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Slow-Cooked Beef Enchiladas with Red Chili Sauce

A Bountiful Kitchen


  • 6 large fresh Pasilla chilies* or
  • 1 package dried Pasilla chilies 1 1/2 oz package* or a mixture of dried and fresh
  • 1- 3 lb beef cross rib roast or chuck roast*
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 3/4 lbs tiny red potatoes scrubbed
  • 2 cups white onion chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic crushed or minced
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped coarse divided in half (reserve some for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • Monterey Jack or Colby cheese for filling and topping enchiladas
  • tortillas for enchiladas about 16 regular size corn or flour
  • Sauce for enchiladas recipe below

Red Enchilada Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 10 oz tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste


  1. Using tongs over flame on bbq grill or indoor gas burner on stove, roast the fresh chilies until blackened and blistered. Set aside. After cooled, peel off the blackened skin and discard. Split chilies down the middle and remove any seeds inside. Set aside the peeled, seeded, roasted chilies.
  2. Spray the bottom and sides of a large roasting pan or dutch oven with a bit of cooking oil.
  3. Rub the meat with 1/4 cup chili powder salt and pepper. Turn the meat so both sides are coated. Place the prepared meat in the pan. Lay the roasted chili pieces on top of the meat. Place the packaged dried chilies around the edges of the meat and pour in 2 cups of cold water around the sides of meat in pan. Set aside in refrigerator over night (or up to two nights ahead), not necessary, but recommended.
  4. When ready to cook, remove pan from oven, let sit on counter for one hour and then follow baking directions.
  5. Bake, covered tightly for about 3 hours at 275 degrees. After 3 hours, remove lid and toss in the 3/4 lbs small red potatoes. Replace the lid and roast for another hour, until the potatoes are tender.
  6. After the meat is cooked, remove to a cutting board and shred or chop meat.Discard fat from meat.Dice the cooked potatoes, leaving skins on. Place meat and potatoes in a pan. Pour any extra juice left in pan on top of meat. Set aside. Remove the dried chilies (if using) and discard. Chop the fresh chilies and toss in with the beef mixture.
  7. Using the same pan, sauté the onions over medium heat until softened and browned a bit. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes, or until fragrant. Toss in the chopped cilantro and chopped meat and potato mixture.
  8. Sprinkle with an additional 2 tablespoons chili powder, if desired. Set aside until ready to fill enchiladas. This mixture can be refrigerated for 3-4 days before using.
  9. Saute the oil in saucepan with flour over medium high heat, mix with whisk until smooth and a bit bubbly. Reduce heat to medium. Add chicken broth, 1/4 cup chili powder, tomato paste, dried oregano and salt to taste. Continue to cook for about 5-10 minutes until thickened a bit. Remove from heat and spoon about 1/2 cup of the sauce over the meat mixture. Gently fold into meat mixture.

When ready to assemble enchiladas:

  1. Lightly grease two 9x13 pans with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/3 cup of sauce to cover bottom of each pan. Fill the enchiladas with the meat and chopped potato mixture. Sprinkle with a bit of grated cheese. Roll and place in pan seam side down.
  2. Continue rolling until all of the tortillas are filled. You should have a little left over meat. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas, sprinkle with more grated cheese and top with any leftover meat.
  3. Bake covered at 350 for about 45 minutes or until the enchiladas are heated through and the cheese is melted and golden.
  4. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Yield about 16 enchiladas, depending on size of tortillas used.Tips:

Recipe Notes

-Cross Rib Roast is my favorite for this dish because it shreds well and down not have a large amount of fat that needs to be discarded. -I like a mixture of dried and fresh chilies for this dish.

-In the U.S. the chili powder we are accustomed to purchasing is a mixture of spices and chili power. Read your labels. If the ingredients are cumin, oregano, garlic powder and salt, then use the amounts I specify in this recipe. If the ingredients read ground chilies, then use about 1/3 of the amount I suggest. or you will end up with very spicy enchiladas and sauce!

-This dish will keep well in the fridge for about 3 days before baking. It also freezes well.

-If you make a little extra sauce, and want and easy side dish, cook some white rice and mix with a few tablespoons of red enchilada sauce after cooking. Also add a can of black or red beans and some chopped green onion. Serve with some shredded lettuce and guacamole for a complete meal!

-If you happen to have extra sauce, freeze it and use on days when you have some leftover meat and tortillas. Heat up the tortilla, fill with chicken, pork or beef, top with cheese and pour sauce over the top for a 5 minute meal.