Friday, January 27, 2012

Enchilada Casserole

On BBQ day, I’d ended up with two quart bags of pulled pork for us and we’ve been eating on it since then and we were down to a pound and I was ready for something Mexican.  I’d recently discovered a container in the freezer labeled Mexican Sauce and had no idea what that meant but hoped it would work for enchiladas. I was thinking along those lines because we had a big bag of the taco size corn tortillas on hand.

Ever notice when you buy corn tortillas that your choices are a very small bag with hardly enough for a meal or a big bag that would feed an army – this is the size we had.

I decided that rather than just mix together a bunch or ingredients I’d actually measure and create a recipe.  I started by sautéing one cup each of diced onion and sweet pepper and a Tbsp of finely diced jalapenos in a little olive oil and when they had softened some, I stirred in the pork.

When they were done, I nuked the corn tortillas under a damp paper towel to soften them up and began to stuff.  I quickly learned that their small size would not allow me to get as much stuffing in them as I wanted and after a couple of times having most of it fall out when I turned them seam side down, I went to plan B.  I had larger flour tortillas but using them would have created burritos and I wanted the corny flavor of the enchiladas.

So I decided to just make a casserole that came close to being just like a rolled enchilada.  I added a layer of tortillas to the pan bottom and topped with the meat mixture, cheddar cheese, and just a little of the sauce, which wasn’t exactly an enchilada sauce, but still very tasty.

Next was another layer of tortillas, about 1½ cups of sauce, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, and sliced black olives.  I covered with foil and baked at 400* for 25 minutes, then removed the cover and baked for another 7 minutes.  Upon removal from the oven, Bev added some sliced green onion and we rested it for about 5 minutes.

Then it was sliced and served.

I thought it was good but not outstanding in part because it needed more jalapeno heat and in part because the Mexican sauce and the flavor of the pulled pork could have been a better match - next time I’ll use less flavorful pork and add some Mexican spices.  However, I did think I achieved the goal of having it taste very close to rolled enchiladas and with a little tweaking, I’ll make it again using this recipe:

2 T oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced sweet pepper
1 T finely diced jalapeno
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound pulled smoked pork, without pork juice added. (can also use chicken or beef)
To taste, your favorite Mexican seasoning, salt and pepper
To taste, fresh chopped cilantro
About 10 corn tortillas based upon size, halved
2 cups shredded cheddar, divided
2 cups shredded pepper jack, divided
2 cups enchilada sauce
15 black olives, sliced into thirds
Tops from 2 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 400*

Add oil to skillet over medium low heat and when hot add onion, peppers, garlic, pork, cilantro and seasonings and cook until pork is warmed thru and veggies are softened.  stir in 1/4 cup of sauce.Taste and adjust seasonings a couple of times while cooking.

Add 1/4 cup of sauce to a greased ?"x?" dish or pan and spread over bottom, then cover with a single layer of tortillas - can double if more is desired.

Cover tortillas with meat mixture, then 1cup of each cheese.

Add another layer of tortillas, then the remaining sauce and remaining cheeses.

Add the olives, cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes, then remove foil and bake 5 or so minutes until cheese just starts to brown.

Remove from oven, top with green onions and rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

Next time I'll measure the herbs and spices for a complete recipe.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago:  Smoked Salmon Spread

Two years ago:  Glad It Wasn’t Snow


01/19/2012 meal date


  1. Well, it most certainly look ooey-gooey cheesy good. I made carne asada tacos out of those tiny corn tortillas a couple nights ago. I agree, getting them filled is interesting.

  2. The flavors might not have been exact, but it looks and sounds wonderful! Comforting and cheesy.. how can that really be bad? :)

  3. Yum, I love this kind of food. Your way of layering the casserole is much easier than trying to roll the tortillas. I like it with a little dab of sour cream on top. Looks scrumptious, Larry.

  4. Sounds delicious, Larry. I love Mexican dishes like that. I have a really good taco soup recipe which I haven't made in awhile. Need to do that sometime.

  5. What a comforting dish. You seem to have pinpointed the areas you want to improve. That's 99% of the trick to making a great dish. I think it sounds wonderful as is, but you know best. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  6. Oh my gosh Larry, I did something very similar to this myself recently with some leftover pork! And here I thought I was being clever LOL. Somehow though, yours looks much better than mine did. Have a great weekend!

  7. It sounds like your freezer is always full of delicious surprises! I bought a pork shoulder to make on Sunday and was thinking of something Mexican too but we'll see!

  8. I'm sure the enchiladas were a welcome change from the same pulled pork, even if they were a little disappointment. Oh, well, at least you know what to do next time.

  9. I think you've come up with a wonderful (and delicious) creation.

  10. I love this idea Larry. I hadn't thought of using pork in a Mexican casserole, but I have made pork tacos. Your casserole looks fantastic, even though you stll want to tweak it some.

  11. Well it looks awesome, even if it was a "near hit". I bet the next time will be flat out perfect.


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