Monday, August 22, 2011

Chipotle Beef Enchiladas

I have to admit, this is a little new for me.  There are a number of meals that go on the menu at our house regularly that aren't from a recipe, and how I make them depends on what's in the house and how I feel that day.  But every once in a while, the meal surpasses the usual results and turns out to be amazing.  I always think I should write them down before I forget how I got there, and then get distracted and it's gone.  But this time, I'm not forgetting.

The parts of these enchiladas are each pretty simple- spicy shredded beef, sauteed veggies and rich sauce with some heat.  But together they were really something special, the perfect combination of chewy, melty, crunchy and saucy. 

Chipotle Beef Enchiladas

What's in them:
For the beef
3-4 lb beef roast
1 thinly sliced onion
2 chipotles in adobo, roughly chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
12 oz beer

For the enchilada sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
15 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 -1/2 c water
salt and pepper to taste

For the enchiladas
2 tsp olive oil
1 bell pepper, diced (I used a mix of red, yellow and orange)
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 12-15 oz can diced tomatoes (I used Rotel), drained
2-3 c chipotle beef
2 c enchilada sauce, divided
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 c shredded cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, Mexican blend), divided
8 10" tortillas

How to make them:

For the beef  (Note: I had originally made the beef for burrito bowls, and had portioned it out into freezer bags to use for sandwiches, tacos, or these enchiladas.  If you're making it for the enchiladas, cook the beef the day before you need it.)

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker, and cook for 8-10 hours on low.  Remove beef from the slow cooker and shred.  Add some of the liquid from the slow cooker to prevent drying.  Use for enchiladas, sandwiches or anything else you want.

For the enchilada sauce

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan until shimmering.  Add onions and cook until soft, then add garlic.  When garlic becomes fragrant, add the spices, and stir to combine.  Pour in the tomato sauce, and thin with water to desired consistency.  Check for seasonings, and simmer for about 15 minutes.

For the enchiladas (FINALLY!)

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat olive oil in a sautee pan and add the peppers, onions and garlic.  While they cook, combine the beef, 3/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, sour cream and 1/2 cup of the cheese.  When the vegetables have just started to brown, add the drained tomatoes.  Cool slightly, then add to the beef mixture.

Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce in a 9x13" baking dish.  Divide the beef mixture equally between the tortillas, rolling each as you fill them and lining them up in the baking dish.  Spread the remaining sauce on top, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake for 25 minutes, until bubbling and beginning to brown on top.


  1. These look wonderful! I have never made beef enchiladas, but I love the slow-cooked meat. YUM! Do you need all 3-4lbs for the enchiladas? What else would you recommend using it to make?

  2. Nicole- nope, you don't need all of the meat for the enchiladas. I used it for burrito bowls, and have another package of it in the freezer to use for sandwiches on a busy night. It's a lot like drip beef, just with a Mexican twist! It could easily be used for pasta or tacos/quesadillas too.