My roots are Italian, but I am, at least partially, Mexican at heart. My husband and I got married in Mexico, and we absolutely love Mexican food. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I wanted to talk about one of our favorite Mexican dishes: enchiladas. My mom taught me how to make these enchiladas when I was in high school. Ever since making them this way, I haven’t found any better recipe. What makes this recipe so delicious is the preparation of the tortillas – a trick that my mom learned from one of her former coworkers who was Mexican.
The process of putting these enchiladas together can be pretty cumbersome, which is why it was nice to make them as a team. One person would be in charge of dipping the tortillas in sauce, then frying in a pan and transferring to a plate. The other person would stuff the prepared tortilla, roll it up and place it in a baking dish. This started out as a mother-daughter tradition. When I moved away from home, I enlisted my husband’s help.
We love making these enchiladas for guests. They’re great for serving guests because they can be prepared ahead of time then just put in the oven to heat up before. However, you’ll need to plan ahead because the whole process takes about 12 hours, at least. In the end it will all be worth it. We even find ourselves comparing our homemade enchiladas with those from restaurants and usually agree that we prefer the homemade ones.
2 lbs beef chuck roast
1 jar of salsa (we like Mrs. Renfro’s)
2 large cans of enchilada sauce
1 package flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Oil, for frying
Begin by placing the roast in a slow cooker, sprayed with cooking spray. Top with at least half of the jar of salsa. Cook on low for 8-10 hours (high for 5-6) or until fork tender. If it doesn’t pull easily, you’ll need to add it back and cook it longer. Let the meat cool for a bit, then pull it using whatever utensils you prefer. Add some of the juice from the slow cooker to the meat and stir it up to be sure it isn’t dried out. Set the meat aside.
Heat up some oil in a pan for frying. While it’s heating, pour some of the enchilada sauce onto a plate. Once the oil is heated, begin dipping the tortillas in the sauce, then flip to coat both sides. Carefully add the sauced tortilla to the hot oil. It will be messy, and be careful for splatters – ouch! Flip the tortilla after about 30 seconds. Once the second side has cooked up, remove to a clean plate for stuffing with the shredded beef. Roll the enchilada up, and move it to a 13×9 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Continue the frying, stuffing, rolling process until all the ingredients are used up.
Once done, top the enchiladas with more sauce, then top with the cheese. Bake for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees until heated through and the cheese on top is melted and slightly browned. Remove and let cool for a few minutes. Serve topped with fresh avocado, sour cream, chopped green onion, and additional hot sauce, if desired.
Do you have any Cinco de Mayo traditions? Comment below!