Is there really any other kind? Sure, there are fancy schmancy enchiladas with goat cheese, black beans and roasted red peppers, topped with sour cream foam, and there is certainly a place for those. There's always a place for goat cheese. However, when we're talking about real, honest, pure, enchiladas, there's only one. It's stuffed with cheese. It's smothered in red sauce. It's sometimes accompanied by onions and meat. It's good.
One can certainly buy jarred enchilada sauce, and I found lots of recipes that call for it. I won't judge. But I found a recipe for Chili Gravy, and couldn't pass it up. You shouldn't either.
Chili Gravy (Adapted from The Homesick Texan)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons Chili powder (I used the Mexican Chili Powder--it's a little darker than regular and more spicy)
2 cups chicken broth
Looks something like this:
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk, whisk, whisk. This is the roux (remember the roux?) Then add the spices and cook for one minute. This goes really fast. Then add the chicken broth and whisk until combined and thickened. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
I added a bit more salt and pepper at this point because I felt it needed more love. While this is simmering, dice up 2 small yellow onions, or 1 medium to large yellow onion and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, by the way. I say this early, because my tiny little oven takes an hour to preheat, so I have to plan ahead.
When the sauce is finished, remove to a bowl and set aside. Wipe the skillet out and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Then add 1 pound of ground beef, a little salt and pepper, and cook until brown.
When the meat is cooked through, drain the excess grease and remove from the skillet into a small bowl. Wipe the skillet down again. Can you tell I really hate doing dishes?
Add 1/2 cup of vegetable oil to the skillet and heat on medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Then take 12 corn tortillas, and one by one, submerge in the hot oil and cook for about 30 seconds on each side.
Then drain the heated tortillas on a plate with a paper towel.
Once all the tortillas are finished, you can start assembling. You need: a baking dish, warmed tortillas, cheddar cheese, Chili Gravy, ground beef, and diced onions. It should look something like this, except with counter space.
Spread 1/4 of the sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Then, one by one, fill the warmed tortillas with cheese, ground beef, and onions, then roll it all up and place it in the baking dish seam side down. Repeat for the remaining 11 enchiladas, making sure to leave some onion and beef for topping the enchiladas.
Don't they look cozy? Cover these newly rolled enchiladas with the remaining sauce, making sure to get it all over, including the edges. Any tortillas left unsauced will get hard and crunchy. Unless you like the hard and crunchy thing, in which case, leave some edges uncovered. These are your enchiladas, friend, you do what you want.
Then add the remaining onions and ground beef, and top liberally with cheddar cheese.
Bake these in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melty. Then take a moment to revel in the masterpiece you just made. Pat yourself on the back. You deserve it.
Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with rice and beans for an authentic restaurant experience. Or be like me, and just simply eat the enchiladas, sans frills.
Hello, old friend.
I've missed you so.
This was such a great recipe, and while it did include many, many steps, every single one of them was worth it. I promise, if I can do this with zero counter space (see above), you can absolutely do this in your normal, big kid kitchen. Trust me.