Monday, August 16, 2010

Salsa Verde Beef Enchiladas

Who in the hell eats GREEN salsa?

That is what I used to think many, many years ago when I would see salsa verde in a jar or at a restaurant.

But like many of my food prejudices, I tried it a couple of years ago and liked it. It's okay with chips but it excels as a condiment to a meat dish, eggs, or as an ingredient in sauces.

Last night I made beef enchiladas using a salsa verde base instead of the tomato based enchilada sauce I usually make.

Salsa Verde Beef Enchiladas
Source: Nibble Me This

1 flank steak
1/2 cup beer or chicken stock
5 ea tomatillos, dehusked and chopped
2 ea jalapeno peppers, halved, seeded, and chopped
1 ea small onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
8 ea corn tortillas (small size)
2 cups shredded cheese
2-3 cups cream
1 cup fire roasted salsa verde

Preheat your grill to 300f.

Place the tomatillos, peppers, onion, cilantro, garlic, into a dutch oven. Add the flank steak. Top with cumin, coriander, and salt then the liquid. Place on the grill and bring to a simmer. Cover with lid, close grill, and simmer for 90 minutes. Add more beer or stock as needed to keep the mixture wet enough to braise and not dry out.

Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Take the steak from the pot and shred it into pieces using two large forks. It should pull apart easily almost like pulled pork.

Take the veggies from the pot process in a blender. Spread this mixture on the bottom of a 1/2 steam pan.

Preheat 1 cup of cream in a saute pan over medium low heat. One by one, soften a tortilla in the warm cream (about 5 to 10 seconds). I find we have to add more cream during the process, up to two cups in total.

Top a tortilla with 1/3rd cup of the shredded beef and 1 ounce of the shredded cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in the steam pan. Repeat for the remaining tortillas.

Cover with a cup of cheese and then top with the rest of the cream from the saute pan.

Bump the grill temp up to 375f using indirect heat. Place the steam pan on the grill and cook for 30-40 minutes until the edges of the tortillas are starting to turn crispy.

Remove from heat.

While resting, heat the last cup of cream and whisk in the cup of salsa verde. You can use store bought like Herdez but this weekend I home made a batch of salsa verde using veggies that were fire roasted. The smokey roasted flavor makes for a much more complex tasting sauce.

Ladle about 1/4 cup of this verde cream sauce onto each enchilada and garnish with cilantro, green onion and/or black olives.
You could make this in your oven too so why would I bother with firing up the Big Green Egg for 3 hours? First, because I want to. Second, it's hot and I don't want to heat up the kitchen for that long. But third and most important, the dish picks up something special from those red hot hardwood coals.

You can also go with a fattier cut of meat like a small chuck roast but be prepared to go for a longer cook time, about 2 hours for the braising part of the cook.


  1. Oh, Chris, you have outdone yourself! And guess what? I grew tomatillos this year and was looking for a good recipe. I'll trust that yours is as good as it gets. Thanks!

  2. Just gorgeous! And I'll bet incredibly tasty too.

  3. I LOVE salsa verde (homemade-not jarred) and this enchilada recipe looks amazing! Definately a must try! Thanks for sharing, Chris!

    Kim in MD

  4. Wow! These look superb and I love that you put them on the grill:) I've never braised a flank steak before but I do like that it is much quicker than a bigger cut of meal like roast. Way to go Chris!!

  5. Wow...this one is a keeper! I, too, was a color snob when it came to salsas...and then I had a tomatillo salsa that changed I'm a little more open to trying whatever "Crayola" is offered! This sounds great - will give it a try soon. Did I tell you I made your rootbeer beans? Can't remember...but I loved the taste BEFORE they went into the oven...after, they still tasted great but I couldn't taste the rootbeer, which I loved! So, I played around with your recipe and added rootbeer was just the ticket! The entire famdamly lapped them up! xo, Nan

  6. Once I've soaked up the drool from my shirt...I want a big fat plateful of these. Killer!

  7. Nooooooo, a shredded flank steak??? I like the recipe and would eat it without question, but ouch. I would go with a chuck or less expensive cut of meat for enchiladas as you mention at the end. To me, flank steak is for searing/grilling till rare/med rare and sliced against the grain. Chucks/arm roasts, rumps are for turning into shredded beef for tacos and enchiladas. The fat in those cuts make for more tender product in the end too. But don't get me wrong, I would eat your dinner if you turned your back in a second lol.

  8. We have New Hatch New Mexico chiles at our local market in Califronia. They come around once a year and I will snatch up 15 plus pounds. I always liked the green salsa better. In fact, a Chilebrown fact, chileverde is one of my signature dishes.

  9. Looks fantastic! Was it really spicy?

  10. yummm! this looks really good. love it. its so professionally done. wish i can make something like this one day! would be awesome :)

    Have a lovely day!!
    Jen @

  11. These look crazy good! Love the idea of softening the tortillas in cream. Gotta try this and soon.

  12. They look outstanding Chris. Is you salsa verde recipe available?

  13. I have a recipe for a green salsa that I keep meaning to make! I love all enchiladas and yours look awesome!! Thanks!

  14. Anything with a tomatillo involved has my name on it. Love the taste, love to play with them in my kitchen. Thanks for the recipe. Looks nice and spicy! - Gary

  15. I totally prefer green salsa, and I totally love this recipe. And I've spent entirely too much time with my eight graders today and I'm talking in teenage-speak.

  16. I must get brave and try the green stuff. I was thinking Tex-Mex for the weekend and it is time to get off the grill for a little while.

  17. I have never had an issue with "green salsa". In fact I think as a California I was introduced to tomatillo salsa before I ever met tomato salsa. Which ia all very interesting. But the real story here is how much love you put into cooking your meat. I know the meat is key and I wish I lived closer to you because I am sure I have never eaten any kind of enchilada where so much effort went into the meat. GREG

  18. This is awesome Chris, beautiful and delicious meal. I agree with Greg about never having an enchilada with so much effort on the meat. Bet it makes an incredible difference. As much as I am a lover of good hot and spicy red salsa I really like salsa verde to, love it on pork for tamales.

  19. How incredibly delicious! Love the sound of the salsa verde sauce. The entire dish is super special!

  20. Bookmarked! You have me drooling with this one Chris... I can't wait to make it.

    The new look is great and I can finally see your header again!! :)

  21. I can't wait for you to post one of those 'five ingredients or less' recipes...

  22. Made this last night along with your "Easy Mexican Rice". Great dinner!

  23. When you started with the meat in the dutch oven, did you use a plate setter with the BGE, ie., indirect vs. direct heat?

  24. I did it direct without the plate setter. You could do it with a plate setter too, just bump the temp up 50 degrees.


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