For those who are not familiar with Filiberto’s Mexican Food restaurants, let me school you. Filiberto’s is, in my opinion, the king of all Berto’s restaurants. In Arizona you have your Julioberto’s, Humberto’s, Eriberto’s, Aliberto’s, Alberto’s, Rolberto’s, Roberto’s, Roliberto’s etc, etc, etc. I could keep going but you get the idea. These restaurants are somewhat of a cross between Mexican fast food, like Taco Bell, and an actual sit-down Mexican restaurant. They are always open 24 hours a day and have a drive-through window.
I grew up with these restaurants, although the favorite of my high school was actually called Amado’s (formerly Armado’s, formerly Armando’s) and not a member of the Berto family at all. The joke around school was that each time they failed a health inspection, the restaurant was sold to a different family member and the name was changed. I don’t doubt that the rumors were actually true.
Regardless, Filiberto’s is something I really miss about Arizona. It was a great place to go at 2 or 3 in the morning after a late night out, or for a filling lunch when you only had 5 bucks, or the place to go at noon when you had a horrible hangover from the night before. No hay nada que te quite la cruda mejor que un burrito tamano de tu cabeza. There are tons of great things on the menu, but Fili B’s is most famous for it’s burritos. If you look at their menu, you can see that they have tons of delicious options, but my favorite isn’t even on the menu. Gordo's favorite isn't listed either. I am only assuming but I think this might be because they don’t serve these particular burritos in California or New Mexico.
My husband’s favorite is called the Burrito Arizona and has steak, potatoes, tomatoes, onions and cheese. He is a meat and potatoes kind of guy I suppose. My favorite is the Burrito Patron. It should really be called Burrito de Dios. But whatever, I didn’t pick the name. It has steak, ham, bacon, onions, jalapenos, tomatoes and cheese. Guess who’s made a version of their favorite burrito for dinner tonight? =)
There is no science to this recipe, and the quantity of ingredients is really irrelevant because the mere combination of these particular meats and veggies is heavenly; the rest is just details. Because they don’t sell 20 inch tortillas in Mexico (to those who weren’t aware, burritos in Mexico are TINY) I didn't actually make huge Fili B style burritos. Instead I made more of a guisado, which literally means stew in Spanish. I don’t personally consider this a stew, but it’s really what they would call it here in Chihuahua. To me it’s more of a Mexican stir fry of meats and veggies.
I never made this when I lived in the US because Filiberto’s was always just around the corner. I have always used pulpa for the beef although I have no clue what pulpa even is. All I know is that it’s beef that always comes pre-cut into little bite sized pieces, and since I am lazy, pulpa it is! One less thing to cut… I suppose if I was in the US, any cut up steak would work. Maybe chuck to keep it affordable?
As for the ham, I am a bit picky. I cannot stand the overly processed, lunch meat taste, so I buy actual slices of a whole cut ham. This package was actually purchased in El Paso. I have made this before with ham that I bought at Soriana, I just had to be very careful to specify that I did not want “jamon de pavo” and that it needed to be cut in “rebanadas super gruesos.” As with bacon, I will probably always prefer to buy it in America.
Here is the recipe that I typically use, but the quantities are approximated as they always vary based on what I have on hand. Usually I would use equal parts beef and ham, but it doesn’t always work out that way. For example, tonight I have a lot of ham, but not even a half kilo of carne. Don’t worry though, it always tastes good. I promise, it is the best combination ever.
Guisado del Patron
1 lb. beef (pulpa, chuck, flank steak, whatever) chopped into bite sized pieces
1 lb. ham, chopped
½ lb. bacon, chopped
1 whole onion, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 whole jalapeno with veins and seeds, diced
Salt, to taste
In a large skillet, cook beef until no longer pink and then drain and set aside. I usually just leave it in the colander until I am ready for it. Rinse and dry skillet. Use the same skillet to fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. Leaving the bacon drippings in the pan, add ham and cook until heated through and slightly browned. Then add onions and jalapenos and cook until the onions are translucent and the jalapenos are tender. Then return the beef and bacon to the skillet. Finally, add in the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt to taste (lightly because of the sodium content in the ham and bacon) and mix thoroughly. Continue to cook until heated through.
Serve with warm tortillas and cheese or crema if desired. This should render 4 very generous servings.