Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Beef Enchilada's

Okay, if you're hungry, Mexican food will definitely fill you up. Forget that 'Old El Paso' crap you see on the shelves in the supermarket - this is the real deal, from scratch (as much as possible).

Now, this is a fair warning - this recipe will feed FOUR people, so please bear this in mind and scale up or down accordingly. As with my other recipes - if you don't eat beef, you can use lamb, turkey or pork mince - even diced chicken if you like, it's entirely up to you.

You will need the following ingredients:

750g / 1.65 lb of Lean Minced Beef
1 Can Pinto Beans
1 Can Black Eye Beans
1 Can Chopped Tomato's
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Red Onion
200g / 7 oz of Fresh Coriander
Ground Cumin
Smoked Paprika
Cayenne Pepper (optional)
Tomato Puree
Garlic Puree or 6 Garlic Cloves, crushed & chopped.
3 OXO Cubes
50g Butter
2 Tablespoons of Plain White Flour
600g / 1.3 lb of Grated Cheese of your Choice
Olive Oil
Semi-Skimmed Milk
8 pack of Tortilla wraps.

Utensils Needed:

Large Non-Stick Frying Pan or Large Non-Stick Saucepan
Medium Non-Stick Saucepan
Oven Roasting Tray
Wooden Chopping Board
Chef's Knife
Wooden Spoons

Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 4 (350° Fahrenheit / 180° Celsius).

First, you'll want to chop all the vegetables, and the coriander. Chop the onions especially fine if you can, or use a food processor to make this part easy. Remove the stems from the coriander and finely shred the remaining leaves. Fry off the coriander and onion with the garlic puree in some olive oil.

I've used a large, flat pan to do this - the quantity will require a sizeable pan. If you don't have a suitable frying pan, use a saucepan instead.

Next, add the diced green bell pepper and sautee until soft. 

At this point you want to add the minced beef and brown it off with the OXO cubes. This will take a while even on a high heat. If you're using a substitute such as lamb or turkey mince, be aware that you'll end up with more moisture or fat depending on which you use, so you may have to strain some of the excess off with a spoon. If you can't get OXO cubes, any powdered beef stock should do - 1 tablespoon worth, roughly.

For the spices, it's entirely down to personal taste. I like my Mexican food fairly spicy, so i add a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper and two heaped teaspoons of smoked paprika. Cumin however, gets the largest helping in this process as it's the primary aromatic - you want at least 4 teaspoons of ground cumin. Mix through thoroughly. 

Strain both cans of beans and give them a quick wash in cold water, before adding them to the pan and mixing through. Leave to cook for at LEAST 15 minutes at this point, stirring regularly.

Afterwards, add your can of chopped tomatoes and a tablespoon of tomato puree. If it thickens too much, add a little water. Likewise, if it's too thin, add more tomato puree.

Leave on a low heat to simmer - if you lack the stove space for this and another pan, it's alright, no need to panic! Just take it off the heat & leave on one side - you can re-heat this later on.

For the cheese sauce, you want to start off with melted butter in a non-stick pan.

Now add the flour, a teaspoonful at a time, making sure to stir constantly, so as to eliminate any lumps.

Once it's turned into a smooth, but thick paste, add 400g of the grated cheese in small handfuls...

...and add milk, a little at a time. Again - stir through until all the cheese has been used up. You'll want to make a slightly thinner sauce, as it'll thicken on standing.

You should end up with a velvety smooth cheese sauce.

Now to the construction phase! Place your oven roaster to one side, close to the board, with the enchilada filling on the other, with the tortilla's on the board. I find that it helps to prick a few holes in the tortilla package and microwave for about 30 seconds to warm them up, making them easier to roll.

Take a heaped serving spoon of the filling, and place in a line in the middle of the tortilla wrap. Roll the tortilla by folding the bottom edge up, around the filling, and continue rolling.

If you roll them one at a time and place them in the roasting tin, it's easier than rolling them all in one go and then placing them. Once they're all in, pour the cheese sauce over the top, trying to cover them all, and sprinkle the remaining 200g of grated cheese on top.

Put in the oven for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, until the cheese on top is bubbling away nicely and browning slightly. Serve with Guacamole (recipe from July 2014) and Sour Cream. Works nicely alongside the Salsa (also from July 2014). Now, i know some people serve this with Mexican rice as well, but i have yet to meet anyone who can eat TWO of these and still have room for rice as well!

Now go forth and enjoy your Mexican food! :D

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