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Beef Enchiladas and Corn and Avacado Salad

I love all variations of enchiladas. They are such a flexible dish to make, since you can use whatever filling you have (chicken, beef, pork, cheese, bean, roasted veggies are just a few of the many choices). You can also top with green sauce or red sauce, whatever and however much cheese you like (hint: more is better). It is quick to whip up the homemade red sauce I’m using here, but evened canned enchilada sauce tastes good.

I’m going to include my recipe for shredded barbacoa beef here, which is what I typically use, but in this case I happened to have leftover beef in my freezer from making Birria Tacos (recipe to come later – if you haven’t had them they are pan fried tacos cooked in the beef fat from slow cooking the beef in Mexican chiles – they are soooo good), so I used that, which made this even easier.

I like the combo of monterey jack and cheddar cheese so that is usually my go to for enchiladas. I like both flour and corn tortillas so I use whichever I’m in the mood for. Today I used flour. I like to serve these with some hot sauce, some sour cream, some cilantro sprinkled on top, and some Spanish rice on the side.

I also made a simple corn and avacado salad to eat with the enchiladas. It is a quick side dish and a good accompaniment to any Mexican recipe.

Enchiladas:

To make the sauce:

In a medium sauce pan, heat oil over medium until hot, then add the onion, garlic, jalapenos, 1/2 tsp salt and the spices. Cook until fragrant and onion is browning a little, stirring often so the spices don’t burn, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer and cook about 10-15 minutes to meld the flavors. Strain the sauce over a strainer, reserving both the sauce and the little veggie bits in separate bowls. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and extra spices as needed.

Preheat oven to 400. Mix the leftover veggie bits with your shredded beef, 1/4 cup of the reserved sauce, and 1/2 cup of each cheese, and a little of the chopped cilantro. This is you filling.

If using corn tortillas, microwave them under a damp towel for a few seconds to make them less likely to crack. If you are using flour you can skip this. Place about 1/3 cup of filling on a tortilla, roll tightly, and place into a greased 9×13 pan, seam side down. Continue with the rest of your tortillas.

Pour the rest of the sauce over your pan of enchiladas and top with the rest of the cheese. Cover with foil sprayed with oil (so your cheese doesn’t stick and come off… so sad). Bake about 30 minutes and then remove the foil and bake 10 more until the cheese is browned. You can broil for a few minutes too to get it browned quickly. Remove and let stand a few minutes before serving.

Shredded Barbacoa Beef:

Combine the chiles in adobo, vinegar, lime juice, tomato paste, garlic, spices, and salt and pepper in a blender and puree until smooth. Cut roast into a few chunks and sear them in some oil in a hot pan to get some nice browning on the meat, add the onions and brown them. Place the meat in to a crock pot, or into a dutch over and pour the sauce over. Add the broth and bay leaves. Cover and cook on low in crock pot until meat is easily shreddable (6-8 hours), or cook at 325 for 3-4 hours in the oven. Shred the meat and use in enchiladas or burritos.

Corn and Avacado salad (with optional bacon):

5 ears of corn, kernels removed from the cob

6 strips cooked bacon (optional)

1/2 cup feta or cojita cheese

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 large avacado diced

juice of one lime

salt and pepper to taste

Cook the corn in a tbsp butter over medium heat and until slightly golden. Place in a bowl and let cool slightly. Add the remaining ingredients and toss. You can serve at room temp, or chilled. I like room temp. The bacon is optional for this, but it is so good with it. You can also add a diced jalapeno, or some halved cherry tomatoes to this.

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