2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 oz ancho chiles
stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1-inch pieces
1 tbsp canned chipotle chile
2 whole onions
chopped fine
2 tbsp avocado oil
6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tsp ground cumin
to taste
1 tbsp avocado oil
1 lb ground beef
90% fat or less (otherwise the dish ends up greasy)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
to taste
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
2 tbsp cilantro
1/4 cup enchilada sauce
about 1/2 teaspoon or to taste
1 tbsp avocado oil
12 corn tortillas
1/4 cup enchilada sauce
enchilada sauce
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese
2 scallions
sliced thin in bias
2 tbsp cilantro
sour cream
lime wedges
While there are a ton of ingredients in this recipe, the flavors and textures of the enchiladas are super solid! This dish is super satisfying. Heads up ... there are several different steps, so budget your time accordingly, or prep components like the sauce and filling in advance. We appreciate that the 12-inch nonstick skillet does triple duty in this recipe as it minimizes the cleanup effort. The enchilada sauce actually ends up not being spicy after it has baked in the oven.
If cooking the enchiladas in one fell swoop, preheat the oven to 400°F. Otherwise preheat the oven 15 minutes before warming the tortillas and assembling the enchiladas.
Create the sauce
In a 4-cup measuring glass, measure out 2 cups of beef broth.
In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, warm up the ancho pieces over medium high heat. Toss (or stir) frequently for 2-3 minutes until fragrant, then stir the anchos into the beef broth until fully submerged.
Cover the beef broth and anchos with a plate and microwave for about 2 minutes. Rest the anchos in the broth for about 5 minutes so that they soften, then transfer the mixture to the blender jar.
Add the chipotle to the blender jar as well.
In the same 12-inch nonstick skillet, warm the oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
Transfer half of the onion mixture into a large bowl.
Add the tomato paste and cumin to the remaining onions in the skillet. Over medium heat, cook and stir frequently for 3-5 minutes until the tomato paste turns a dark brick red. Transfer this mixture into the blender jar.
Process sauce for about 1 minute until smooth. Season to taste with salt. We added salt in 1/4 teaspoon increments and thought it was seasoned well with a total of 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Create the filling
In the same 12-inch nonstick skillet, warm oil until it shimmers.
Add the beef, cumin, coriander, and salt. Cook and break up the meat for about 2 minutes. Add the onion mixture from earlier, but keep the bowl on hand. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until all the pink disappears from the meat.
Transfer the meat mixture into the large bowl. Mix in the cheese, cilantro, and sauce. Season to taste with salt.
Assemble and bake the enchiladas
Brush oil on both sides of the tortillas, then lay them overlapping on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes to make them pliable.
Spread sauce over the bottom of the baking dish.
Spread about 1/4 cup of the meat filling into the center of a softened tortilla. We like to use a mini spatula to help spread the meat, roll the tortilla, and lift it into the baking dish. Set each enchilada seam side down. Repeat.
Pour and spread the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas. Top with cheese and bake for about 15 minutes. Cheese should brown and sauce should bubble at the edges.
Cool for 10 minutes, then top with sour cream, scallions, and cilantro. Serve with a wedge of lime.
source: adapted from the January-February 2018 issue of Cook's Illustrated
As a family of two adults and one toddler, there is no way we could eat this entire recipe in a single sitting, so we spread it out across two dinners. On the first night, we'll fill and roll all the enchiladas, but we cook only half of them with sauce. We put aside half of the enchiladas, sauce and cheese for the next day, storing the sauce and enchiladas separately. On the second night, dinner is on the table way faster as we simply have to combine the enchiladas and sauce before baking.