Holidays in the ‘Burgh

Expert advice on how to make your own Mad Mex Gobblerito at home

You’ll need turkey and tortillas. Experience dabbling in marijuana is a plus.

The Gobblerito.

The Gobblerito.

COURTESY BIG BURRITO RESTAURANT GROUP
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There are three things you’ll need in attempting to make a version of Mad Mex’s famed Gobblerito at home: Thanksgiving leftovers, flour tortillas, and experience dabbling in marijuana.

“If you know how to roll a joint, you’re good to go,” Big Burrito chef Bill Fuller said of the cramp-inducing and now iconic dish that’s been sold at Mad Mex restaurants for roughly a decade. “And you can quote me on that.”

Sales of the Gobblerito officially ended Wednesday. So if you want one before they go on sale again next year, you’re gonna have to get rolling yourself. Plus, as of this evening, you’ll have an armload of suitable ingredients forced upon you by a weary mother or grandmother. That’s what those in the food business call a win-win.

But because maybe you’re currently stoned, haven’t attempted this before, or just aren’t sure where to start, we asked Fuller for some guidance. He described to us an egalitarian and judgement-free process in which the tortilla is your canvas and your love of weird food combinations the only muse.

He also discussed using your first mockup to sabotage a least-favorite friend, why he doesn’t want his burrito telling him what to do, and why how you build your at-home Gobblerito is ultimately between you and God.

Enjoy.

Q: What ingredients do we need?

A: Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies, cranberry, gravy, tortilla.

Q: What do we do?

A: You get out all your [ingredients], your leftover turkey and stuffing and gravy and potatoes — whatever you want to put in there. We put in corn, but if I had leftover Brussels sprouts I’d put those bad boys in there.

You heat everything up. Nuke a tortilla just for like 10 seconds. Make it a big tortilla, the biggest tortilla you can get, and lay it out and spoon all your stuff like halfway from the bottom to the middle.

With the stuffing: When you heat it up, a lot of people will take all the [ingredients] and put it on a plate and nuke it, but I like to take the stuffing and slice it and pan fry it in some butter so it’s a little crispy outside and creamy inside.

Q: Any shell recommendations? 

A: We use 12-inch flour tortillas. Corn doesn’t work because it will blow up. It will crack. But I would use the biggest — I think you can get 12-inch tortillas at the store. And whole wheat’s fine. If you have some guilt that you need a little extra whole grain, that’s fine. But [regular flour shells] are more flexible.

Also, if all you have is six-inch tortillas, you may have to trade down to Gobblerito tacos. Lay out the tortillas, put a little potatoes, stuffing, veggies and turkey in each taco and then roll up the taco and dip it in the gravy.

The whole idea behind the Gobblerito was to repurpose leftovers and celebrate the whole Thanksgiving thing and have some fun this time of year. So have some fun with it.

Q: What are the tricks to wrapping it all up besides a history of pot use?

A: The important thing about rolling a burrito is making sure you don’t have too much stuff. If you have too much stuff it’s just going to blow up. If you’re going to make Gobbleritos for you and your friends, the person you like least, give them the first one because it will either explode or won’t have enough stuff in it.

Then you take and fold the tortilla like halfway up and kind of tuck the bottom tip in […] and then you fold the ends in and lay them down real nice. At that point you have what looks like an envelope.

[Fuller said it’s okay to make a mess of it. He demonstrates here on “Pittsburgh Today Live.”]

Q: Are there any sacrilegious ingredients?

A: I think it’s gross to put cranberry sauce on the inside but that’s just me. We put cranberry sauce on the side so you can control your cranberry intake. [Putting it inside] just doesn’t work for me. Sometimes I want just a little, sometimes not, sometimes just a mouthful. I don’t want the burrito to tell me how much cranberry sauce to eat.

Q: Any must-have accompaniments?

A: It’s always good to have a drink with it. Even if it’s Friday morning at 10, you should have something to drink, either sparkling wine or a mimosa. I think the day after Thanksgiving a little somethin’-somethin’ is always good — unless you have to go to work later in the day. I can’t recommend that.

Q: What about the turkey? Is there room for interpretation there?

A: Ideally, it’s leftovers. You know, whatever you like, whether it’s leftover thigh meat or breast meat. Make sure there’s no bones because that’s kind of gross. I wouldn’t put a turkey wing in there.

But if you don’t have leftover turkey — if, for example, you went over to your aunt’s house and she cooked a tiny turkey for 30 people and there’s no leftovers — and you’ve got to buy some turkey lunch meat, the only person that’s watching is God.

It really is a judgement-free zone, and it’s just another way to eat your Thanksgiving leftovers. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Want some more? Explore other Holidays in the ‘Burgh stories.

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