It’s cinco de mayo weekend, and I am living my best life with these cheesy beefy enchiladas made with the best homemade enchilada sauce. Plus, the entire recipe can be made in a medium size Dutch oven or a large oven-safe pan.
While there’s nothing complicated about making these enchiladas, the spices are key to getting the most flavorful and authentic results.
This recipe features a few ingredients that you may not be familiar with, but they will really help you achieve well-balanced, flavorful results: cumin (earthy), coriander (pungent), ground chili (fruity, spicy), oregano (bitter).
Best Chili Powder
Since the chili powder is the main feature of this red sauce, I suggest sourcing fresh chili powder. I actually like to grind my own inside the blender using the whole dried New Mexico chile peppers. They lend a vibrancy that can’t be surpassed by pre-ground chili powder.
A Few Tips for Creating Layers of Flavors
Start by softening the corn tortillas in the same pot or pan you’re going to bake in. This corn flavor infuses the oil in the pan. Next, you want to really brown the beef. To accomplish this, I suggest stirring for the first 4 minutes and then leaving the beef alone (no stirring) to develop yum yums.
After removing the beef, your homemade enchilada sauce will benefit from the beef juices in the pot. I like to toast the spices a bit before adding the tomato sauce and stock. Please note: you will add the cornstarch while the heat is turned off. Stir it in, then bring to a simmer to thicken.
At this point, it may be awkward at first, but you will stuff and roll the tortillas and add directly to the sauce. Yes, this is somewhat reverse of what we normally do. However, it’s easy enough to do. I like to try to fit as many as possible for them to fit snuggly.
What are your cinco de mayo plans? Please share your Mexican menu in the comments (I wanna see!).
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1-Pot Cheesy Ground Beef Enchiladas
- 1 ½ tablespoons lard or neutral vegetable oil
- 10 corn tortillas
- ½ pound ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 cups shredded Mexican cheese
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400℉.
- Soften the tortillas. In a medium Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the oil and pan fry the tortillas for 30 seconds each side to soften only. Use tongs to gently transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Brown the beef. To the same Dutch oven, add the beef and cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until somewhat caramelized and brown. Season with coriander and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir then use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a bowl and set aside, reserving any juices in the Dutch oven for the sauce.
- Make the sauce. Turn the heat off and combine the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and oregano in the Dutch oven. Use the residual heat only to briefly toast the spices in the Dutch oven until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato sauce, vegetable stock, cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir well. Now, turn the heat back on medium and bring to a simmer, stirring for 3 minutes to thicken the sauce.
- Braise the enchiladas. Tuck the cheese and ground beef inside of each tortilla and roll. Place seam side down inside the red sauce. Using a spoon, cover the top of the tortillas with some of the red sauce and top with remaining cheese. Pour any beef juices leftover from the bowl on top. Roast in the oven for 17 minutes until the cheese is completely melted. Serve with your favorite garnish. Store leftover enchiladas for up to 3 days.
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