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