Jan Hagels
Freezable French Toast

Shredded Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas

IMG_6300

Shredded Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas

1.5 lbs chuck roast, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 T vegetable oil

1 large onion, diced
1/2 t salt
3 T chili powder
2 t cumin
2 t coriander
1/4 t cayenne
4 cloves garlic, minced

1 28 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 c red wine

2 c shredded cheddar cheese
2 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
 
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas

cilantro garnish

Heat oven to 300°. Dry beef with paper towels and then season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven until it is hot and shimmering. Cook half of the beef, turning to brown all sides. Remove browned beef to a plate and repeat with remaining oil and beef. Remove second batch of beef to the plate and then pour off fat, reserving about a tablespoon in the pan. Add onions and half a teaspoon of salt and cook until onions soften, about ten minutes. Add spices and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. Add garlic and cook and additional minute. Then add tomato sauce and red wine and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add beef to the sauce.

Tear a large sheet of aluminum foil and fold it in half. Then carefully press the aluminum foil into the pan. You want the foil to rest just above the level of the sauce and beef. Crimp the edges to form a seal around the rim of the pan (yeah, it is hot - be careful) and then put the lid on. The aluminum foil isn't strictly necessary but it cuts the cooking time in half if you do it.

Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for one to one and half hours - check it; the beef should be very tender and fall apart with a fork. Use a slotted spoon to remove the beef from the sauce. Let it cool until it can be handled, then shred it and put it into a medium bowl. Add one cup of cheddar cheese, one cup of the sauce and the black beans. Stir to combine.

Spread half a cup of sauce onto the bottom of a 13X9 baking dish. Increase oven to 375°.

Soften tortillas*. Working one at a time take a quarter cup of beef and bean filling and roll into each tortilla. Place filled tortillas seam side down in the baking dish. When you cannot fit any more into the pan, top with remaining sauce and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20-25 minutes until cheese has melted.

Garnish with cilantro.

Printable version here

-- Adapted from Josie Landon's recipe in Cook's Country, Oct/Nov 2009

Notes:

This was time consuming compared with using ground beef but it was delicious.

I know that chuck roasts are generally three to four pounds, even when they're on the small side. In this case I took a small one and chopped it in half. I used one half for the recipe and froze the other. I also realized that only Steve and I would really be eating this so I used an 8X8 pan, six tortillas and I (you'll never guess) froze the leftover filling and the sauce. I used the muffin pan again and the resulting beef and bean hockey pucks looked even weirder than the marinara sauce but it made nice single-serve portions for, say, lunch. For me. Or me. Or me me me.

Edward ate the beans. Caroline ate it all. Patrick... well, you know Patrick. I think he had peanut butter toast.

*There are lots of ways to soften a corn tortilla. You can wrap them in aluminum foil and bake them in a low oven for five to ten minutes. You can spray them with cooking spray and put them on a cookie sheet in a low oven for three to four minutes. Or you can use tongs and hold them individually over a gas burner for a minute or two on each side. I prefer the latter approach but I also regularly set tortillas on fire. Like, actual flaming fire. So there is that.              

Comments

You can also pop the tortillas in teh microwave (one or two ata time) for about 15 to 30 seconds--one will need to experiemnt!

I was wondering about the kids and their votes on things like this, but you kind of answered me with the PB toast aside. But do you make him/them try it first? How hard do you push? I'm really resistant to making multiple items each meal but I'm also not fond of being cried at and waging food wars. ("Meal times are happy times" my ass.) And yet, I'm reaaaaaally tired of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli. What's your approach?

You know what I would probably do with this? Do the beef and the sauce in the crockpot (w/o browning b/c I am lazy) and then assemble the enchiladas when I get home from work.

Another way to soften the tortillas is to wrap them in a kitchen towel (completely), place the wrapped tortillas in a plastic bag (do not seal the bag completely), and pop the whole thing in the microwave for a minute or so, depending on how many tortillas you're heating. You can make a stack of them at a time. Make sure to separate the tortillas before wrapping them, otherwise they'll all stick together and tear.
My easy version of enchiladas involves a sauce made with tomatillos and jalapeños (ratio depends on how much spice you can handle; boil the veggies until cooked through and throw them in a blender with some salt). Boil a chicken (salt should be added at the beginning of cooking, but I'm sure you know that; you may also use a bit of lemon pepper instead of salt), cool, shred. Fill softened tortillas with the shredded chicken, roll closed. Place in a casserole dish. Pour Mexican crema (sour cream) over the filled tortillas; pour the jalapeño/tomatillo sauce over the crema. You can do two layers of enchiladas/crema/salsa in the same dish, but make sure the sauce will not overflow during heating. Pop the dish in the oven for maybe 10-15 minutes. Serve with crumbled Mexican queso fresco or sprinkle with your favorite shredded cheese in the last few minutes of baking. Best when served with Spanish rice and refried beans. Yum!

I LOVE enchiladas and am still searching for the perfect recipe. I made ground turkey enchiladas last week (and they were gooood) but I am looking forward to trying these next week. YUM.

I have a similar recipe that uses leftover pot roast. Very yummy, and a lot easier. But of course yours is much more sophisticated and whatnot.

Those look really fantastic! Have you ever assembeled them and then frozen the whole thing? (Like instead of freezing sauce and dealing with half a roast) My brother-in-law's family tradition is to make enchiladas at Christmas and I have taken on the role of his apprentice to learn the technique. We make TONS and freeze them. They are just as good months later (if they last that long!) but they do take forever and a day to heat up.

This sounds great and I love Sheilah's crock pot suggestion. I think I will confront the children with this some time in October. They will probably end up eating plain black beans.

Thanks so much for adding the printable versions, Julia!

I think I'll include these as one of next week's dinners.

To answer one of the previous commentors question about separate meal: my oldest (4 yo) always wants peanut butter (+ jelly or on Ritz crackers), so our deal is that he has to try a piece/portion of what we eat, but I still fix him his peanut butter. My youngest (20 mos) actually eats what we eat most of the time and rarely complains.

The Mexican side of my family uses a cast iron pan to soften any tortillas. That's how most households cook them, and reheat them, resoften, etc.

I never liked cast iron, because I hated cleaning, and never built up a good coating. Then I decided to do lots of meats, and tried the salt trick. For a year, I only used the damn thing for any fatty meat, preferably bacon. Cool, wipe out the excess grease with a paper towel, run hot water until most of the rest is gone (or soak in hot water). Pour out all the water, sprinkle in a tablespoon of salt, rub in, rinse well. I use a paper towel, because it's nice and greasy, but not over greasy, so I can rub the oily salt into the handle and backside, protecting them as well.

Rinse, dry, and finally, 10 year old cast iron pans that are finally being used.

They're great for softening tortillas too. Use med. high heat, flip occasionally. Less chance of burned spots compared to flame, which is a very localized heat due to the ring shape of most burners.

Another way to deal with the problem of stiff corn tortillas is to forget rolling.

Stacked enchiladas are a little easier and less messy to make. Use the same ingredients, but put down a layer of sauce, then tortillas, then the filling of choice, cheese, then another layer of tortillas, more sauce, more cheese.

If you order enchiladas at a restaurant/taqueria in New Mexico, this is how you'll get them.

Oh this is very delicious. I scaled it down a bit - here in UK various cuts of beef are available already cut up for our stews - and made beans into a side dish. We ate it with tortillas and tacos and gusto.

Made it today. Elaborate but delectable. (One child opted for chocolate milk instead.)

I softened the tortillas in the microwave following Sarah's advice.

I use a plain ol' nonstick skillet to heat my tortillas, on medium heat, I toss them in one at a time. Usually one is warm by the time I've rolled the next enchilada so it's a really workable system.
I make green chili chicken enchiladas every fall when the weather cools off, but this year, these might just do the trick!

do you get Martha's everyday food? would love your take on some of her recipes...really like it so far....am trying this months salmon (cilantro/ginger marinade type thingy)

sorry for the non-sequitor here, but keep meaning to ask you this...

love that you started a food blog. your pancake receipe was the first one I ever downloaded off the internet and it remains the best ever - my son takes them to school every day for lunch... seriously...

Made these for dinner - excellent! For a workday dinner, I might try letting the meat/sauce cook in the ole crockpot, and then assemble and bake in the evening.

Thanks for sharing!

avid fan here with a question spawned but something you said on your main post re: Patrick and Nilla Wafers in his lunch. My 4 and a half year old b/g twins have just started staying at preschool for lunch and I've obsessed with what to put in their lunch box. (Oh, and my 3 year old who doesn't stay for lunch but is so offended that she doesn't I have to pack her a lunch that she takes to school and then brings home again). So, since Patrick is, er, particular about food, what do you send him for lunch??

I made these tonight--they were even a hit with the 4-year-old and 2-year-old (though the 34-year-old added some hot sauce). I thought they were much better than the salsa verde enchiladas in Cooks Illustrated last summer!

(BTW--your ads still don't show up on my screen! Am I the only one?)

This looks goooood. I am making these. I haven't even read the recipe yet, just looked at the picture, but....yeah.

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