Beef Casseroles Cheese Meat Tex-Mex

Beef Enchiladas

Well, these happen to be beef, but they work with a variety of fillings. Today I used ground beef, but most of the time I use pulled chicken or beef from a chuck roast. Pulled pork is another great filling, or you could just use an all cheese filling. Enchiladas are always impressive in a restaurant, all filled and rolled and baked in a sauce smothered with melted cheese, but they are really easy to make. With chicken, I often make a red and white version, using two sauces, cheese and enchilada. That version does take a little more work.

I do go the extra step of making my own enchilada sauce, but maybe you have access to a good quality commercial version. I’m afraid the canned ones around here are just not as flavorful as mine—plus they have tomato sauce in them, which just doesn’t mesh with our idea of enchiladas. I think I’ve posted my enchilada sauce recipe before, but here it comes again:

Enchilada Sauce

  • Servings: about 2 cups
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Prepare Reconstituted Dried Chiles

  1. Rinse 6-8 dried ancho chiles, remove stems and seeds
  2. Tear into pieces so they fit in a small container or bowl
  3. Cover with 2 cups boiling water, submerging the peppers as much as possible; cover container with plastic wrap
  4. Set aside for at least 45 minutes; reconstituted peppers will be dark red, soft, and pliable
  5. Place reconstituted chiles in blender with half the liquid and puree, adding the rest of the liquid through the lid opening
  6. Strain puree through a fine strainer to remove large pieces of pulp; stir slowly in the strainer with a spoon until all the liquid is out and only the pepper fiber remains in the strainer

Prepare Enchilada Sauce

  1. Heat 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil  and 2 cloves of grated garlic in saucepan over medium heat until you can smell the garlic
  2. Stir in 1 tablespoon flour until smooth
  3. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  4. Pour in pepper puree and 1 tablespoon white or rice vinegar
  5. Stir and simmer until slightly thickened

Beef Enchiladas

  • Servings: 8 enchiladas
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 350°

1 lb ground beef, 80% lean or higher

1 medium onion, diced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground ancho pepper

1 cup sour cream

1 lb cheddar cheese, grated

2 cups enchilada sauce

8 whole wheat flour tortillas (8 inch soft taco size fits well in most rectangular baking dishes)

  • Brown ground beef in large saute pan. Add onion and seasonings, continuing to stir until the onion is beginning to soften and the spices are fragrant
  • Turn off heat and stir in sour cream*
  • Spread about 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce in bottom of baking dish to prevent sticking
  • Fill each tortilla with beef mixture and top with 2-3 tablespoons of grated cheese; roll and place in baking dish
  • Top with remaining enchilada sauce; as you can see, I don’t worry about covering all the tortilla edges—the dish should not be soupy
  • Top with the remaining cheese
  • Bake at 350° for about 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and beginning to brown and sauce is bubbling at edges

Other enchilada ideas:

  1. Use a drier meat mixture, serving sour cream as a garnish at serving
  2. Mix chicken with cheese sauce for filling, using enchilada sauce for topping
  3. Prepare shredded beef or pork that has been seasoned during roasting for filling
  4. Use uncooked diced onion in filling for more texture and a stronger onion flavor
  5. Skip the enchilada sauce and use only a cheese sauce—plus grated cheese—for topping

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