It’s raining again, and forecast to do so all week. Honestly, this has to be the wettest spring in Munich since I’ve lived here! At least the balcony plants are looking nice and green, but I am ready for some sunshine! Not to worry though as being housebound is always a nice excuse to spend some quality kitchen time, catch up on movies and eat some serious comfort food.
For me there is something about Tex-Mex style cooking that is so comforting and inviting. It’s all about delicious food, loaded up with flavours, spicy and zingy and fresh. I don’t propose at all to be an expert on this type of cooking, but I definitely know what I like, so today I have one of my all-time favourite weeknight dinners for you: Easy Spicy Beef Enchiladas!
This is a fantastic recipe as you can either make the sauce as you go (it only takes about 10 minutes) or you can make it in advance and keep it in the freezer until a Tex-Mex craving hits. Then it’s just a matter of frying off some beef and beans, loading up some tortillas, smothering them in cheese and sauce and baking them to spicy, cheesy perfection. Topped off with a quick and delicious salsa, this is so good you’ll want to make a double batch.
To my Australian readers, 1 Tbsp in the rest of the world = 15ml, in Australia = 20ml, adjust accordingly!
Easy Spicy Beef Enchiladas
for the sauce:
- 60 ml neutral oil (4 Tbsp)
- 2-3 large cloves garlic, finely diced
- 35 g plain flour (4 Tbsp)
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp spicy paprika or chilli powder
- pinch of cinnamon
- 250 ml chicken stock, made with ½ a stock cube
- 500 ml tomato passata
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- salt & black pepper
for the enchiladas:
- 1 Tbsp neutral oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 500 g ground/minced beef
- 1 tin red kidney beans
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 6-8 flour tortillas, side plate sized
- pickled jalapenos, to taste
- 200 g grated cheese, (cheddar or similar)
for the salsa:
- 200 g cherry tomatoes, diced
- 2 spring onions/scallions, sliced
- small bunch coriander/cilantro, chopped
- juice of ½ a lime
- Prepare the sauce by heating the oil in a deep-sided saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for one minute until fragrant. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for two minutes, then whisk in the oregano, cumin, paprika and cinnamon, ensuring that there are no lumps. Gradually whisk in the stock plus an additional 200ml of water, then pour in the passata and add the sugar. Cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes until the sauce has slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and plenty of pepper, then remove from the heat and set aside
- When you are ready to make the enchiladas, heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4. Heat 1 tablespoon of neutral oil in a frying pan and add the diced onion. Cook gently for 5 minutes until beginning to soften, then turn the heat up to high and add the mince to the pan, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Stir in the cumin, then cook over a high heat until the meat is browned. Turn the heat to medium, add the kidney beans and a ladleful or two of sauce, and cook for another two minutes until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat
- To assemble, spread a ladleful of the sauce over the bottom of a deep sided oven proof dish which is large enough to fit all your enchiladas rolled up. Take one tortilla, spread about a tablespoon of the sauce over the surface, spoon over one sixth (or one eighth!) of the mince mixture in a line (see picture), top with some jalapeños to taste, then roll up and place in the prepared dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and mince mixture. If there is any left over, just tuck it down the ends of the tortillas in the dish.
- Pour over all the remaining sauce, spreading it evenly over the enchiladas, grate over plenty of cheese, then bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is hot and bubbling and the edges of the enchiladas are beginning to brown.
- Meanwhile, make the salsa by dicing the tomatoes and placing in a small bowl. Stir in the spring onions and coriander, add the lime juice and a spoonful or two of the pickling liquid from the jar of jalapeños (or just a spoonful of red wine vinegar) season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- When the enchiladas are cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a minute or two before serving with the salsa sprinkled over the top. For serving to a crowd I find it easier to cut it into slices, rather than trying to get each enchilada out individually, but see what you like best.
- It goes without saying that all Tex-Mex food should be served with lashings of sour cream on the side, and some guacamole if you have it!
TIPS & TRICKS:
I use flour tortillas here rather than the traditional corn, simply because they are easier to come by – if you can get corn tortillas, go for it! In Germany they often come in a size too large to fit in an oven dish, I use a side plate as a guide to trim them to the right shape and either blitz the cutoffs into bread crumbs, or cut them into chips, brush with oil and bake them to make delicious little morsels for dipping.
You can make this sauce as spicy as you like! I like to use Turkish Pul Biber as my spicy paprika, again as it is delicious and easy to come by where I live, but any spicy paprika or mild chilli powder (not cayenne!) will do nicely. Taste as you go along and see what you like best.
The sauce will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, and can be frozen indefinitely.