For all my proclamations that I’m going to do a lot of Italian cooking, dinner last night was my daughters’ favorite Mexican dish — enchiladas. With beef, this time, instead of chicken (no claims at authenticity here). It just seemed simpler to make instead of the much requested homemade pizza and pasta combination. The surprising thing was that although the girls and I love chicken a hundred times more than beef (their dad is the beef fan in the house), the beef enchiladas actually tasted better than the chicken enchiladas.
The beef I used had some fat in it. Fat makes meat tender and moist so I rarely buy beef with zero fat. Once the beef is cooked though, there’s no reason why you can’t and shouldn’t get rid of the fat. With ground beef, all you have to do really is to drain the fat off. That way, you have moist and tender beef without all the bad fat that will just make you worry and detract from the joy of enjoying such good food.
- 18 6-inch tortillas (corn tortilla is traditional but I used whole wheat tortillas)
- 600 grams ground beef
- 4 finger chilis (I used the picante variety), thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper cored and seeded, and roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cups tomato sauce (homemade, preferably)
- 225 grams cheddar cheese shredded
- 110 grams mozzarella cheese shredded
- Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the ground beef. Cook until no longer pink, stirring to break up any lumps. Add the chilis and bell pepper. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Place a strainer over a bowl, pour the beef mixture into the strainer and allow the fat to drip off. Cool.
- When the beef has cooled, stir in the mozzarella cheese and half of the cheddar cheese.
- Dip both sides of an tortilla in the tomato sauce. Lay flat on a plate and place a heaping tablespoonful of the filling at the center. Roll and place on a baking pan, seam side down (for a visual guide, please refer to the chicken enchiladas recipe).
- Repeat until all the filling has been used up or until you run out of tortillas, whichever comes first. In my case, I was able to fill 18 tortillas.
- Divide the remaining tomato sauce among the baking pans and pour over the tortillas. Top with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese. Bake in a preheated 425F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese melts and the tomato sauce is bubbly.
- Use a wide spatula to lift the enchiladas and transfer them to individual dinner plates.