I know…venison is not the usual protein for enchiladas, but I just MUST share this recipe. It’s that good! The beloved went hunting this year and we decided to grind all the meat rather than process into all the different cuts we usually do. Our supply of grass-fed beef was getting low and our ground beef was in short supply. If you don’t have venison, ground beef works just as well. It’s in the sauce, not the protein.
If you know me, you know I love Mexican food, I love spice, I love peppers! At least once a week I must have Mexican food whether I make it myself or visit our favorite local Mexican restaurant.
A couple of years ago I posted a recipe for beef enchiladas. These are delicious and I’ve cooked them often, but sometimes you need to try something different and this recipe is the result of one of those days. It definitely is our new favorite.
1 pound ground venison, pork, OR beef
4 Roma tomatoes, unpeeled
1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup chicken stock, divided
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon adobo sauce
2-10 oz cans red enchilada sauce (or equivalent in a homemade sauce)
10 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cup grated Mexican cheese blend
In a large cast iron skillet add the tomatoes, onion, serrano pepper, and garlic. Over high heat, char the vegetables turning frequently until dark in color. Remove from heat, peel the tomatoes and garlic, remove the stem from the peppers and de-seed if desired.
While the vegetables are charring, brown the meat, drain and set aside.
To a food processor or blender add the roasted vegetables, 1 cup of chicken stock, cinnamon, oregano, black pepper, chipotle and chipotle sauce. Blend until it is a smooth consistency.
Add one tablespoon olive oil to a large skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Add the sauce and meat and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until most of the liquid has cooked out. When you reduce the liquids you are intensifying the flavors.
In a medium saute pan, add the enchilada sauce and 1/2 cup chicken stock. Heat until just below boiling. Remove from heat.
Prepare the tortilla shells. I have found that it’s impossible to use them right out of the bag because they break when you try to roll them. I’ve also had problems trying to heat them in the microwave for the same reason. What DOES work is to heat oil in a small saute pan. When heated, add one tortilla shell, flip immediately, remove and place on paper towels. Keep covered with paper towels until you are finished with them.
In a 9×13 baking dish, spread a ladle of the sauce over the bottom.
Take one tortilla shell, dip into the enchilada sauce making sure both sides are covered. Lay the shell on a plate, spoon a ladle of the filling (1/4-1/2 cup) onto the shell and roll up like a cigar. Place in the baking dish. Continue until the pan is filled. Pour any remaining enchilada sauce over the top.
Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the enchiladas. Bake in a 375-degree oven until they are bubbly and the cheese is melted, approximately 20-25 minutes.
These can be served with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, enchiladas, more peppers, or nothing at all. They are delicious just as they are.
This recipe requires several steps and many dirty dishes but it is so worth it! Seriously, these are better than any enchilada I have eaten anywhere…even my favorite Mexican restaurant.