Making enchiladas in my family is an event. Not one of those ‘bust out the fine china’ events… but definitely a ‘dad’s been wearing an apron over his pajamas all day’ event. That’s a sign that something really delicious is coming out of the kitchen… the pajama and apron combo.
Lots of loud family around the table – Paper plates – Fighting over homemade guacamole – Who is making the next batch of margaritas? – When does the next pan of enchiladas come out of the over? – Who already ate a slice of cake? – Pass the enchiladas, please. – Now, please. – Thank you. – Seriously, now.
It’s like that.
This particular pan of enchiladas deviates from my family’s traditional beef and cheese enchilada. Read: I can’t leave well-enough alone.
I’ve added sliced green olives and sweet purple raisins to the savory beef filling. It’s a riff of a Central and South American empanada filling and it’s dang delicious. Sweet meets salty, plus beef enchilada, so…. we’re naturals. Let’s go!
If your instinct is something like.. but I don’t like olives / raisins, can I leave them out?… Sure. You’re the boss of you. But why don’t you like (California) Raisins!?
Related: Malo’s Beef and Pickle Tacos
Ground beef is sautéed with onions and garlic and the fat is drained off. Sliced olives and raisins are added along with a few big spoonfuls of enchilada sauce. It’s delicious. It’s the result of a lot of really great decisions.
Speaking of enchilada sauce, there’s a secret: chicken stock + flour + canned enchilada sauce + salt and pepper. The combination creates a flavorful, thick, well-seasoned enchilada sauce. Not so from-the-can tasting. It’s a tip from Ree. She knows.
Call in some backup. Take all the hands you can get to grate the cheese, fry the tortillas, and roll the enchiladas.
Cheese inside. Cheese outside. I mean… we live in modern civilization. Of course there’s going to be cheese everywhere.
The remaining sauces poured over the enchiladas, cheese madness is added, and the enchiladas are baked to melty. Olives, green onions and cilantro for garnish.
Paper plates and guacamole arguments. It’s only right.Print
For the Sauce
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 can (28 Ounce) enchilada sauce
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Filling
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped, pitted green olives
- 1/3 cup enchilada sauce
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 14–18 small corn tortillas
- canola oil for frying
- 3 cups grated monterey jack cheese
- green olives, green onions, and cilantro for garnish
- For the sauce, in a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a paste, cooking for one minute until well combined. Pour in the enchilada sauce, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes uncovered.
- To make the filling, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ground cumin and beef and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, until no trace of pink remains, about 4 minutes. Spoon off any excess grease. Add the raisins, olives, and about 1/3 cup simmering enchilada sauce and stir well. Add the stock and simmer until the liquid has nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and let cool before assembling enchiladas.
- To assemble, heat 3 tablespoons of canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. One by one, using tongs, fry tortillas in oil until soft, not crisp – about 30 seconds per side. Add a bit more oil to the pan as necessary between batches. Remove to a paper—towel lined plate. Repeat until all tortillas have been fried.
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour ½ to 3/4 cup enchilada sauce in bottom of baking pan. Spread to even out. Dip each tortilla into red sauce, then remove to pan. Spoon meat and a little grated cheese into the center of tortilla. Roll up and end seam side down in the baking pan. Repeat until pan is filled. Pour extra sauce over enchiladas. Top with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle cilantro, green onions, and olives over enchiladas before serving.