Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sante Fe Style Beef Enchiladas

Quick geography quiz. What is the highest capital in the United States.

Washington D.C. during Mayor Marion Barry's term? Wow, okay, I'll give you that one, but I meant the highest state capital in terms of sea level.

Denver, the Mile High City (5,280 ft) , right?

Nope, it's Sante Fe, New Mexico (7,199 ft).

This recipe is one of our family favorites for the past 6 years. I first made it with an electric oven & range. My cooking has gotten infinitely better during those six years and this recipe has kept up with my improvement. As I get better, so does this dish.

I've lost the original source and haven't found it online, so I'll post it as found and then our alterations.

Sante Fe Style Beef Enchiladas

3 pounds boneless beef
16 ounces canned tomatoes
1 cup onion
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
4 ounces Green chili diced
1 cup cream
12 ea corn tortilla
1 cup jack cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sliced pitted black olive
1/4 cup scallions

Combine beef, tomatoes, onions, garlic, salt, cumin, and coriander in a large saucepan, over a moderate flame. Heat to a boil , reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours, until tender. Remove from heat, cool.

Remove beef, separate into shreds with a fork, set aside reduce liquid to 2 cups.

Stir in chiles and pour into a 9x13x2-inch baking dish. Heat cream in a skillet, over a medium flame. Soften tortillas in heated cream, 1 at a time. Place 1/3 cup beef onto each tortilla. Rollup and place into baking dish. Top with grated cheeses, pour remaining cream over all.

Bake @ 375 degrees for 25-45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to stand before cutting.

Garnish with sour cream, olives, and scallions.

Our changes & tips
We usually use a 1.5 lb flank steak instead of a 3 lb roast as notice.

Tonight, instead of going stove top, I cooked the meat in a dutch oven on the Big Green Egg. I put the dutch oven on the grate and pre-heated it at 300f. I added the first seven ingredients and simmered covered for just less than the 2 hours the recipe calls for.We have found consistently that you need to add liquid (beer, chicken broth, and extra can of tomatoes, whatever) halfway through the braising.

The beef should shred easily using two forks pulling in opposite directions, just like you would "pulled pork". If you stop here, you'd have a perfect shredded beef for tacos, tostadas, quesedillas, or burritos.Softening the tortilla in warm cream as noted takes about 10 seconds. Use the the small sized corn tortillas and the smallest skillet you have to keep the cream as deeper than it would be in a bigger skillet.

We added cheese and cilantro before rolling up our enchiladas. Place the mixture at about the 1/3rd line before folding them over. If you try to center it, it will just be a big mess. Place them seam side down in the mix in the casserole dish.We generally dip the tortillas for about 10 seconds in the cream. If your tortilla shells "break" when trying to roll them, let them stay in the cream bath a few seconds more or slowly bring the heat up.

If you like your enchiladas crispier, use a shallow roasting pan. If you like them soft, use a large casserole dish.My family loves these like this. If I was just making them for me, I'd add a lot more heat, such as cayenne and chili powder to the beef or chopping up some jalapenos into the tomato mixture.

Either way, this is a flavorful and filling entree for a southwestern dinner!

Santa Fe Style Beef Enchiladas


  1. I don't usually eat enchiladas cuz I cants stand the canned echnilada sauce. But you know what? I think I just might like this version a whole lot!!

  2. Those look awesome. I like that you spent the time to cook and shred the beef. I am always disappointed when I get enchiladas with ground beef.

  3. You KNOW I love this recipe. The shredded beef looks amazing and the sauce sounds really tasty. Bookmarked!

  4. Pure food porn in that first photo! I am going to go out and get a cow or pig if I can catch one, probably cow tipping is the best technique I can think of...

  5. Lord, those look and sound great! I would have guessed Denver...thanks for a new fact to know and yell!

  6. This dish I must tell you looks phenomenal! The shredded beef.. incredible. I could dive right into this and come up smiling:)

  7. OOOOOMMMMMGGGGG, I keep staring at this, and it's only 10:46 am!

  8. I really want a green egg because of you.

  9. So no red sauce at all? I've not had enchiladas like that, but it sure sounds good. I've got a whole mess or carnitas that would probably work really well in this recipe. Thanks!

  10. This one really set me to salivating. I get my mouth unwired tomorrow and one of my first must haves is encilladas now. GREG

  11. This is one tasty mf looking dish! I'm all on board with this one (except maybe the cilantro - HATE cilantro).

    I too would kick up the heat. That's the problem of eating with other people, you can't have the heat levels you want!

  12. Those enchiladas look really tasty!

  13. I tried this, along with numerous other enchilada recipes to find the best and although I cooked my meat differently I did the rest as your recipe said and they were by far the best enchiladas - didn't even miss a red sauce. Thanks so much!!!


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