EASY BEEF ENCHILADAS

This recipe is an amalgam inspired by America’s Test Kitchen and The Pioneer Woman Cooks.  Ree Drummond offers the following disclaimer at the beginning of her post:

First, an important clarification: The Pioneer Woman Cooks is not meant to be an encyclopedia of innovative gourmet recipes. It is a reflection of what is going on in my kitchen day in and day out, whether that’s necessarily thrilling or not.

I would like to echo her sentiment.  There is nothing fancy going on here,  other than my need to satisfy a mad craving for enchiladas after a long day at work.   I regret that I don’t have worthy photo documentation of this process,  mostly due to the fact that:  A) pictures of hamburger are gross and B) I was so hungry that I just wanted to get it on the table.

I have walked past “El Pato” on the international shelf at the supermarket countless times, but I had never actually cooked with it.  I am grateful to “P-Dub” for showcasing El Pato’s spicy tomato sauce, as it will now be a staple in my pantry.  (I should also point out that El Pato is Spanish for “The Duck”,  so as a former Oregon Duck, I felt a certain kinship with this brand.  I also happened to watch the Ducks kick the living crap out of  solidly defeat the UCLA Bruins while I ate these enchiladas.  It was a good night.)

This picture doesn’t really do them justice, so you’ll just have to take my word for it: they are heavenly.

EASY BEEF ENCHILADAS
serves 4 – 6 (depending on hunger level)
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed 
2 TBSP chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp corriander
1/2 tsp oregano
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne 
salt to taste
1 pound lean, good quality ground beef
1 1/2 cups (divided) “El Pato” spicy tomato sauce
1 tsp brown sugar (I like mine heaping, but reign it in if you don’t like sweet and spicy together) 
1 2.25 oz can sliced black olives, drained and divided
1 can refried beans (warm them in a sauce pan so they are easy to spread)
mexican blend cheese 
8 soft taco sized flour tortillas
preferred toppings 


preheat oven to 400 degrees
beef filling: 
HEAT the oil in a large skillet.  COOK the onion and 1/2 tsp salt until softened.  ADD garlic and spices, stir until onion is evenly coated and garlic is fragrant.  STIR in the ground beef and cook until no longer pink.  ADD 1/2 cup of the spicy tomato sauce and allow to simmer until thickened.  STIR in brown sugar (optional).  ADD 1/2 of the black olives.  SALT to taste.


assembly: 
COAT a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with vegetable oil spray.  NUKE the tortillas for 30 to 60 seconds in the microwave.  PLACE a spoonful of heated refried beans down the center of the tortilla.  ADD 1/3 cup of beef mixture over the beans.  SPRINKLE cheese over the beef and beans.  ROLL the tortillas tightly, burrito style, and place seam side down in the baking dish.  SPRAY the rolled enchiladas lightly with cooking spray and cover evenly with remaining El Pato tomato sauce.  SPRINKLE with cheese and remaining olives.

bake:
COVER the baking dish with foil.  BAKE, on the middle rack, at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. REMOVE foil and continue to bake for another 5 minutes, until the edges are nice and crispy (my favorite part).  REMOVE from the oven and allow them to rest for 5 or 10 minutes before serving.

toppings (all optional): 
DRIZZLE more tomato sauce over the top.  DOT with sour cream.  SPRINKLE shredded lettuce, diced tomato, avocado, and cilantro over the top.  DIG in.

**note:  if you have left over tomato sauce, seal it in a ziploc bag and freeze it for future use! 


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Filed under meat, mexican

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