Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Beef Enchiladas

Beef Enchiladas

Okey doke, it's been about a week now and things are getting back on track. I'll never have to get my wisdom teeth taken out again. Yay! I made these enchiladas a few weeks ago when I was craving something bold and spicy. But be warned, they were a bit on the spicy side. I skipped the traditional step of pan frying the tortillas then dipping them in enchilada sauce. Instead, I simply wrapped the stack of tortillas in foil and warmed them in the oven until they were pliable. You can fill them with shredded chicken instead of ground beef (a good way to use up leftover roast chicken), or use Mexican rice instead of meat for a vegetarian version, add extra cheese, or skip the cheese entirely, it's really up to you.

This is a tomato-less chili based enchilada sauce. A lot of recipes just call for 1 chipotle chili but then I just end up with a whole can minus 1 leftover so I used three. You can even use four or five if you can take the heat. Just make sure to remove the seeds, cut the chilies open lengthwise and remove the seeds, otherwise it will be way too spicy. To store leftover chipotles, freeze them individually on a sheet tray then after they are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. Store the adobo sauce from the can in a zipper lock bag as well. Keep the bag flat in the freezer so the sauce freezes in an even layer. This way when you need some adobo sauce, you can just break a piece off the frozen slab (much easier than trying to scoop it out of a container when its frozen solid).

Beef Enchiladas
3/4 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
Roughly 8 6-inch corn tortillas
1 1/2 C shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese or a combination of the two

Enchilada Sauce
2 Tbsp lard or bacon fat or substitute oil or butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 rounded Tbsp chili powder
3 chipotle chilies packed in adobo, seeds removed and minced
2 Tbsp adobo sauce from the can of chipotle chilies
2 C chicken stock + 1 C water
Salt and pepper

Optional Garnishes:
Chopped cilantro
Sour cream

In a medium saucepan, heat two tablespoons of lard (or cooking fat of your choice) over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of flour and whisk until the mixture, the roux, looks blonde. Add the chili powder and minced chipotle chilies, whisk and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock and water mixture and the adobo sauce from the can. Simmer the mixture until it is thick and bubbly (if it looks too thick, add some more water). Season with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and break it up into bite size pieces. Cook the ground beef until it is browned and cooked through. Drain the beef and set aside.

Reserve about 2 teaspoons of fat in the skillet from cooking the beef. Heat over medium heat and add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat. Add the drained ground beef back into the onion mixture and add about a half cup of enchiliada sauce and season with some salt and pepper if needed. Set the meat mixture aside.

Wrap the stack of tortillas in foil. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and put the tortillas in the oven while it preheats. When the tortillas are warm and pliable, remove them from the oven.

Spread about a 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish. Add a 1/4 C of the meat mixture and about two tablespoons of the shredded cheese to a tortilla and roll it up. Place the roll seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas and fill the baking dish. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle cheese evenly on top. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 15 - 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Serve with optional garnishes or with a side of Mexican rice.


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I love chipotles in adobo, but with three in this dish, it must have been super-hot! Great tip about freezing the adobo sauce in a sheet and breaking off bits as you need them; I love to add a bit of the sauce (without the peppers) into many other sauces. Glad you are recovering from your dental anguish!

Anonymous said...

Mexican beef enchiladas sound super good right now, and yours look drool-worthy!

Anonymous said...

I like things spicy so this sounds great. I've also been craving enchiladas so this is making my mouth water!

Jane O' said...

I love all Mexican food. This looks fantastic.
I've just started a new blog as a companion blog to Thyme for Herbs. ( It's called An Herbal Bedfellow.( I'm adding you to my blogroll. I hope you'll stop by.
I'll visit again soon.

Anonymous said...

This looks great! I can't wait to try it!

test it comm said...

Those enchiladas look really tasty!

LyB said...

This looks fabulous! I would definitely not omit the cheese, I love melted cheese! I'd make this a little less spicy though, my taste buds aren't used to such spicy foods. :)

Oh, and I gave you an award; please check it out here

Angela said...

Those enchiladas look delicious, my OH has had all his upper teeth removed and he is struggling to eat at all, it doesn't help that he craves a delicious steak! never mind he can have one when he gets his dentures fitted ;-)

RecipeGirl said...

Ah, wisdom teeth... not fun. Glad it's over.

I love a great enchilada recipe. These look super drool worthy!

Anonymous said...

Those are delicious looking! Did you use leftover meat in this? It's gorgeous. It'd be a perfect entry for our new event at Foodie With Family. The Second Tuesdays Déjà Food Event.

We're celebrating the beautiful dishes we can create from leftovers. And yes, there is a prize! We'd love to see you there!

I'll ship anywhere so long as customs doesn't prohibit!!!

Sophie said...

Delicious! This is definitely my kind of comfort food :).

Lisa said...

I made this last night, but I only used one pepper. Two may have been okay, but wow--I couldn't do three! I had a hard time scraping together 2 Tbsp of the sauce, though. Are some saucier than others??

Pam said...

Great picture! Enchiladas can be difficult to photograph. Your enchilada sauce sounds really good.

Jessica said...

I came to check out your DB challenge and I'm leaving with a craving for Enchiladas! I'm bookmarking this for sure!

Helene said...

That looks fantastic! I hope your teeth (or lack thereof) feel better.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! =O I so want to eat this now ...

I was planning to extract my wisdom teeth next Fri and reading your post makes me even more scared ;P

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I love how versatile this recipe is. Your look wonderfully good. Wish I could lick that blop of quacamole off the screen!

Anonymous said...

Enchiladas are a hit in my house, they are my husbands favorite. Thanks for the article

Here is my blog:

Anonymous said...

You have a nice blog...keep up the good job:)

Madeline said...

These look so delicious! I want them NOW!

Veron said...

I'm glad you are recovering from your wisdom teeth pain. yaiks. This beef enchilada really looks yummy!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Those look outrageously good. And the bolder the better. So bring 'em on! :)

Tara the Foodie said...

I am a sucker for good enchiladas and these look fabulous. Just cheesy enough and I like that you used chipotles in adobo for your enchilada sauce. I like the heat, so I may try that next time I make enchiladas. Yum!

Anonymous said...

holy drool-worthy enchiladaa, batman.

Heather said...

wow! this looks delicious! glad i found your site!

Val said...

I have been drooling over this recipe ever since you posted it (3 weeks ago! the internets misses you), and finally made it tonight. Delicious. Delicious. Delicious.

Sylvia said...

I love Mexican food, the sauce looks really delicious. Amazing photo too

Amy said...

I hope me scraping out the seeds tempered the heat but maybe the smoking when the peppers are made releases a lot of the capsaicin, I dunno. Thanks for the warm wishes Lydia. <3 :)

Thank you!

Mrs. L,
We like things really spicy too. :)

Jane Marie,
Thanks for visiting!

I hope you like it.


We are cheese lovers too. :D Thank you so much for the award, you are too kind!

Mm, I was craving a burger again after the second operation. Steak too!

Yeah, never have to do that again! Hooray!

No leftover meat this time but this would be great with shredded leftover chicken. Yum!

*high 5*

Sorry for responding to your comment so late. When I opened and stored my peppers, I tried my best to get most of the sauce out of the peppers so I could separate out the adobo sauce. Perhaps my can of peppers was really saucy because I got a good amount of sauce out of it.

Thank you!

I hope you try it! :)


Oh I don't mean to frighten you! I think I just had a particularly bad reaction, or maybe I'm just a big baby. I hope you are fully recovered now! <3

I totally added more guac after I took that photo. Can't have too much of that stuff. Mmmm... :)


Thanks so much.


Aw thank you.

I'm with ya!

They add really great flavor!

Now that reminds me how good The Dark Knight was. :D

I'm glad you stopped by!

Aw I'm so glad you liked it! xoxo I miss the internets too *gives ehug to food blog world*

Thank you!

emily said...

Any tips for adjusting the sauce for wimps? I would love to make this recipe!

Anonymous said...

just wanted to say, i made these the other night for dinner. man they were yummy! totally didn't look as good as your picture- but it was still delish, and had a great kick to it! i might try them again in a few weeks with chicken!

Anonymous said...

These look so yummy and traditional! I think it's neat that the sauce is chili-based and doesn't include tomatoes :). I can smell the yummy aroma from here! We would like to feature your recipe on our kitchen recipe reader. Please email me at if you're interested. Have a great weekend!

Joe Horn said...

I just made some lower fat chicken and cheese enchiladas and put them on my blog. Actually I've made them quite a bit, they are great. Come take a look if you have a chance and let me know what you think.


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