Beef Enchiladas with Kailee Zimmerman

As a fifth generation Arizonan, I love life in the desert and am captivated with the culture of the Southwest. The cactus dotted landscape, beautiful sunsets and mountains create a landscape that is like none other. It feels that the last bit of the “Old West” is preserved here.


Not only do I love the landscape and tradition of the Southwest, but I also love the food! Much of the food is shaped by hispanic culture and my family grew up eating a lot of that food. One of my favorite meals is beef enchiladas. They are a staple at my house, but they also remind me of
one of my favorite traditions. We have enchiladas and celebrate “Feliz Navidad” every Christmas Eve with all of my extended family.


Our favorite enchilada recipe is from The Pioneer Woman. I’ll share some tips that we learned from making these enchiladas, but make sure to check out the full recipe at the bottom of this post!


One of the most important parts of the enchiladas is the red sauce.

The base of the sauce is a canned red enchilada sauce, and flour, canola oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chicken broth, and cilantro is also added to it. All of these ingredients are mixed together and heated till they come to a boil. When the ingredients are boiling, turn down the heat and let the sauce simmer for 30-45 minutes.


Now it’s time for the star of the show! The yummy, beef filling!

Cook the Ground Beef in a skillet until it is about halfway done. When it is halfway done, add in a chopped onion, green chiles, cilantro, salt and pepper. Mix this all together and cook until the Ground Beef is browned all of the way through. Ground Beef should be cooked to a safe and savory 160ºF.


Next, it’s time to cook the tortillas. These enchiladas are wrapped in corn tortillas, but I love flour tortillas and usually use those. Choose whichever you prefer!


Time to assemble the enchiladas! Put some spoonfuls of red sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish and spread evenly on the bottom. Using tongs, dip both sides of the tortilla into the red sauce. Put the beef filling and grated cheese in the tortilla, wrap and place in your casserole dish.


Repeat until your dish is full.


Top with extra red sauce, plenty of cheese and some cilantro.


Cook at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted.


While I love this recipe, it’s the tradition and memories behind it that mean even more to me. Food has a way of bringing people together and it is even better when beef is the star of the show!


Check out the full recipe and read a fun story by The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, here: Simple Perfect Enchiladas.

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