I think I’ve mentioned a few times here and there that I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth. Sure, I’ll enjoy something sweet every now and then, but I don’t really crave it as often as you think. I believe this is from years of working in a bakery when I was in high school and college. The main reason is because I would much rather have a second helping of something savory, like chips or fries, rather than to save room for dessert. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a good classic cinnamon roll, but something but a savory “cinnamon” roll just really appeals to me. I’ve made a few over the years, the first were these Savory BBQ Pulled Pork Cinnamon Rolls that still call out to me. Then I made a garlic bread meets cinnamon roll situation that I still can’t get enough of. This time around, I’m taking my love of tacos to a whole other level, and what better day to share them on, than on Taco Tuesday. I’ve teamed up with my friends at GO BOLD WITH BUTTER, to bring you these delicious and yet over-the-top rolls that will make any Tuesday that much more interesting. Give them a try soon because they’re all you’ll be thinking about for the next several days. Trust me.
Let’s start by browning the meat in a very hot skillet with a bit of butter. I’m using ground sirloin. You want something leaner, with not much fat in it, so a 90/10 would be great. Break up with a wooden spoon and cook until fully browned. Then add in the onion and garlic and cook until softened.
**Tip: If your skillet is too small or wasn’t hot enough, you might find excess moisture in the skillet. If this happens, you can drain the liquid, return the beef and veggies to the skillet and continue to cook until browned.**
Then stir in the taco seasonings, salt, pepper, tomato paste and a bit of water. Give it all a big stir and allow it to cook for a couple of minutes to really develop that tomato paste flavor.
**Tip: The water will mostly evaporate and create a sauce of some kind with the beef, but chicken stock or beef stock work well too, if you’re wanting more flavor!**
Once most of the liquid has evaporated, remove the skillet from the heat and allow to cool completely.
**Note: Because we’re working with dough and cheese, you want the filling to be at room temperature. If its too hot, it’ll warm up the dough and cheese will make it harder to roll properly and slice.**
Roll out the dough into a very large rectangle and then spoon over the warmed refried beans and cooled meat mixture. Make sure you go all the way to the edges.
For the dough, I’m just using the same dough I always use for my savory cinnamon rolls. You can grab the recipe from these BBQ Pulled Pork Buns! Roll it out into a large rectangle, as you would regular cinnamon rolls, but instead of brushing the dough with butter, you’re going to smear it with refried black beans. Then sprinkle with the cooled ground beef mixture. Top with cheese.
Roll the dough into a log, length wise, making sure to roll it as tight as you can as you go along. Then cut into twelve even pieces.
**Tip: To ensure that all of the rolls are somewhat the same size, I like to cut the log in half. Then cut each half in half as well, so you end up with four equal pieces. Then you cut each piece into even thirds. You’ll end up with twelve rolls similar in size!**
Place the rolls on a greased 9×13-inch rectangular baking pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and let rest in a warm spot until doubled in size.
**Note: In the meantime, you can begin preheating your oven to 375 degrees F, and place the pan on top of the stove. The warmth from the oven coming through will help them rise quicker!**
Bake until until golden brown and puffed up, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, while you make the cheese sauce topping.
Traditional cinnamon rolls have that yummy glaze, but since these are savory and because they’re taco rolls after all, I thought it would be great if these had a homemade queso sauce on top. To do this, melt butter in a saucepan and whisk in the flour. Cook for about 30 seconds.
Whisk in the milk and cook until it has thickened. Then season with a bit of taco seasoning (or just a bit of salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder). Remove from the heat and add the shredded Cheddar. Stir until the cheese has melted through.
Once the cheese sauce is ready, drizzle over the top of warm rolls. Just load up as much as you’d like. Remember that when queso is involved, more is always better. You can also serve the rest on the side for more dipping and dunking.
Top the rolls with all of your favorite taco toppings. Diced tomatoes, diced avocado, fresh cilantro, salsa and some crumbled queso fresco. More cheese is always a good idea.
If you plan on making these ahead of time, bake them off, and let them cool completely and wrap well. Place in the fridge for up to 2 days. Then rewarm in a 350 degree oven and top as directed.
These would be great as vegetarian rolls as well. If you want, you can totally leave out the beef mixture. The refried beans would be enough and with all the other toppings, they would be amazing!
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