Makes 4 large enchiladas.
Preparation: 20 minutes. Cooking: 40 to 50 minutes.
Enchiladas generally consist of corn tortillas wrapped around a filling and then topped with a spicy sauce and cheese. There are many variations: in parts of Texas they stack the tortillas, you can have many different fillings, you can have green sauce rather than red sauce..
..and you can knock them up in the UK on a cold winter's evening and cross your fingers that your enchilada recipe is a good one. They were certainly tasty but I'm hoping some of my American friends will comment on this recipe to help me to improve it in future.
For the red enchilada sauce:
- 2 dried mulatto chiles
- 4 dried guajillo chiles
- 2 dried guindilla chiles (these are hot, red chiles generally used in Spain)
- 1 onion
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 500g passata (or any sieved tomato)
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- salt and agave nectar to taste (substitute sugar for agave nectar if needed)
For the tortilla filling:
- 500g beef mince - I used 10% fat mince
- 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
- half an onion, finely chopped
- dried oregano
- ground cumin
- half teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 2 to 4 tablespoons of the enchilada sauce
- a sprig of thyme
- tablespoon of tomato puree
- splash of beer
For the rest:
- 4 six inch soft corn tortillas. I used Discovery tortillas but it would be better with fresh tortillas.
- about 200g grated cheddar.
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Preheat a sauté pan and toast the chiles for a couple of minutes each side before removing to a bowl and covering with boiling water. Leave to soak for 15 minutes, placing a plate or dish on top of the chiles to ensure they are submerged.
- Meanwhile, add the beef mince to the saute pan with a small amount of oil and fry it until starts to release liquid - then add the garlic, onion, oregano, cumin, thyme leaves and ancho powder. Keep frying, stirring to ensure it doesn't catch, until it stops exuding any juices and starts to almost squeak when you move it around in the pan. Remove from heat, still in the pan, until the enchilada sauce is ready.
- Remove the chiles from the soaking liquid (reserving the liquid), take off the stalks and deseed and devein the chiles, tearing the flesh into strips and dropping them into a blender.
- Add the other sauce ingredients (except salt and agave) to the blender and blitz it to a fine puree. You may need to add some of the reserved soaking liquid to loosen up the puree.
- Pour the puree into a saucepan and bring it up to the boil before reducing to a slow simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes then taste and add salt and/or agave nectar to your preference. Turn off the heat.
- Put the meat mixture back on a low heat and mix in a few tablespoons of the enchilada sauce and a splash of beer. Let this cook down until it's moist but not runny.
- Now we're ready to assemble the enchiladas. Heat a skillet and put a small amount of oil in the bottom - just a tablespoon or so.
- Take a corn tortilla and coat it in enchilada sauce before dropping it in the skillet and heating it through for 30 seconds to a minute per side. The idea is to soften the tortilla and warm up the sauce.
- Put the tortilla into an oven dish and spoon a quarter of the filling along the centre line of the tortilla. Fold both edges to the centre, overlapping, and roll the stuffed tortillas over so that the fold is on the bottom of the dish.
- Repeat for all 4 tortillas, then cover the stuffed tortillas with the remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle generously with grated cheddar before popping into the oven for 20 minutes or so.
- Remove from oven and serve topped with a blob of soured cream on top and with rice, beans, chopped onion, pickled jalapenos, shredded lettuce.. ..and anything else you fancy.. ..on the side.