Shredded Beef For Enchiladas

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The best meal I ever made was shredded beef for enchiladas. It was one of those meals that nobody sees coming, they come very late to eat it, and they try to stay and eat as long as they can due to its tastiness. I find it one of the best fillers for food that lacks substance.

Shredded Beef Enchiladas

Recipe Summary

Prep:

45 mins

Cook:

1 hr 30 mins

Total:

2 hrs 15 mins

Servings:

10

Yield:

10 servings

Ingredients

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Original recipe yields 10 servingsIngredient Checklist

  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chile peppers
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 cup oil for frying
  • 20 (6 inch) corn tortillas

Directions

Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1Place roast in a large saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid. Pour in water, cover, and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Increase heat to medium/high, and brown the roast on all sides. Once the water has boiled away, pour in the beef broth, vinegar, chili powder and 1 tablespoon of cumin. Cover tightly and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the beef falls apart when you try to pick it up. Shred the beef, using 2 forks or your fingers. Place shredded beef back into the saucepan with all the juices, and let cool to room temperature.
  • Step 2In a large skillet, saute the onion until just soft, not browned. Mix in flour and green chilies. Stir constantly for 2 minutes to cook the flour taste out. Stir in sour cream and 2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese. Cook on low for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the cheese is all melted and mixed. Set aside and let cool.
  • Step 3In a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil. Using tongs dip the tortillas, one at a time, into the oil for 30 seconds each side. Drain on paper towels.
  • Step 4Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spread 4 tablespoons of sour cream mixture down the center of the tortilla. Top with about the same amount of beef. Roll up and place seam side down in one or two 8×11 inch baking dish. Repeat for each tortilla. Continue until you are out of the filling. Sprinkle with remaining Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Step 5Bake in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling.

Shredded Beef Enchiladas

Beef Enchiladas made with tender shredded beef cooked in a simple homemade enchilada sauce, then layered in tortillas and cheese to make delectable enchiladas. You’ll never use canned enchilada sauce again! 

Beef enchiladas in a pan with a spatula lifting one out.

The best part about these enchiladas is how easy the beef and sauce are to prepare. Just place the beef in the slow cooker and pour the simple sauce on top. Let it slow cook all day long and your house will smell amazing.

How to make Beef Enchiladas:

  • Season the roast on all sides with salt and pepper and place in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Whisk together beef broth, salsa, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder. Pour over roast.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until beef is tender and shreds easily. Remove to large plate and shred. Pour remaining broth from the slow cooker into a saucepan over medium heat. Slowly whisk in cornstarch slurry. Cook for a few minutes until sauce begins to thicken. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, or other seasonings, as needed.
  • Assemble enchiladas: Pour ½ cup of sauce over the beef and toss. Fill each tortilla with a spoonful of shredded beef and a spoonful of shredded cheese. Roll up and place in the pan, seam-side down. Pour desired amount of sauce over the enchiladas. Top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.
Four process photos for assembling and baking beef enchiladas.

Traditional authentic Mexican enchiladas are made with corn tortillas.  My family loves these with flour tortillas, but both work great! I love to spoon homemade Pico de gallo on top and a scoop of sour cream.

Instant Pot Beef Enchiladas:

Prepare the beef and sauce according to recipe instructions. Add them to the Instant Pot and cook on Manual/High Pressure for 75 minutes, with a 10 minute natural release. Proceed with recipe instructions for assembling and baking enchiladas.

shredded beef enchiladas (4 ingredients)

Homemade beef enchiladadas are easy to assemble ahead of time and can be customized to your tastes. Make this Mexican casserole for family dinners and serve with a big salad for a complete meal.

Total: 45 minutes

shredded beef enchiladas (4 ingredients)

What makes these shredded beef enchiladas stand out from the rest is the well seasoned Mexican style shredded beef filling along with the smoky spicy enchilada sauce. This easy enchilada recipe makes enough for 4-6 people (depending on appetites and what you’re serving them with.) It’s a spicy, cheesy Mexican inspired dish that’s simple to make with only 4 main ingredients. The whole family comes running for this meal.

skill level: beginner

There are no special skills or techniques needed to make these simple shredded beef enchiladas. It’s simply a matter of assembly. You can even get the kids to help!

why you’ll love easy beef enchiladas

You should see my husband’s happy dance when I make these flavorful shredded beef enchiladas. I’m talking toothy grins, sing-song lyrics “we’re havin’ enchiladas” coupled with his version of a two-step and the white man’s overbite.

For me, it’s a favorite, because it’s a quick assembly, can be made several hours in advance and baked just before serving. Plus it’s a meal the whole family loves.

a collage of the ingredients with closeups of beef, cheese and enchilada sauce.

basic ingredients for shredded beef enchiladas:

  • Shredded Beef
  • Red Enchilada Sauce
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Tortillas

Shredded Beef – If you already have shredded beef (pr seasoned, browned ground beef) ready to go, you can use it in the enchiladas recipe, but if you need to make some, I recommend this Mexican Shredded Beef recipe. It’s well seasoned, uses just a few ingredient and it can be made in the Instant Pot, slow cooker or braised in the oven using a sturdy lidded pot or Dutch oven. Whenever I make the shredded beef recipe, I make a double batch and freeze half, so I’ve always got shredded beef ready to go for these beef enchiladas.

Red Enchilada Sauce – Spicy red enchilada sauce is what gives enchiladas their signature look and flavor. There are several good store-bought enchilada sauces you can use, but if you’ve got 5 minutes, you can also make it yourself using this smoky spicy Mexican red sauce recipe. Either one will work, though I admit to being partial to the homemade version.

Shredded Cheese – Use a good melting cheese to fill and top the beef enchiladas. I recommend, white or yellow cheddar (not too sharp as the milder styles melt gooey-er, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Colby Jack or a pre-grated Mexican blend.

Tortillas – Flour or corn? I admit, most of the time, I’m a big flour tortilla fan, but in this instance, I think you have to go with corn. It’s more authentic, gives a better, more robust flavor and frankly, flour tortillas get soggy and gluey in the casserole, where corn tortillas will generally hold up better in this saucy dish. Corn tortillas can be persnickety too, cracking or splitting, but what they lack in malleability, they make up for in taste.

gathering ingredients to assemble the casserole and spreading enchilada sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.

how to assemble enchiladas

  1. Brush some enchilada sauce onto the bottom of your baking dish.
  2. Lay one tortilla flat on a work surface and spread with a little red sauce.
  3. Top with shredded beef and cheese.
  4. Fold the ends of the tortilla over the beef and cheese filling and place seam side down in the casserole dish.
  5. Continue to assemble the shredded beef enchiladas, filling the casserole and if necessary using another casserole dish.
  6. Brush more red enchilada sauce over the tortillas and top with the remaining shredded cheese.
  7. Bake until hot and bubbly.
Step by step photos showing how to fill corn tortillas for the enchilada casserole.

If you’re a fan of good, old-fashioned Tex-Mex, this enchilada recipe is for you. Not only are they quick and easy to assemble, but the flavors are everything you’d want in homemade beef enchiladas. They’re rich, hearty and stick to your ribs good. Top them with your favorite garnishes for a homey meal that everyone loves.

garnishes that go well with beef enchiladas:

  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Sour Cream
  • Pico De Gallo
  • Cilantro Lime Crema
  • Extra Enchilada Sauce
  • Diced Avocado
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Hatch Chile Sauce
  • Greek Yogurt (healthier)
  • Avocado Tomatillo Salsa
  • Chopped Black Olives
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Pink Pickled Onions
  • Sliced Pickled Jalapeños
  • Black Bean Dip
the assembled beef enchilada casserole covered with cheese, before and after baking.

faq’s

Can enchiladas be made ahead of time?

Yes. You can make them up to one day ahead of time. Just cover and refrigerate. About half an hour before you want to bake them, remove from the refrigerator to come to room temperature on the counter, then bake.

What’s good to drink with shredded beef enchiladas?

For non-alcoholic, I recommend bubbles from sparkling water with a squeeze of lime. You could also drink milk, but these enchiladas aren’t spicy enough to warrant it.
For alcoholic beverages, try a cold cerveza (beer) or for wine-drinkers, Rioja. I tend to stay away from fruity or sweet drinks with enchiladas

Can I freeze beef enchiladas?

Yes. Make sure they’re double wrapped (plastic, then foil or freezer paper). Defrost before reheating – and remove wrapping first. Enchiladas will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer.

Are beef enchiladas gluten free?

Most enchilada sauce contains flour, unless it specifically says it doesn’t, so be on the lookout for that. Also corn tortillas are gluten free, but obviously flour tortillas aren’t. This green chile enchilada sauce IS gluten free and can be used in this recipe.

Are enchiladas healthy?

Not really. But if you eat a normal portion size and and don’t go overboard, it’s not the worst thing you can eat.

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