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.