Feliz Navidad! Beef & Cheese Enchiladas

Feliz Navidad!  Before I met my husband I didn’t really eat Mexican food – I had never even been to a Mexican Restaurant.  I remember on one of our first dates he brought me to a local Mexican Restaurant.  At that time I had no tolerance for spicy food.  I ordered the very basic burrito and my mouth was on fire the whole time.  He asked me if I liked it and I replied that I did as I wiped my watering eyes and tried not to let my nose run into my food.

Over the years I really have come to love Mexican food.  My spice tolerance is still not much higher than ketchup but I do love me some pico de gallo.

Why I bring all this up is that my husbands family has a very fun and unique tradition of having tacos on Christmas Eve. My mother-in-law makes up amazing taco meat, enchilada meat,  refried beans and all the fixings.  In honor of that I thought I would share her Beef and Cheese Enchiladas recipe.  When she does her get togethers she usually just makes the meat and the sauce and lets everyone construct theirs how they want but my husband just LOVES how they are baked in the original recipe.  So here you go – my gift to all of you!

Beef and Cheese Enchiladas:

  • 1 1/2 lb Ground Beef
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 3 dashes hot pepper sauce – I just use a little Ortega taco sauce
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 12 flour or corn tortillas – your preference
  • 1 lb. shredded cheese – your preference on kind

Brown beef in oil; pour off drippings.  Add salt, pepper, oregano, 1 tbsp of the chili powder, hot pepper sauce, garlic, 1/2 c. onion, and diced tomatoes.  Cover and Simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter; add flour and remaining chili powder.  Blend until smooth, Add water.  Cook until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Now its time to construct your enchiladas.  The recipes instructs you to place the tortillas in the sauce to soften but I skip this part as its very messy.  You can go for it if you want.    Fill each tortilla with 2 tbsp. meat, 1 tbsp. cheese and some onion desired.  Roll firmly and then place in a 13×8 baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese, top with remaining meat and then pour sauce over the whole dish making sure to soak all the tortillas.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serves 8.