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Filled with chile con carne and cheese, these beef enchiladas are the ultimate Mexican comfort food.

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Tested & Perfected Recipes

Inspired by Sam Sifton’s popular Enchiladas Con Carne in the New York Times, these family-style enchiladas are seriously delicious. You begin by making a quick chili con carne, or chili sauce, with lean ground beef, onions, peppers, spices, tomato sauce, and broth. The sauce is then combined with shredded Mexican cheese and rolled into soft yellow corn tortillas, which are nestled into a baking dish, topped with more sauce and cheese, and then baked until bubbling. The recipe takes about an hour from start to finish — perfect for a comforting weekend dinner or weeknight when you’ve got a little extra time.

Beef Enchiladas

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • Heaping ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (see note)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth

FOR THE ENCHILADAS

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing the tortillas
  • 10 (6- to 7-inch) yellow corn tortillas, preferably Mission Super Size “Super Soft”
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, preferably Tilamook

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Tenderize the Meat: In a medium bowl, combine the beef, baking soda, and salt. Mash with your hands until evenly combined and let sit on the counter for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  3. Make the Sauce: Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the browned meat to a plate.
  4. Add the onion, jalapeño pepper, and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not brown; reduce the heat if necessary. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and flour; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute more. Add the tomato sauce, then gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring to combine. Add the beef and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and vigorously simmer until the sauce is thickened, 12 to 14 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. (The sauce may taste a bit spicy; it will mellow out when combined with the cheese and tortillas.)
  5. When the sauce is almost done, soften the tortillas: Pour the oil into a small bowl or ramekin. Using a pastry brush, brush both sides of each tortilla with oil, then stack them on a plate and microwave, uncovered, until hot and steamy, about 1½ minutes.
  6. Assemble the Enchiladas: Spoon about 1 cup of the sauce evenly into the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  7. Put about 3 tablespoons of cheese and 2 generous tablespoons of the sauce onto the center of each tortilla, then roll the tortillas up and place them seam-side down in the pan, nestling each one against the last. (You’ll have two rows of 5 enchiladas.) Spoon the remaining sauce over the rolled tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. (I like to sprinkle the cheese over the center of each row of enchiladas, rather than all over, so that the tortillas are partially exposed during baking.) Bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.
  8. Make-Ahead/Freezer Friendly Instructions: The enchiladas can be assembled up to one day ahead of time, tightly covered with foil, and refrigerated until ready to bake. If you go this route, bake for 15 minutes covered with foil, and then remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes more, or until the cheese is melted. The enchiladas can also be frozen for up to 3 months before baking (if frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight before cooking).
  9. Note: Always wear gloves and/or wash your hands very well after working with jalapeños, and keep your hands away from your eyes.
  10. Note: For maximum efficiency, prep the onion, jalapeño and garlic and measure out your ingredients while the beef tenderizes in step 1.
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By uvu44

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