Beef and cheese enchiladas; a favorite of many Mexican restaurant goers. In fact – and this is only speculation on my part – it seems to be the most prevalent item found on many combo plates. And today we’re going to show you how you can make delicious homemade beef and cheese enchiladas right from the comfort of your own kitchen.
You might just find out that it’s easier than you thought. Just make sure you have plenty of enchilada sauce on hand. You can either purchase some from your local grocery store, or you can make it yourself with this recipe: Homemade Enchilada Sauce
You might also consider whipping up some Pico De Gallo. It’s not hard and it tastes great. And the best part, is that’s it’s extremely healthy.
Before I move on, let me do a little rambling. I’m going to try and convince you why I feel the enchilada is the most ubiquitous item found on many menus.
Here’s a typical combo plate for instance: One beef, one chicken, and one cheese enchilada. Rice and beans are included of course, but there will be an additional charge for sour cream and/or guacamole.
So how many of you, who eat Mexican food on a semi-regular basis, have seen that one? I’ll bet most of you.
I’ll keep going with another example: Your choice of three beef, three chicken, or three cheese enchiladas. Or how about this one: One beef enchilada, one cheese enchilada, and one beef taco. Sure it has a taco, but it still features two enchiladas. And finally there’s my favorite: Two chile rellenos…
Okay, well that’s not a very good example. I absolutely love chile rellenos but that will have to be a different post for a different day. Focus Andrew, focus…
So as some of you might know, an enchilada is a corn tortilla wrapped around some sort of filling and then covered with a chile pepper sauce, usually referred to as enchilada sauce. The filling can include items such as meat, cheese, vegetables, potatoes, or a combination of ingredients.
Enchiladas originated in Mexico, and date back to the Mayan times at least. Particular people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico would fold corn tortillas around small fish they caught.
Now, I’m no fan of seafood so I’ll be sticking with beef and cheese enchiladas. You can either buy enchilada seasoning from the store or follow the ingredient list below.
Finally, I highly recommend using corn tortillas for your homemade beef and cheese enchiladas since that’s how enchiladas should be made. And stick with the yellow corn tortillas as opposed to the white. The thicker ones work better too.
If you use flour tortillas, you’ll end up with something like a burrito. Plus corn tortillas hold up much better in the enchilada sauce, which I’ve linked to in the ingredient list below.
Homemade Beef and Cheese Enchiladas
By: Semiserious Chefs
Serves: 4 – 5 (or 1 Nathan and 1 Vanessa)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 cup diced white onion
- 10 corn tortillas
- 3 cups shredded Monterey jack, cheddar, or Mexican blend cheese (2 cups for the filling, and 1 cup for the topping)
- Vegetable oil or cooking spray
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt (or less as desired)
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- In a medium skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat. When it’s getting close to being done, add the onion and cook for a couple more minutes, stirring to let the onion have a chance to cook.
- Drain the grease from the ground beef and add about 1 cup of cold water. Return the beef to the burner and turn the heat down to medium-low. Add all the ingredients listed under the enchilada seasoning section above and mix well to incorporate.
- Let simmer gently so it reduces and thickens up some, stirring occasionally. About 10 – 12 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C)
- In a different skillet add a few drops of vegetable oil or use some cooking spray to lightly coat the bottom.
- With a pair of tongues, drop in a corn tortilla and let it briefly heat. Flip the tortilla and let it briefly cook on the other side as well. This adds flavor as well as making the corn tortilla more flexible for rolling.
- Remove the tortilla and place it on a cutting board. Watch out though, the tortilla will be very hot.
- When it’s cool enough to touch, scoop roughly two heaping spoon fulls (we just want to split it among 10 enchiladas) of the seasoned ground beef out and spread it down the middle of the corn tortilla. Sprinkle the meat with a portion of the shredded cheese and then carefully roll it up and place it in a baking dish seam-side down.
- Repeat this process for the rest of the corn tortillas.
- When they are all wrapped and set in the dish, cover them all with enchilada sauce and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove enchiladas from oven and sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese.
- Return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes or until all the cheese is melted.
- Let cool for 5 minutes and then garnish with cilantro, sour cream, diced tomatoes or anything else you want.
*Note: I’m using an 11″ x 7″ baking dish, and the ten enchiladas fit, but there isn’t much room to spare. If you want or need more room, go ahead and use whatever size you want.