chimichangas

chimichangas before rolling up
chimichangas before rolling up - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Now, it's time to assemble the chimichangas. Start by adding a ½ cup of ranchero sauce to the shredded beef. Be sure to stir to fully incorporate the sauce into the beef.

Create an assembly station so you can easily fill, roll, and secure each chimichanga. Then, add the beans, beef, and a sprinkle of cheese to a tortilla. Roll it up and fold in the ends. To prevent the chimichangas from unraveling during frying, you can secure them with toothpicks. Insert them through the top flap of the tortilla. Repeat this process with remaining tortillas until all of the chimichangas have been assembled.

Deep Fry The Chimichangas

fried chimichangas on wire rack
fried chimichangas on wire rack - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Now comes the fun part! It's time to fry the chimichangas. Watkins notes, "If you're a first-time fryer or new-ish to deep frying ... set up your frying station ahead of time. Make sure to have your wire rack-lined baking sheet nearby and a set of heavy duty tongs, plus some oven mitts and paper towels. You don't want to leave frying foods unattended."

Heat up the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven. Once the temperature reaches 350 F, work in batches to add the chimichangas to the oil. Fry for about 3 minutes on each side. Then, remove them from the oil and set aside on a wire rack-lined baking sheet.

When you are ready to serve, pour over the remaining ranchero sauce. Now, in the rare case that all of these chimichangas are not gobbled up that night, Watkins has some recommendations for storing leftovers. She says, "One way is to reheat in the oven [at] 400 F on a lightly [greased] wire rack-lined baking sheet." You could also reheat in the airfryer, just make sure to spread the chimichangas out evenly in the basket.

Shredded Beef Enchiladas With Ranchero Sauce

shredded beef chimichanga topped with sour cream
shredded beef chimichanga topped with sour cream - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Prep Time: 20mCook Time: 25mYield: 4 servingsIngredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

  • ¼ cup minced yellow onion

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder

  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro (plus extra for garnish)

  • 16 ounces shredded beef brisket

  • 1 (16-ounce) can refried beans

  • 4 large (12-inch) flour tortillas

  • 8 ounces shredded Mexican blend cheese

  • vegetable oil, for frying


  1. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic and onion and sauté for 2 minutes.

  2. Add the cumin, chili powder, coriander, paprika, and bouillon to the pan, stir to combine, and sauté for 1 minute more.

  3. Add the tomato sauce and lime juice, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

  4. Transfer the sauce to a blender, add the cilantro, and puree until smooth.

  5. Place shredded brisket in a medium bowl, add ½ cup of the ranchero sauce, and stir to combine. Set the remaining ranchero sauce aside until ready to assemble and serve the chimichangas.

  6. To assemble the chimichangas, divide refried beans between tortillas, placing the beans near the lower third of the tortilla, and spread out slightly (making sure to leave about an inch of space around the edge).

  7. Top the beans with seasoned brisket and sprinkle with cheese.

  8. Bring the sides of the tortilla toward the center, partially covering the filling. Bring the bottom of the tortilla up and over the filling and roll into a tight cylinder. Secure the chimichangas with toothpicks.

  9. Fill a large Dutch oven (or deep fryer) with 48 ounces of vegetable oil (you may need to adjust the amount depending on the size of your pot) and bring to 350 F over high heat.

  10. While working in batches, fry the chimichangas for about 3 minutes per side or until golden brown and hot throughout. Carefully remove the chimichangas from the oil and set aside to drain on a wire rack-lined baking sheet.

  11. Divide the chimichangas between plates and top with the remaining ranchero sauce before serving.

Read the original article on Mashed.