This recipe goes out to the Winsor family who have a special place in my heart.   Through the years I have sat at their table while they assembled tortillas, sauce, meat and cheese to make enough enchiladas to feed a whole crew.  I have been tinkering with making my own red enchilada sauce and I think I finally have the right combination of chiles and spice to make a sauce worthy of sharing.  I made the sauce a day ahead and that made the enchiladas fast and easy to assemble the next day. 

It starts with the sauce.  You’ll need some chicken stock, oregano (preferably Mexican), salt and a combination of dried NM Red chile and Ancho chile.

Also 2 cloves of garlic grated on a microplane grater and 1/2 large onion chopped.

Arrange 10 chile pods on a cookie sheet and roast them in a 250 degree oven for 10 minutes or until the chiles become aromatic.

Take the roasted dried chiles and remove the stems and seeds.  Tear the chiles into pieces and place into a large saucepan.

Add 2 cups chicken stock or water to the chiles and heat.

Bring the liquid up to a simmer, then remove from heat and let steep 20 minutes to soften the chile pieces.

Once the chiles have steeped, drain the liquid and remove from the saucepan.

Using the same saucepan, drizzle some olive oil into the pan and saute the onions and garlic over medium high heat until the onions become translucent.

Pour 2 cups of chicken stock into the onion, garlic mixture.

Add the chile pieces back into the saucepan.

Add the teaspoon Mexican oregano and simmer for 5 minutes.

Let the mixture cool a bit and then transfer to a blender and puree.

You’ll want a thick smooth mixture.

Strain the mixture.  It may take some patience, the mixture is thick and it takes some time to run through the strainer.

The sauce is a rich dark color.  I added salt to taste at this point.

The sauce now ready, it’s time to make the enchiladas.  You’ll need some corn tortillas, ground beef, about 1 1/2 pounds for 4 enchiladas; some onion, garlic and salt to season the meat.  And lots and lots of cheese.  Monterey Jack was my choice but cheddar or any Mexican cheese will work as well.

In a large stainless steel pan over medium high heat brown your ground beef.

Throw 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2 grated cloves of garlic and about 1/2 teaspoon salt into the ground beef mixture.  Stir the mixture and cook until beef is browned and onions and garlic are soft and translucent.   If you caught the red onion in the ingredients above, I switched out to the sweet yellow onion.  Whatever onion you use is fine.

I have a small fry pan that I warm the tortillas on.  Drizzle olive oil over the corn tortilla and cook for a few seconds then flip and cook an additional few seconds on the other side.

I’ve heated the enchilada sauce in a saucepan on the stove.  Dip the tortilla into the sauce to coat.

My mom always made stacked enchiladas in a pie plate so that you can layer your enchilada and then pop it into the oven to melt the cheeses.  I always thought it was a great idea and that’s the way I make mine today.  If you have a oven safe plate you can use that also.

Spoon a generous amount of ground beef mixture and Monterey Jack Cheese over top.

Add a second layer, just like first.  Tortilla dipped in enchilada sauce, ground beef and cheese.

And don’t forget the best part . . . Top with a fried egg over top.  I like mine nice and runny so I barely cook it over easy and it will cook a little more in the oven.  Place in a 350 degrees for 5 – 7 minutes, just long enough to melt the cheese and combine all the flavors together.

I added some additional sauce around the edges, because I’m a sauce hog, and a dollop of sour cream with some green onion and fresno red pepper to make it pretty.

I love that first bite when you break into the egg.

And the second bite!

Okay, I got carried away.

NM Red Enchiladas

1 1/2 lbs Ground Beef
1/2 cup Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, grated on a microplane hand grater
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
8 Corn Tortillas
4 eggs
Olive Oil for drizzling
Garnish with Sour Cream, sliced Green Onion and Fresno Red Pepper

Brown ground beef in a stainless steel skillet over medium high heat.  Add onions, garlic, and salt.  Cook until meat is browned and onions become soft and translucent.

Heat enchilada sauce in a saucepan on the stove on low heat.

Drizzle olive oil in a small fry pan over medium heat and add corn tortillas one at a time for a few seconds.  Flip tortilla to cook an additional few seconds just until tortilla softens.

Using tongs, dip a corn tortilla into the enchilada sauce coating it.  Place on a oven safe plate, pie tin or pie plate.  Add a generous amount of ground beef and Monterey Jack cheese on top of the tortilla.  Make a second layer of corn tortilla coated in enchilada sauce, ground beef and cheese.

Fry an egg in non-stick pan coated with cooking spray.  Gently lay on top of stacked enchilada.  Place enchilada in 350 degree oven for 5 – 7 minutes until cheese melts and enchilada is heated throughout. **Note, for a runny egg yolk, under cook slightly before placing on top of enchilada.  The egg will finish cooking in the oven while the cheese melts and heats the enchilada.

Garnish with sour cream, sliced green onion and fresno red pepper

NM Red Enchilada Sauce

5 dried NM Red Chiles
5 dried Ancho Chiles
2 cups Water or Chicken Stock
1/2 large Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, grated on a microplane hand grater
2 Cups Chicken Stock
1 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
Salt to taste  (I used 1/2 teaspoon)

Make enchilada sauce ahead of time.  Roast the dried NM Red and Ancho Chiles in a 250 degree oven for 10 minutes or until chiles become aromatic.  Remove the stems and seeds and tear the chiles into pieces and place in a large saucepan.  Pour 2 cups water or chicken stock over the chile pieces and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.  Remove from heat and let chiles steep for 20 minutes.  Drain chiles and set aside.  In same saucepan drizzle olive oil and saute onion and garlic over medium high heat while stirring until onions become soft and translucent.  Add 2 cups chicken stock, chile pieces and 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano and bring to a simmer.  Simmer 5 minutes.

Let chile mixture cool then transfer to a blender and puree until mixture becomes thick and smooth.  Strain the mixture.  If the sauce is too thin, return to the saucepan and simmer until the sauce thickens.  If too thick, add more chicken stock until mixture is the right consistency. Makes 3 cups estimated.