To find the best burritos in San Francisco, you have to go to the Mission District, a historic Latin American neighborhood known for its vibrant culture and food. There are many places there to get a good burrito, but La Taqueria, which won a James Beard Award in 2017, is a favorite. Miguel Jara, who emigrated to the United States from Mexico, opened the restaurant in 1973 because he missed the cuisine of his home country. Mission burritos are known for their giant size and are packed with a hearty serving of meat, beans, salsa verde, pico de gallo, cheese, avocado and sour cream. No garnish is necessary, but the aluminum foil wrapper is required: No real Mission burrito is served without it.
Recipe from La Taqueria
Adapted by Kiera Wright-Ruiz
Ingredients for the carne asada:
• 1 pound top sirloin steak
• 1 (12-ounce) can Tecate beer
• Kosher salt
• 5 tablespoons pork lard or 3 tablespoons neutral oil (such as canola or vegetable oil)
Ingredients for the beans:
• 3 tablespoons pork lard (optional)
• 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
• Kosher salt
Ingredients for the assembly:
• 4 burrito-size flour tortillas
• 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
• 1 cup pico de gallo
• 1/4 cup salsa verde
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1 avocado, mashed
Cut steak in half crosswise. Place both pieces in a resealable plastic bag, making sure to squeeze out excess air before sealing. Pound meat until about 1/4-inch thick. Pour the beer into it. Let the steak marinate for 10-15 minutes.
Remove steak from bag, discarding marinade and pat dry using a paper towel. Season steak on both sides with salt.
In a pot over low heat, combine the lard, if using, and pinto beans. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and keep covered until ready to assemble burritos.
Heat 5 tablespoons lard or 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high. Cook each steak until browned, 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from heat, and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Once slightly cooled, chop steak into bite-size pieces.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese in a strip across the middle of the tortilla, leaving a 1-inch edge on the left and right sides. Top with 1/3 cup beans and 1/2 cup chopped steak. Top with 1/4 cup pico de gallo, 1 tablespoon salsa verde and 2 tablespoons sour cream. Smear a quarter of mashed avocado on one side of the fillings.
Fold the short left and right edges in toward the filling. Keeping the sides folded, fold the bottom of the tortilla up and over the filling. Roll away from you until the burrito is secure.
To crisp the outside of the burritos, heat 2 tablespoons of lard or oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Place the burrito in the skillet and cook each side until golden brown. Wrap a piece of aluminum foil around each burrito, and serve warm.
Total time: 35 minutes, makes 4 burritos.