If the mere thought of Mexican food gets your family giddy with excitement, they are gonna’ L-O-V-E this homemade shredded beef enchiladas recipe!
They’re absolutely loaded with tender, juicy, shredded, braised beef, authentic enchilada sauce and plenty of gooey melty cheese to hold it all together. The enchilada sauce is so amazing. I hate to even call it sauce. Frankly it’s more like a chili gravy than it is a plain ol’ sauce!
I make these with flour tortillas. I know that’s not the authentic way to prepare them, but that’s how my family likes them. If you want to go the authentic route, use corn!
I serve enchiladas at least a couple of times every month and we NEVER tire of them. Sometimes I treat the fam to white chicken enchiladas or sour cream chicken enchiladas just to change things up a bit.
Let’s make dinner….
Shredded Beef Enchiladas Video Tutorial
Braising: Because the meat braises in the oven, it will be succulently tender when done. Remember, the given cooking time is an approximation. Your cooking time can and likely will vary depending on the exact size of your roast, your exact oven temperature (these vary), and how well your Dutch oven seals.
Beef chuck roast: The best tip for this authentic Mexican beef enchilada recipe involves using a beef chuck roast which adds a ton of tender flavor. Be sure to pat it dry before browning to help create that nice crust that coaxes out layers of yum as it braises in the oven!
- You’ll also want to toss the beef in your pan sauce (which we’ll now call enchilada sauce) before assembling your shredded beef enchiladas.
Tortillas: This particular recipe also calls for using flour tortillas instead of corn. They’re tender, versatile, and often blister just a tad when cooked which adds yet another scrumptious layer of complex flavor. Plus, I find them easier to work with.
- In order to prevent your tortillas from getting soggy, some people recommend frying them until they’re crispy before wrapping up the meat and cheese. If you make this recipe with corn tortillas, frying them is an important step because it also makes them pliable and easy to roll up.
- Truthfully, I’ve never had an issue with this recipe getting soggy and I do not fry my tortillas. But, if you’d like to try frying the tortillas, I recommend frying them just a little bit. Don’t overdo it; they’ll have time to cook in the oven too.
Sauce: After the beef gets shredded, toss it with one cup of the (spectacular) sauce before assembling the enchiladas. Don’t skip this, the sauce toss is an important step in making the meat taste so good.
- Don’t forget to add some of the sauce to the bottom of the pan before you assemble the enchiladas. It prevents the enchiladas from sticking to the bottom of the pan and makes sure they don’t get too tough on the underside.
- If you have leftover sauce do not throw it away. It’s too good to go to waste. Use it for eggs ranchero or toss it in with some rotisserie chicken for quick chicken tacos.
Cheese: Make sure to note that the cheese mixture is divided. Half of the cheese is used inside the enchiladas—it gets all melty and delicious and mixed with that savory shredded beef.
- The other half is reserved to sprinkle on top of enchiladas once they’re assembled. Believe me, smothering your enchiladas in melted cheese is exactly what you want.
- Feel free to switch up the type of cheese you use. While the cheddar/Monterey jack combination is excellent with this recipe, I sometimes use cotija and pepper jack cheese instead. Both are wonderful and can be switched out to vary the dish.
Make it Spicy: Some people (like my son) really like these enchiladas served spicy! In order to heat up the enchilada sauce, you can add the cayenne powder in addition to the chili powder. Alternatively, you can add hot sauce at step 3 of the instructions, along with the crushed tomatoes.
Sour Cream: There are a lot of things you could use as a sour cream substitute with this recipe (cottage cheese, evaporated milk, etc.), but my favorite has always been plain yogurt. It’s a little less flavorful than having sour cream on the enchiladas, but if you have picky guests that can sometimes be a good thing.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
According to the USDA, your shredded beef enchiladas recipe will stay fresh and yummy for 3-4 days in the fridge. That said, I’ve literally never had leftovers. These things are just so darn delicious they get gobbled up on the serving day!
Be sure to err on the side of caution and reserve the FDA recommended 2-hour serving rule. On the off chance there are leftovers, let them cool completely and cover with aluminum foil before sliding into the fridge.
Can You Freeze This?
Yes and no. This shredded beef enchiladas recipe does call for sour cream when assembling and that doesn’t work in the freezer. If you’re prepping ahead, I suggest working up through step four and then freezing. That way the beef is braised and that savory enchilada sauce is ready too.
Just move it to the fridge to thaw the night before serving. Then all you need to do is assemble, bake, and serve. Muy delicioso!
Make Ahead Tips
If you’re not going the freezer route, then you can make these babies a day or two ahead and pop them in the fridge. Just wait to sauce them until you’re ready to put your shredded beef enchiladas in the oven and then sprinkle with cheese.
Plus, the fam will get plenty of wholesome veggies and both are just plain de-lish!
- Chicken Tortilla Casserole
- Mexican Chicken Casserole
- Chile Relleno Casserole
- Dorito Casserole
- Tamale Casserole
Shredded Beef Enchiladas
- 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
- black pepper
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease or vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 4-6 large cloves garlic rough chopped
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 8 8-inch Flour Tortillas
- shredded meat
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 2 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese shredded~divided
- 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese shredded~divided
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
Make the Meat and Sauce:
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
- Pat chuck roast dry with paper towels. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper. In an ovenproof Dutch oven, heat bacon grease or vegetable oil over medium heat until it's hot and begins to shimmer. Add chuck roast and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the roast to a plate and set aside. Add onion and garlic, reducing the temperature to medium-low, and saute until soft and translucent, about 7-8 minutes.
- Add the roast back to the Dutch oven, along with any pan juices that have accumulated, the crushed tomatoes, water, chili powder, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and cover. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 3-3 1/2 hours, or until the roast is falling-apart tender.
- Remove the roast to a shallow pan and shred with 2 forks. Add 1 cup of the pan sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste (I added 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper). Set aside
- Add 1 cup of water to the pan sauce and salt and pepper to taste (I added 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper).
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Add 1/2 cup of pan sauce to a 9 X 13-inch baking dish.
- Set aside 1 cup of the Cheddar and 1 cup of the Jack for the top of enchiladas.
- Fill each tortilla with an equal amount of shredded beef (about 1/3 cup), 1 1/2 tablespoons of sour cream, a layer of cheddar, and a layer of the jack. Roll up tightly and place seam side down in baking dish.
- Ladle cooled pan sauce evenly over top of the enchiladas, then sprinkle with cheese. (You'll probably have extra sauce)
- Bake in the preheated oven until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted about 20-25 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve.