Whether enjoyed at bustling street food stalls, vibrant markets, or cozy family gatherings, this beef gorditas recipe have become a symbol of the rich culinary heritage that resonates throughout Mexico and beyond.
Gorditas are a delectable and beloved culinary delight that hails from the heart of Mexican cuisine. The name "gordita" affectionately translates to "little fat one" in Spanish, and it perfectly captures the essence of this dish. These handheld treasures consist of thick, round masa dough tortillas that puff up during cooking, creating a delightful contrast of textures.
Gorditas are enjoyed throughout Mexico and have also become popular in other countries with Mexican culinary influences. They are commonly found at street food stands, markets, and restaurants, and are a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
What are Beef Gorditas?
Beef gorditas are a delicious and popular Mexican dish. The word "gordita" translates to "little fat one" in Spanish, which refers to the thick and round shape of the tortilla used to make this dish. Gorditas are made from masa dough, which is a traditional corn dough used in many Mexican dishes like tortillas and tamales.
To prepare beef gorditas, the masa dough is formed into small, thick rounds and then cooked on a griddle or comal until they puff up and develop a slightly crispy exterior. Once cooked, a slit is made in the gordita, creating a pocket that can be filled with various toppings.
Why you will love this recipe
- Flavorful beef filling: The savory beef filling, seasoned with a delightful blend of spices, onions, garlic, and sometimes tomatoes or peppers, offers a burst of delicious flavors that satisfy your taste buds.
- Unique texture: The thick masa dough tortilla, perfectly cooked to achieve a crispy exterior and a soft, pillowy interior, creates a delightful contrast of textures that is both comforting and enjoyable to eat.
- Customizable toppings: The pocket-like shape of gorditas allows for a generous amount of toppings to be added, giving you the freedom to customize each gordita according to your preferences. From fresh lettuce and juicy tomatoes to creamy cheese, tangy salsa, and smooth guacamole, the combinations are endless.
Beef Gorditas Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Masa harina
- Tinga de Res
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Beef Gorditas
Boil about 3 cups of water (we will only use half but it is smart to make more). In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of maseca and 1 ½ cup of hot water. Begin working the masa with your hands.
Make a ball of dough with your hands and with your hand start molding the masa to make a saucer shape the size of the palm of your hand, about ¼ inch thick.
Heat a skillet of oil on medium high heat, and cook the Gorditas until they are browned and crispy, about 3 minutes on each side. Lower the heat to low and cook until the inside is cooked through, about 7-9 minutes on each side. It could be more time depending on how thick it is.
Split the Gordita open with a knife and stuff with beef, cheese, beans, or whatever you might want. Enjoy this Gorditas Recipe with Maseca Recipe!
What to serve with Beef Gorditas Recipe
- Mexican Rice: A classic pairing, Mexican rice, also known as "arroz rojo," is a flavorful and fragrant side dish that complements the savory flavors of the beef gorditas.
- Refried Beans: Creamy and comforting, refried beans are a staple in Mexican cuisine and go wonderfully with gorditas. You can make them from scratch or use canned refried beans for convenience.
- Salsa Verde: For those who love a little extra kick, a tangy and spicy salsa verde made with tomatillos and green chilies is a great choice.
- Mexican Street Corn: Also known as "elote," this grilled corn on the cob is slathered with a creamy chili-lime sauce and sprinkled with cotija cheese and cilantro.
- Cucumber Salad: A light and refreshing cucumber salad with tomatoes, red onions, avocado and lime dressing can offer a crisp contrast to the gorditas.
- Mexican Pickles: Pickled jalapeños, carrots, and onions can provide a tangy and spicy accompaniment to balance the flavors.
- Chopped Salad: Create a fresh and colorful salad with lettuce, diced tomatoes, avocado, black beans, and corn, dressed with a lime-cilantro vinaigrette.
- Masa Harina: If you can't find masa harina (corn flour used to make traditional masa dough), you can try using regular cornmeal or even a combination of cornmeal and all-purpose flour. The texture might differ slightly, but it should still work.
- Tortillas: Instead of making the thick, round masa tortillas, you can use store-bought corn tortillas. While they won't have the same thickness, they can serve as a suitable alternative.
- Filling: While beef is a common filling, you can substitute it with other proteins like shredded chicken, pork, ground turkey, or even a vegetarian option like black beans, pinto beans, or sautéed vegetables.
- Toppings: The beauty of gorditas lies in their customizable toppings. Feel free to use any combination of fresh ingredients you enjoy, such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream, salsa, or guacamole.
- Spices: Experiment with various spices and seasonings to suit your taste. Common spices used in the beef filling include cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, and oregano.
Beef Gorditas Recipe Variations
- Spicy Beef Gorditas: Add some heat to the beef filling by incorporating diced jalapeños, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or crushed red pepper flakes. Spicy food enthusiasts will love this zesty twist.
- Cheesy Beef Gorditas: Mix shredded cheese into the beef filling, allowing it to melt and blend with the meat as it cooks. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or queso fresco are excellent choices for a cheesy delight.
- Barbacoa Gorditas: Replace the ground beef with tender, slow-cooked barbacoa beef. The rich, flavorful barbacoa complements the masa tortillas beautifully.
- Breakfast Gorditas: Serve up gorditas with a breakfast twist. Fill the masa pockets with scrambled eggs, chorizo, and diced potatoes, creating a satisfying morning meal.
- Avocado Lime Crema: Enhance the toppings by making a creamy avocado lime crema. Blend avocados, sour cream, lime juice, and a pinch of salt until smooth and drizzle it over the gorditas.
- Pico de Gallo Gorditas: Replace traditional salsa with fresh pico de gallo as a topping. Dice tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, and mix with lime juice and salt for a vibrant burst of flavors.
- Guajillo Beef Gorditas: Prepare the beef with a guajillo chili marinade. Simmer dried guajillo chilies in water, blend with garlic, cumin, vinegar, and marinate the beef for a few hours before cooking.
- Three Pepper Beef Gorditas: Add depth to the beef filling by incorporating three types of peppers: bell peppers for sweetness, poblano peppers for mild heat, and serrano peppers for some extra kick.
- Hawaiian Gorditas: Embrace fusion cuisine by combining the beef filling with pineapple chunks and a touch of teriyaki sauce. It's a unique and tasty blend of Mexican and Hawaiian flavors.
- Chipotle Aioli: Create a smoky and creamy aioli by mixing mayonnaise with chipotle in adobo sauce, garlic, and a squeeze of lime. Drizzle this sauce over the gorditas for a delightful finish.
- Mixing Bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining the masa dough ingredients and preparing the beef filling.
- Griddle or Comal: A griddle or comal is used to cook the gorditas. It's a flat, round, or square cooking surface typically made of cast iron, steel, or other materials. It allows for even heating and helps achieve the crispy exterior and soft interior of the gorditas.
- Rolling Pin: You'll need a rolling pin to flatten the masa dough into rounds before cooking.
- Knife and Cutting Board: A knife and cutting board will be necessary to chop vegetables and other ingredients for the beef filling and toppings.
- Skillet or Frying Pan: If you're making a cooked beef filling, you'll need a skillet or frying pan to sauté the beef with spices and other ingredients.
- Stove or Cooktop: You'll need access to a stove or cooktop to heat the griddle or comal, as well as to cook the beef filling if necessary.
- Tongs or Spatula: Tongs or a spatula will help you handle the gorditas while cooking, flipping them as needed.
- Kitchen Towels or Cloth: Having some kitchen towels or cloths on hand is helpful for keeping the gorditas warm and wrapping them as you cook more batches.
How to store Beef Gorditas
- Cooling the Gorditas: Allow the cooked beef gorditas to cool down to room temperature before storing them. This prevents excess condensation and sogginess.
- Wrap or Seal: Individually wrap each gordita in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This step helps prevent them from sticking together and keeps them from drying out in the refrigerator.
- Zip-top Bags or Airtight Container: Place the wrapped gorditas in a large zip-top bag or an airtight container. This additional layer of protection ensures the gorditas stay fresh and maintains their flavors.
- Refrigerate: Store the wrapped gorditas in the refrigerator. They can typically be kept in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
- Freezing (Optional): If you want to store the gorditas for a more extended period, freezing is a great option. Place the wrapped gorditas in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container, and they can be frozen for up to 2 to 3 months.
- Thawing Frozen Gorditas: To thaw frozen gorditas, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight. You can then reheat them using a microwave, oven, or stovetop.
- Reheating: When you're ready to enjoy the stored gorditas, reheat them in the oven, toaster oven, or microwave. If using the oven, wrap them in foil and warm at a low temperature (around 300°F/150°C) until heated through. In the microwave, cover them with a damp paper towel and heat on medium power in short intervals, checking frequently to avoid overheating.
Beef Gorditas Recipe Top tips
- Masa Dough Consistency: Pay attention to the consistency of the masa dough. It should be moist but not overly sticky. If it's too dry, the gorditas may crack, and if it's too wet, they might become hard to handle. Adjust with a little more masa harina or water as needed.
- Resting Time: Allow the masa dough to rest for about 30 minutes before shaping the gorditas. This resting period allows the dough to hydrate fully, making it easier to handle and preventing it from shrinking excessively during cooking.
- Use Parchment Paper: If you don't have a tortilla press, you can use parchment paper to press the masa dough into rounds. This prevents the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and makes it easier to achieve a uniform thickness.
- Uniform Thickness: Try to make the gorditas as evenly thick as possible to ensure they cook evenly and puff up during cooking. Using a tortilla press or a rolling pin with parchment paper can help achieve this consistency.
- Proper Cooking Temperature: Heat the griddle or comal to medium-high heat before cooking the gorditas. The surface should be hot enough to create a slight sizzle when placing the gorditas on it.
- Preheat Before Each Batch: If making multiple batches, make sure to preheat the griddle or comal again before cooking each new set of gorditas. Consistent heat ensures even cooking and prevents sticking.
- Avoid Overcooking: Be mindful not to overcook the gorditas, as this can result in a tough texture. Cook them until they develop a slight golden color on both sides, and they have puffed up without becoming overly crispy.
- Keep Warm While Cooking: As you finish cooking each batch, wrap the gorditas in a clean kitchen towel or cloth to keep them warm and prevent them from drying out.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove