Shredded Beef Enchiladas

Tender, shredded beef with homemade red enchilada sauce.

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When it comes to Mexican food, we usually stick with tacos… because they’re easy right!!  But, sometimes when we’re in the mood for something more “authentic” I gravitate towards enchiladas.  Sometimes ground beef or chicken with white sauce (I’ll post those soon!) or ground beef with red sauce… BUT, when I have a slab of meat in the freezer that needs to be used, I make these bad boys.

This red sauce… so easy and SO much better than the stuff in cans, can you say sodium city!  Even in restaurants, red enchilada sauce is pretty salty, which can overpower the rest of the dish… in my opinion, this sauce has the perfect balance of salt and spice, but, if you like it saltier, kick it up a notch with some salt-free seasoning and you’ll be good to go.  The amount of sauce this recipe makes is just enough to make the dish moist so you don’t have dry tortilla shells but not enough to be sloppy.  If you’re like my hubby, you can make half more or double more so you can slop up the extra sauce with tortilla chips.

Shredded Beef Enchiladas

For the shredded beef:

  • 1 ½ – 2 lb. bottom round cut of beef
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  1. Place beef in a crock pot.  In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, lime juice and spices and pour over meat.  Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  2. With 2 forks, shred the beef into small pieces and then stir to mix in the juices.
  3. Turn the heat off crock pot and cover.

For the enchilada sauce:

  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 4 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  1. Heat the oil over medium-high and whisk in the flour, cooking for 1 minute.
  2. Add the spices and slowly pour in the chicken broth, whisking until smooth.
  3. Simmer over medium heat until thickened, for 15 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the enchilada filling:

  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp. instant garlic
  • 3 cups shredded cheese
  • 8 large flour tortillas
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • Shredded beef from above
  1. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Stir in onion and bell pepper.
  2. Saute for 15 minutes, until veggies are tender.  Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the meat and juices from the crock pot to the pan and stir to combine.

Assemble the enchiladas:

  • Do an assembly line here… Tortillas in front, sauce behind to the left, meat to the right of the sauce, cheese to the right of meat and pan to the right of that….
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • On a sheet of paper towel, place one tortilla at a time.
  • Spread with 2 tbsp. of enchilada sauce, 1/8th of shredded beef and a big pinch of cheese.
  • Roll up tightly and place in the pan, rolled end side down.
  • Repeat with the remaining tortillas and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and cilantro, if using.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.
  • Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes:

  • Bottom round is perfect for crock pot meals because it’s a tougher cut of meat so cooking it long tenderizes it – if you want to make the shredded beef quicker, use a different cut of meat, chuck steak would be good.  Cook, covered in a large stock pot for an hour and a half.
  • To get close to the same amount of filling for these, I spread the meat in the pan and pat it down.  Using a butter knife “slice” the meat into 8 “pie pieces”… nifty huh 🙂
  • Sometimes I like to add a small can of rinsed black beans to the meat mixture.
  • I love eating mine with my favorite guacamole and sour cream.
  • You can make this sauce ahead of time and store in the fridge for 3 days or freeze for 1 month.

Total Time:  4-8 hours     Servings:  8

Estimated Calories per Serving – based on 8 servings – 590.

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