• Chef Dylan

BEEF ENCHILADAS



These little beauties are a weeknight winner the whole family will enjoy. If they like a bit of spice that is. I would rate this a 5/10 on the heat scale but by the time you load up with avocado and sour cream the heat really dies down.

I love Mexican style food. I find it so comforting and delicious, especially when it’s cold outside and when you pull these out of the oven you will have plenty of hovering eyes on you. Enchiladas with their spicy, crunchy, gooey cheesy mouthfeel for me, have it all. You can adjust the amount of my Creole seasoning too if you want to tone it down a bit for the kids. I’m a huge believer in giving kids a bit of spice from a young age to develop their palates. The beauty of this dish is you can whip up the whole thing in less than 30 minutes.


When I first went to visit my now wife in her apartment in Bristol, England while she was finishing her degree this was one of the first dinners she made me, and boy was it good.

Her 'secret ingredient' that really fills out the beef mixture is to add refried beans so you can make big, plump, generously stuffed enchiladas that are nice and juicy. My home-made enchilada sauce will beat the pants off any store-bought variety. Also make sure you go to the butcher to get your mince, as supermarket mince is way below par. Trust me, you will notice the difference in quality, water release and most of all taste.


Did you know? Most historians agree enchiladas were invented by the ancient Mayan culture. This delicious dish was first associated with the region of Mexico by the Yucatan in pre-Columbian days. Corn tortillas were a staple of the Mayan people and there is evidence to suggest that the first enchiladas were tortillas rolled up with oven roasted fish inside.

The enchilada is also similar to papadzules, a traditional Mayan dish, which also comes from the Yucatan region. In this creation, corn tortillas are coated in pumpkin seeds and then rolled around chopped boiled egg. They are then smothered in a tomato-based sauce. This food was only served to the nobles and elites and was mainly eaten on festive occasions. As the Spanish conquistadors moved their way across the new-found continent, they diligently documented the wide variety of foods the indigenous peoples ate.


Tortillas, made from flattened corn bread were originally called tlaxcalli (good luck pronouncing that) so the Spanish conquistadors re-named it the tortilla. Throughout the later centuries, the Mexicans continued to refine and reinvent this dish and the enchilada can still be found in a wide variety of cookbooks to this very day. It was first mentioned in a Mexican cookbook published way back in 1831 titled 'El Cocinero Mexicano', which translates as 'The Mexican Chef'.


You too can be part of this long tradition of Mexican-inspired chefs and add this wonderfully versatile dish to your repertoire. I know, you and the kids won’t be disappointed.


PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOKING TIME: 20 mins

SERVINGS: 2-4


INGREDIENTS


ENCHILADA SAUCE

  • 2 tbsps olive oil

  • 3 tbsps plain flour

  • 1 tbsp CREOLE

  • 500ml chicken stock

  • 375ml tomato passata

  • salt and pepper


BEEF

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves minced

  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped

  • 500g beef mince (or shredded beef takes it to the next level)

  • 1-2 tbsps CREOLE (to taste)

  • 1 x 400g can refried beans (optional)


ENCHILADAS

  • 8 tortilla wraps

  • 150g grated pizza cheese, or more if you like melted cheese!

  • Small bunch coriander, roughly chopped for garnish


ENCHILADA SAUCE

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and mix to combine into a paste. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

  2. Add 125 mls of chicken stock, whisk straight away then it will turn into a thick smooth paste very quickly.

  3. Add remaining chicken stock, passata and CREOLE, whisk.

  4. Increase heat slightly to medium high. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, whisking every minute or so until the sauce thickens. Remove from stove.

BEEF FILLING

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

  2. Heat oil in a fry pan over high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 2 minutes.

  3. Add beef mince and cook for 3 minutes, breaking it up as you go. Add CREOLE.

  4. Cook for 2 minutes or until completely brown.

  5. Add refried beans, about 1/4 cup of Enchilada Sauce and cook for 15 minutes on low stirring occasionally then remove from heat.

ASSEMBLE ENCHILADAS

  1. Whack a bit of sauce on the bottom of a baking dish (stops sliding).

  2. Place filling on the lower third of a tortilla. Roll up then place in the baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with remaining filling and tortillas.

  3. Pour sauce over the enchiladas, top with cheese, bake for 10-15 minutes in the middle of the oven then last few minutes on the top shelf.

TO SERVE


Serve with avocado, sour cream, your favourite salsa, pickled jalapeños and a cold bottle of Corona (the beer).