Authentic Cheese Enchiladas
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. This saying is one that Jill takes to heart. I on the other hand don’t think everything is worth doing 100% because not all things are equal. It’s possible that “time” is more valuable than the task. Well that’s not the case when you are dealing with a classic like cheese enchiladas.
Sylvia Casares runs a place in Houston called Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen. In 2011 she did an article in Texas Monthly about cheese enchiladas. I basically follow her recipe. I think the combination of the Cheddar and creaminess of American cheese works best.
1 white onion (chopped)
5 cloves of garlic
½ lb of lean ground beef
2/3 cups vegetable oil or lard
2/3 cups flour
2 cups beef broth
2 cups water
3 tbs chili powder
1 tbs Kosher salt
3 tsp Cumin
2 tsp of Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp Black pepper
12 corn tortillas
7 Guajillo chiles (stems and seeds removed)
2 Arbol or Ancho chilies , stems removed
½ cup water
½ vegetable oil
5 cups of shredded cheddar
2 cups of shredded yellow American
Chopped white onions (optional)
Cilantro and green onion topping (optional)
1. Chili gravy is a three step process. Take your onion and garlic and rough chop them and put them in a blender until smooth. In a small pot add your beef and this onion/garlic slurry and cook for 30mins on medium heat. It’s not pretty but part of the process.
2. About 25mins into your meat mixture, get your beef stock and water in a bowl and microwave for 3mins. Get all your seasonings together in a small bowl. Now start your roux by combing your flour and oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Stir until golden brown and smooth (see pic).
3. Now add your beef stock water, seasonings and beef mixture and stir on medium low heat.
4.While cooking your gravy, take another small pot and bring ½ cup of water to a boil and add your dried chilies bring it down to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 10-15mins and add water as necessary. Turn off and cool slightly before adding to a blender and mixing it smooth. Strain it into a pie dish (see pic).
5. Shred your cheeses and prepare for assembly by dipping your tortillas in the chili sauce and stacking them in another pie plate. Once done you will heat them in oil so that they are pliable. Get about ½ up of oil on medium high heat and take your chili soaked tortillas and one by one put them into the oil for about 5 seconds and stack back into the pie plate.
6. Take a 9×12 baking dish and take you tortillas and fill with the cheese mixture. Roll them up, seem side down and put them in the dish. Cover with chili and top with extra cheese.
7, Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15mins until the cheese is melted. Serve as is or top with onions, green onions and/or cilantro or sour cream.