Traditional Mexican Beef Enchiladas

by Karen Ekstrom

By Robert Spears


1 pound of ground beef

1 small onion diced

2 cloves garlic minced

1 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon salt


1 teaspoon of dried Mexican oregano. NOT Italian oregano. This is worth keeping in your pantry, really enhances Mexican dishes and gives them a unique flavor. Put it into the palm of your hand and crush it with your fingers to release its flavors and wonderful aroma.

8-10 corn tortillas

Enchilada Sauce:

I cannot take credit for this, it is adapted from a recipe of Robb Walsh

1/4 cup or canola oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 cups beef broth or water

Making the enchilada sauce:

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and continue stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it makes a light brown roux.

Add the seasonings and continue to cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring and blending ingredients. Add broth or water, mixing and stirring until the sauce thickens. Turn heat to low and let sauce simmer for 15 minutes. Add water to adjust the thickness.

The fresher your seasonings the better the sauce turns out You can try different chili powders and adjust the amount you use depending upon how strong it is or how spicy you like it.

Making the meat mixture:

Brown the ground beef together with the chopped onion and garlic in a skillet. When browned pour off any grease, then put the meat back into the pan. Pour in one cup of water (or you could use beef stock), add the meat seasonings, and then stir to combine. Cook until all of the water has evaporated, but don’t dry it out completely, you want your meat to be moist, not dry or sopping wet.

Making the enchiladas:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray.

Coat a small skillet with about a half-inch layer of canola oil, and heat the tortillas one at a time in the oil for about 10-15 seconds each to soften them. The tortillas will break apart on you when assembling the enchiladas if you don’t do this. Alternatively, if you want you can use a cast iron skillet or a comal, spray the tortilla with cooking spray, and heat the tortilla in the pan, flipping once so you heat both sides for 10 seconds each. Keep the tortillas wrapped in a cloth until all are heated.

Pour some of the chili gravy into the bottom of the baking pan to lightly coat the bottom of the pan.

Take a tortilla, put a couple of tablespoons of meat towards one side of the tortilla, top with a little bit of cheese, some chopped onion if you want, and roll it up. Place rolled tortilla in baking dish, seam side down.
Continue with the rest of the tortillas.

Take the rest of your enchilada sauce and pour it over the rolled up tortillas. Generously cover with sharp cheddar cheese and onions if you prefer. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is gooey.


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Jan Strue March 2, 2016 - 7:22 pm

These look so good, Karen. Maybe I will even start cooking again…..NAAHHH!



Karen Ekstrom March 2, 2016 - 10:24 pm

Ha Ha! Love it! You always made me smile. Miss you Jan!

Kelly September 8, 2022 - 5:01 pm

A favorite of ours, just came to saved pin to make tonight!

Karen Ekstrom September 8, 2022 - 7:32 pm

I’m so glad you like it!!!


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