A new dish inspired by an old classic.
This sous vide chimichanga was a labor of love. Emphasis on labor. Inspired by my state of Arizona, birthplace of the chimichanga, and also the classic beef wellington. I wanted to document a little about my story and thought process here. At the end, I did post a downloadable PDF for you with the entire recipe, including all of the components.
There was a contest that took place recently hosted by Chef’s Roll, Cuisine Solutions and CREA to present the 2020 “I LOVE SOUS VIDE” contest. The contest was open-ended, asking us to create a unique dish using different techniques with sous vide.
Cooking competitions are fun for me as they force me to think outside the box and push my limits. I haven’t cooked a live, timed competition yet, but these online ones have definitely allowed me to think ahead and research. My biggest disadvantage in this particular contest is the fact that I’m a home chef, not formally trained, and without many resources or equipment. I’m an underdog, but I definitely wanted to do everything possible to bring my best. I also wanted to make something that’s globally recognizable while honoring Phoenix by using local flavors and food.
Enter: the chimichanga. There is debate as to which restaurant in Tucson invented it, but ultimately someone accidentally dropped a burrito in the fryer and now it’s a legend. This would be my vessel.
Deconstructing the beef wellington is easy. There’s a beef tenderloin – I’ll use the teres major which is smaller for a tortilla, and also slightly fattier for flavor. The duxelles (complex mushroom puree) was replaced by a puree of huitalacoche, a mushroom delicacy in Mexico. From there it was about layering the flavors, figuring out the timing of cooking the beef, and making sure that I could fry it all without having it explode.
I wanted to make sure that the presentation would be on point, with lots of colors and textures. We had crispy from the tortillas, soft from the sweet potato puree, spicy and crunchy from the salsa macha, acid and heat from the chimichurri, and a rich umami flavor from the huitlacoche. There’s a lot of elements for sure, and this could easily be changed up for the future. In the end I’m happy with the planning and final result.
If you saw this dish as I was posting it online, and also happened to vote for the People’s Choice award – Thank you for all of the support along the way! I’ve posted a PDF Guide for the sous vide chimichanga below for download. Knowledge is meant to be shared.
Sous Vide Guide for Download
Click HERE to download the guide