Gayle's Red Enchiladas

This recipe is mostly simple, although it has a few steps. I've written much out for those who aren't experienced with cooking like this. A lot of you are, I know. I don't usually have time to do things like make my own enchilada sauce. So it calls for canned sauce. You can make your own if you want. It's a good recipe to make up the mixture, divide it into parts for individual meals and freeze. Assembly is easy and quick for the later meals.

The amounts on this are very flexible. For example, if you have a large family, buy a big cut of meat. If you have a small family but freeze stuff a lot, buy a big cut of meat. If you have a small family, buy a smaller one. You can buy a roast with the bone in, or buy one without the bone.

Seasonings can be adjusted to taste - more or less chili powder, cumin, thyme, etc. On the sauce, if you like hot, don't dilute the enchilada sauce.

Gayle's Red Enchiladas

1 pork roast, about 3 pounds
2 carrots
2 stems of celery
1 onion with skin

3-4 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp thyme
2-3 jalapeno peppers

1 sm can red enchilada sauce
1 reg can tomato sauce
1 pkg small flour tortillas

Put the pork roast in a large (not huge) stock pot. Add the carrots, celery and onion after cutting them into large hunks. This makes it easier to pick them out of the stock later. Fill pot with water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer this for at least 3 hours. Longer if you have the time and/or patience, because the flavors develop. Remove the meat from the pot and strain the broth. I usually end up setting a colander over another stock pot and pouring everything through that because the meat falls apart. Separate the meat from the veggies.

On your cutting board, pull the hunks of meat apart with the grain going in the same direction. Chop into small cuts, 1/2" or less, across the grain. Return the chopped meat to the stock pot. Add chili powder, cumin and thyme. Stir into the meat. A cup at a time, add broth and stir into the meat. Add enough broth to almost cover the meat. Simmer this mixture until most of the liquid has gone away. This part will require watching the pot and stirring frequently. You can use the rest of the broth to make posole, yum.

Just at the end of simmering the meat mixture, roast 2-3 jalapeno peppers. I have a gas stove, so I just place mine on the burner over the flame. (You can also skip this part if you don't want to bother.) Pop the peppers in a bag for 3-5 minutes to sweat. Remove the charred skin, open the jalapenos and remove the seeds and core. Slice into thin strips and then chop finely. Stir into the meat mixture just before assembly.

At this point, you can refrigerate everything and continue another day if you're over it, or you can divide and freeze it.

Because we can't stand a lot of spicy heat, I use 1/2 can of red enchilada sauce to 1 can of tomato sauce. Mix this together to blend well. Put in just enough sauce to cover the bottom of an oblong casserole dish.

Start assembling the enchiladas. Lay out a tortilla and just to the right of center (left if you're a leftie, I suppose) lay down a strip of meat, about 3 tbsp. You can add cheese if you're so inclined. Starting with the right side, roll the tortilla up and lay it seam side down in the casserole dish.

After you've filled the casserole dish (mine holds 6-8), top the enchiladas with enough sauce to have gotten every part of the tortillas wet. Cover with aluminum foil and put in the oven, preheated to 350°F. Cook for 40 minute or until hot through.

Sometimes I add the rest of the sauce and Monterrey Jack cheese about 5 minutes before removing from the oven and finish cooking uncovered.

Jola Gayle


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