Part 1: Mexican Beef Red Salsa Enchiladas :Enchiladas Rojas De Picadillo de Res, by Nathan

Posted: Apr 22 2014

Enchiladas & What Does the Word "Enchiladas" Mean?

Today I want to share a recipe for the o-ooh so popular “enchiladas”!! The word “en” means “in” and “chile” is shortened to “chil” and “ada” is added to it to make the word “enchiladas” translates to “in chile”. In Mexican cooking enchiladas are corn tortillas dipped in a red or green chili sauce, lightly fried on both sides, then filled with filling of your choice such as shredded chicken, shredded beef, ground meat, or even crumbled fresh cheese. Enchiladas can be made vegan or vegetarian by filling them up with refried beans, vegetables of various kinds etc.

So Many Enchiladas Variations…
In addition there are also variations of enchiladas in which they are made by dipping them in mole sauce pronounced “mo-lay”. Mole in general is a rich chocolate chili sauce and the mole dish is called “Enmoladas”, also variations on the enchiladas may also be made with bean broth and beans called “Enfrijoladas”. And more if you are looking for even more enchilada variety there are enchiladas made with either green or red pumpkin and sesame seed sauce called “Pipian” those are called “Enpipianadas”. Then there are also even baked variations on enchiladas which I consider to be more of a Mexican-American/ Tex-Mex variation of the enchiladas, equally delicious but yes, definitely considered a different style.

My Enchiladas…Estilo Mexico

However since my mother’s family is originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco, and my mom was born in Apatzingan, Michoacan then raised in Zacapu, Michoacan, in my home we prepare the typical what I consider more traditional variation in which enchiladas are dipped in sauce, lightly fried, filled and rolled as you serve a la carte. These enchiladas we make at my house are served with a variety of toppings (lettuce, tomato, onion, cilantro, thinned out cream, fresh salsa, avocados, and crumbled fresh cheese) Today I will share the ground beef variation my mother makes. I hope anyone who tries this recipe enjoys it, it looks complex but is pretty straight forward and quick once you jump in ;-) 

Ingredients for sauce
-7-9 dried Guajillo or California Chiles
roma tomatoes or 2 large salad tomatoes cut in half
-2 cloves raw garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (or grind 3 whole ones)
-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
-1 teaspoonful chicken bouillon powder
 to taste (about ½- 1 tsp.)

Ingredients for the filling
-1 lbs. ground beef
1 onion finely chopped
-1 jalapeno or more to taste finely chopped
-3 cloves garlic finely minced
-4 small roma tomatoes or 2 large salad tomatoes chopped
-3 carrots cut into little cubes
-3 potatoes cut into little cubes
-ground black pepper to taste
½ tsp. ground cumin
-1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
-1/2 teaspoon or more salt to taste
-1/2 a bunch cilantro chopped

Main Ingredient:
-corn tortillas 
as needed (buy a large pack)

Ingredients for Toppings/ garnish:
-shredded lettuce
-chopped onion mixed with minced cilantro
-fresh chopped tomato
-Mexican crema or sour cream thinned out with a little milk to make it able to drizzle
-ripe fresh avocado slices (optional)
-your choice of salsa or other hot sauce

Directions for sauce:
Very simple, stem, de-seed, and wash dried chilies under running water, place in a pot with tomatoes, cover with water, bring to a boil 5 minutes, turn off heat and allow to rest while you prepare the filling. 

(2) When filling is done, put the dried chilies you boiled and tomatoes in a blender, with 2 fresh garlic cloves, ground cumin, cloves, chicken bouillon and salt. Blend until smooth. 

(3) Strain sauce into a deep bowl, set aside. 

Directions for filling:

(1) Sautee chopped onion, jalapeno, and garlic in a little bit of olive or regular oil. 

(2) When onions become soft about 5 minutes, add beef, salt pepper, cumin and stir until beef changes color completely and is no longer red.

(3) Add tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, bouillon powder, and cover for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (You can work on finishing your sauce in the meantime.)

(4) Fold in cilantro, and you’re done :)

Next, to assemble & finish the enchiladas, click on Part 2: Mexican Beef Red Salsa Enchiladas: Enchiladas Rojas de Picadillo de Res by Nathan


  • Posted by chris on March 06, 2016

    What is the water for? Is it to thin out the sauce a little or to add to the meat mixture for the carrots and potatoes to cook without burning the meat?

  • Posted by JamesR. BRAY sR. on July 18, 2015

    I like your presitation of this classic dish. it has always been my favorite and I like the way you make it so clear to make. I know I will enjoy them.

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