Ground Beef and a wonderfully rich and earthy red chile sauce come together for these cheesy, Mountain Mex Enchiladas.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times. If someone makes enchiladas for you it means they love you. Enchiladas are a skill and a process that truly is a labor of love. From preparing the filling, making the red chile sauce, to frying and dipping the corn tortillas … not difficult, but a process that can take at least a couple of hours. It’s a leisurely way to spend an afternoon, with a delicious authentic result.
I was having lunch with my friend Gracie a couple of weeks ago and of course the conversation eventually turned to food. Gracie is from Texas and was telling me about her family’s traditional ground beef enchiladas recipe. What peaked my interested is that Gracie started the gravy process by toasting flour. This new to me idea sent me running to the kitchen to give it a try.
These enchiladas begin with making a beautiful gravy starting with toasting the flour. But how to toast flour? Easy enough to do, just heat a fry pan over medium-high heat. Add flour and stirring constantly, the flour will start to a light caramel color and take on a nutty aroma.
Related Material: Truck Stop Enchiladas
Remove the toasted flour to a plate and use the same fry pan to finish the meal. The rest of the process is pretty standard.
- Browning the ground beef
- Sauteeing the poblano peppers, onions and garlic
- Adding the tomatoes and red chile sauce (or canned enchilada sauce)
- Then thickening with the toasted flour
- Frying, dipping and filling the corn tortillas
- Baking into a cheesy, beefy, red-chile-y wonderful treat
A few weeks ago, I made Rosa’s Red Chile Sauce. Rosa is my former neighbor and tamale guru. I’ve been to a couple of her tamale class/demonstrations and always try to garner as much authentic Mexican cooking knowledge as I can possibly pry out of her. This is the sauce recipe Rosa uses for Pork Tamales, and can also be used for Enchiladas. I froze the sauce, to wait for the perfect enchilada making day. This sauce makes these this recipe the most authentic beef enchiladas recipe that I know. If you don’t want to take the time to make homemade red chile sauce, canned enchilada sauce will work just fine for this recipe.
Nothing like a casserole dish full of cheesy ground beef enchiladas to gather friends and family around the table.
A fresh batch of homemade Pico de Gallo and some sliced radishes is a perfect garnish and topping for these authentic ground beef enchiladas wrapped in corn tortillas.
- ½ cup flour
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 pound ground beef (20% fat)
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 4 poblano chile roasted, seeds and stem removed, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes canned
- 1 cup Red Chile Sauce or canned enchilada sauce
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 10 corn tortillas
- 1 pound cheddar cheese shredded
Toast flour in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown and smells like toasted nuts, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe out skillet.
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium-high. Add ground beef and cook, stirring to break up clumps, until browned, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove beef and reserve drippings in skillet.
Cook onion, poblano chile, in same skillet, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add tomatoes, season with salt, and continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated and tomatoes begin to stick to the skillet, about 8 minutes. Add red chile sauce and cook, stirring frequently, about 1 minute. Add reserved beef and toasted flour and toss until coated.
Whisking constantly, add broth, bring to a boil, and continue to whisk until no lumps remain. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until chili gravy has thickened and beef is tender, 30 minutes; season with salt. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; set beef and gravy aside separately.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°. Heat remaining 1 cup oil in a medium skillet over medium-high until oil bubbles immediately when edge of tortilla touches the surface. Working one at a time, fry tortilla, turning once, until just starting to brown and crisp, about 10 seconds per side. Transfer tortilla to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Spread 1 cup gravy lengthwise down the center of a 13x9" baking dish. Dip both sides of each tortilla in chili gravy just to coat, then transfer to a plate. Working one at a time, spread ¼ cup beef mixture down the center of tortilla and fold one side over filling, then continue to roll enchilada onto itself. Place seam side down in prepared baking dish as you go (enchiladas should be nestled right up against each other). Top with cheese and remaining gravy. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is beginning to brown, 20–25 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
Garnish with pico de gallo and sliced radish.
Looking for more killer enchilada recipes? Take a look at these
Mountain Mex Ground Beef Enchiladas, It’s what’s for Dinner