This is my twist on Cafe Rio's Beef Enchiladas recipe. If you are like me (stay at home dad), you have a tight budget and everyone in your family loves Cafe Rio, then you'll be sure to enjoy this recipe. This will sure to be a classic in your house for American style Mexican food.
The major twist in this recipe is that it does not use a chuck roast. Instead, it uses canned beef chunks. The LDS church has a cannery in our area where we can go do service and pack the beef chunks (and other items as well) every so often. By doing service we can also purchase these beef chunks for our family. This is a huge savings and the taste is great. If you do not have access to a local cannery, you can also purchase beef chunks in your local grocery store. This recipe also does not use beef broth. The beef broth is already in the canned beef chunks. This saves you time in preparing the broth or purchasing it. Lastly, I do not use any tomato paste. This changes the flavor and there is no need to thicken up the sauce. If you feel you need to thicken it up, then use some other method that will not drastically change the flavor. Okay, let's get down to it.
Recipe makes 18 to 24 Beef Enchiladas (depending on how much beef you use in each enchilada)
Cafe Rio Beef Filling:
2 Cans Beef Chunks (14.4 oz)
1 Small Onion
3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 Can Mexican Style Tomato Sauce (8 oz)
1 Can Green Enchilada Sauce (28 oz) - You will use half of it in the crock pot and the other half when serving
24 Corn Tortillas (6 inch)
Red or Green Enchilada Sauce
Cafe Rio Beef Filling
Directions (Slower, but better tasting results)
Slice the onion (about twice the size you would use for hamburgers). There is no need to break up the slices. Simply cut and place into the bottom of your crock pot. Drain the canned beef chunks into a mixing bowl. Keep the juice as we will use it in a minute. Place the beef chunks into the crock pot. Next, mince your garlic and put into the mixing bowl. Add the Mexican Style Tomato Sauce (8 oz). Mix ingredients together and pour into the crock pot. Cover your crock pot and cook on low heat for six hours. Once it has completed cooking strain the juice into a mixing bowl. Once the beef can be handled (let it cool), shred the beef (this is the longest part of the whole process). It's critical to shred the beef into thin little pieces. Put the shredded beef back into the crock pot. Throw the cooked onions away. Add HALF of the can of the Green Enchilada Sauce to the juice in the mixing bowl. Stir and pour back into crock pot. Cover the crock pot and cook on high for one hour. You are now ready to make the enchiladas.
Preheat over to 375 degrees (or you can use a microwave oven)
Place an eight inch round frying pan on the stove at medium heat. Put enough oil in the pan to cover the bottom. It should be a little more than the thickness of a corn tortilla. Once the oil gets hot enough, start cooking the tortillas. You will cook each side of the tortilla for about 10 to 12 seconds. It's not very long. Place a couple of cooked tortillas on a plate. Place some Cafe Rio Beef into the center of each tortilla. Put some red or green enchilada sauce on top of the beef (make sure you heat up the enchilada sauce on the stove or in a microwave oven. This helps melt the cheese). Add some grated cheese. Fold one end of the tortilla over the beef. Put a little bit of sauce on top of the folded portion. This will help keep the other end to stick on top of the other. Fold over the other end. Put more red or green sauce on top and little more cheese.
Place in the oven for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese. The alternative is to use a microwave oven. Your enchilada is now complete and is ready to serve.
Alternate Directions for Beef Filling (Time Saving, but still good)
Use these directions if you do not have a lot of time. Slice the onion into slices (about twice the size you would use for hamburgers). There is no need to break up the slices. Simply cut and place into the bottom of your crock pot. Drain the canned beef chunks into a mixing bowl. Keep the juice as we will use it in a minute. Shred the beef chunks into the crock pot. It's critical to shred the beef into thin little pieces. Next, mince your garlic and put into the mixing bowl. Add the Mexican Style Tomato Sauce (8 oz) and HALF of the can of the Green Enchilada Sauce to the juice in the mixing bowl. Mix and then pour into the crock pot. Cover your crock pot and cook on high heat for one hour. You are now ready to make the enchiladas.
Alternate Directions for Serving
Instead of serving each enchilada on its own dish, put the enchiladas in a glass casserole dish (9 x 13). This is convenient for big families and/or teenagers who eat a lot.
I personally only prepare as many enchildas that everyone will eat. I have one teenager son still at home. He will come home during lunch from school and prepare his own enchildas, although I must admit, I usually end up making them for him. They are easy to make. That way they are still fresh and it's a good way to visit with him during lunch.