If I had to pick one meal that I thought defined Texas this would be it.
Enchiladas filled with either beef, cheese or in this case my spicy pulled pork, smothered in Chili Con Carne and covered with cheese. Served on a plate in between Refried Pinto Beans and Mexican Rice. This is the meal that defines Texas to me.
Now some people might argue that BBQ beef brisket, and all the fixin’s would be the meal that defines Texas. While others might say that Chicken Fried Steak (that might or might not be a big as your head…) covered in white gravy, served with mashed potatoes and green beans would define Texas. Others would say Texas is defined in a bowl of spicy beef chili, served over Frito’s and topped with cheddar cheese and onions (and if you are in Texas there better not be any BEANS in that chili!!!)
Now don’t get me wrong, I love all of these meals, but I wouldn’t say that Texas is the only place I could find them. However finding a TRUE Tex-Mex meal like these Enchiladas with Chili Con Carne, Refried Beans and Rice. Well good luck with that…
The funny thing is when ever I’m about to go on vacation or out of town for work, I find myself gorging on Tex-Mex food like I’m never going to see it again. I will never forget the first time my husband and I want to Europe. We had been gone for two weeks at this point and we were in Lyon, France at the time. We were walking back to out hotel and passed a little restaurant that was serving Tex-Mex food!!! I almost died right then and there. It was good, but it was not Tex-Mex, it was more like California Style Mexican food.
I had my family over for dinner last night and of course made Enchiladas, Refried Beans and Mexican Rice for dinner. Since I will be going out of town soon, it was important for me to make a meal using things that I already had. These enchiladas and the chili con carne sauce are made from my leftover spicy pulled pork and they were out of this world good. Yes, I know…. Pulled pork enchiladas might not be as “authentic” Tex-Mex as beef or cheese enchiladas but I promise you will not know the difference. Besides being a Texan is about being resourceful and using what you got. These pulled pork enchiladas with chili con carne were so good last night that my Dad took one bite then slapped my leg say “MMMMM That’s Good!!!” and if you know my Dad you know how much he loves his beef enchiladas.
The Chili Con Carne Sauce I used was based on a recipe by Lisa Fain, author of The Homesick Texan and The Homesick Texan’s Family Table. If you are from Texas and especially North Texas go buy her cookbooks! Reading her stories and recipes were spot on to what my childhood was like here in North Texas. Here is the link to her website The Homesick Texan
Here are the recipes for My Texas Blue Plate Special hope y’all enjoy!
Mel’s Spicy Pulled Pork Enchiladas with Chili Con Carne Sauce
Feeds 8 Hungry Texans
*The Chili Con Carne Sauce
8 Dried Ancho Chilies, stems and seeds remove
4 Dried California Chilies, stems and seeds removed
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
4 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon ground Cumin
1 Tablespoon dried Mexican Oregano
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ cups Mel’s Spicy Pulled Pork
4 cups Beef or Chicken Broth
¼ cup Maseca (instant corn flour)
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 Large Yellow Onion, diced
4 cups of Mel’s Spicy Pulled Pork
16 Corn Tortillas
5 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
In a large, dry, cast iron skillet heated to high, toast the dried chilies on both sides for about 10 seconds or until they start to puff. Fill the skillet with enough water to cover the chilies. Leave the heat on until the water begins to boil and then turn off the heat and let the chilies soak until soft, about 30 minutes. Once hydrated discard the soaking water and rinse the chilies. Place in a food processor or blender.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil and cook the onions with a pinch of salt and black pepper occasionally stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic then cook for another minute. Place the cooked onions and garlic in the food processor or blender with the chilies along with all the spices and 2 cups of water. Blend until completely smooth.
Poor the blended, chili, onion, garlic and spice mix back into the same pot uses to cook the onion. Add the 1½ cups of Spicy pulled pork and 4 cups of beef or chicken broth. Bring everything to a boil then, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. (Optional) In a small bowl, add the ¼ cup of corn maseca, and mix it with one big ladle full of the hot Chili Con Carne sauce. Stir the maseca and chili mix until well combined and there are no lumps. Then slowly stir the slurry back into the Chili Con Carne and simmer for another 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
**The Chili Con Carne is based on a recipe from Lisa Fain’s The Homesick Texan.
Time to make the Enchilada filling….
Pre-Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a large skillet with one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add all but ¼ cup of the large, diced, yellow onion with a pinch of salt and a little black pepper. Cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the 5 cups of Spicy Pulled Pork to the onions and cook until the pork is heated through.
Enchilada Assembly Time…
Grease a large 9×13 baking dish. Wrap the corn tortillas in a slightly damp paper towel and place them in a microwave safe tortilla warmer (or between two plates). Heat on high for 90 seconds. Keep them wrapped up and in the warmer until you are ready to use them.
Pour about a cup of the Chili Con Carne sauce into the bottom of the baking dish and spread out into an even layer. Take a heated tortilla and dip it into the chili con carne sauce. Shake off most of the excess sauce; you just want enough on the tortilla to be pliable. Lay the tortilla on a clean cutting board and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cheese down the middle. Add ¼ cup of the pulled pork and onions mix on top of the cheese. Roll up the tortilla and place the enchilada in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour the remaining Chili Con Carne over the top of the enchiladas. Top with the rest of the cheese and the reserved ¼ cup diced yellow onion. Bake the enchiladas in the oven until the cheese is melted and the chili con carne is bubbling.
Serve the Enchiladas on a plate between Refried Beans and Mexican Rice.
Y’all come back now, ya hear!!!