• Chef Dylan

MEXICAN BEEF ENCHILADAS



I absolutely love Mexican style food. And enchiladas with their spicy, crunchy, gooey cheesy mouthfeel for me, have it all. These little beauties are a weeknight winner the whole family will enjoy.

I find Mexican flavours to be so comforting and delicious, especially when it’s cold outside so when you pull these enchiladas out of the oven you will have plenty of hovering eyes on you. You can easily adjust the amount of heat by how much fresh red chilli and Creole seasoning you use especially if you need to tone it down a bit for the kids. But really by the time you load them up with cheese and sour cream the heat really dies down. 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 it up in less than an hour.


This was one of the first dinners my wife ever made for me and boy was it good. After we met here in Australia we spent 6 months working and travelling together before I joined her back in Bristol, England while she finished up her anthropology degree. Her 'secret' ingredient was to add a mix of refried black 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 your local butcher to get your quality beef mince, the normal supermarket mince is way below par. Trust me, you'll notice the difference in fat, water release and most of all taste.


Did you know? Most historians agree enchiladas were invented by the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America and not modern day America.This delicious dish was first associated with the ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures 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 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' so the Spanish conquistadors re-named it the 'tortilla'. Throughout later centuries, Mexicans have continued to refine and reinvent this dish and the recipe for 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 flavoursome dish to your repertoire. I know, you and the kids won’t be disappointed.


PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOKING TIME: 45 mins

SERVINGS: 4-6


INGREDIENTS


HOMEMADE ENCHILADA SAUCE

  • 2 tbsps olive oil

  • 3 tbsps plain flour

  • 1 tbsp CREOLE

  • 500ml chicken stock

  • 375ml tomato passata

BEEF

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped

  • 1 red chilli, sliced (optional)

  • 500g beef mince

  • 1-2 tbsps CREOLE (to taste)

  • 1 x 400g can refried beans or kidney beans


ENCHILADA DISH

  • 8 tortilla wraps

  • 200g grated cheese mix

  • Sour cream, to serve

  • Coriander, roughly chopped for garnish

  • Lime, cut into wedges 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 125ml 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 3-5 minutes, breaking it up as you go.

  4. Add1-2 tbsp CREOLE and fresh chilli (optional).

  5. Cook for 2 minutes or until mince is completely brown.

  6. Add refried beans, about 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce and stir to combine.

  7. Cook for 15 minutes on low, stirring occasionally then remove from heat.

TO ASSEMBLE

  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. Finish last few minutes on the top shelf.

TO SERVE


Serve with sour cream, a wedge of lime, a sprinkle of herbs and enjoy with margaritas or a cold bottle of Corona (the beer).