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Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for chimichangas.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 8
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These may well be the best-ever party snack (in fact, they might not even make it out of the kitchen). You can buy your tortillas, but they won't be as good as these rich, flaky ones. We've deep-fried them, but you can heat them in the oven if you prefer.


  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • To serve: sour cream
Carne adobada
  • 3 dried long red chillies
  • 1½ tsp each cumin and coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 golden shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 kg beef brisket, cut into 10cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp each ground chilli and paprika
  • 500 ml veal stock (2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp cold water
Flour tortillas
  • 520 gm plain flour
  • 90 gm lard (see note)
  • 100 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 avocadoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 golden shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Juice of 2 limes, or to taste
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Few drops Tabasco, or to taste


  • 1
    For carne adobada, finely grind whole chillies, whole spices and oregano in a mortar and pestle, transfer to a food processor, add shallot and garlic and process until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl, add beef, toss to coat, then refrigerate to marinate (3-4 hours). Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat, brush spice mixture from beef and reserve. Add beef to pan and turn occasionally until brown (2-3 minutes). Add reserved spice mixture and cook until fragrant (1-2 minutes), add ground chilli and paprika and stir to combine. Add stock and 500ml water, bring to the simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until meat is very tender (2-2½ hours). Remove beef from liquid and set aside, then reduce liquid over medium-high heat by half (20-30 minutes). Meanwhile, coarsely shred beef and place in a bowl. Whisk cornflour mixture through stock, bring to the simmer and stir occasionally until very thick (10-15 minutes). Stir through beef, set aside to cool, refrigerate until chilled.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for flour tortillas, combine flour and ½ tsp salt in a bowl, add lard and rub in with your fingertips until incorporated. Add 350ml cold water and knead to combine; mixture may be a little sticky. Cover, refrigerate to rest (30-50 minutes). Divide into 20 balls, then roll out each on a floured bench to a 12cm-diameter round. Preheat a heavy-based frying pan or tortilla pan over medium heat, add 1 tsp oil and cook tortilla, turning once, until golden spots form (1-2 minutes each side). Set aside. Repeat with remaining dough and oil.
  • 3
    Working with one tortilla at a time, place 1-2 tbsp beef mixture along one edge, then fold in ends and roll to make a burrito. Secure with kitchen string then repeat with remaining tortillas and beef. Set aside.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, for guacamole, combine ingredients in a bowl, mash lightly with a fork to a coarse dip consistency and season liberally to taste. Refrigerate until required.
  • 5
    Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 180C. Deep-fry chimichangas in batches until golden and heated through (2-3 minutes; be careful as hot oil may spit). Serve hot with guacamole and sour cream.


Note This recipe makes about 20 tortillas. For the best-tasting tortillas, make your own lard. Place diced pork back-fat in a saucepan, add enough water to just cover the base of the pan (adding more makes the pork flavour cook out), cook over low heat until fat is rendered, then strain.

  • undefined: Lisa Featherby