Compositions for Dining

Enchiladas Barbacoa

When I was working as a business consultant in Dallas, colleagues and I frequented (about 3 times a week) an Irish pub that served a killer enchilada that was totally out of context. The Irish proprietor’s Mexican father-in-law wouldn’t allow his daughter to marry a restauranteur if there were no enchiladas on the menu, so he put his mother-in-law’s recipe on the menu. I loved it and asked for the recipe, which was a secret, but he got enough info to make this reconstruction.

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Highlights: : Beef, Cheese, Chiles, Contains Alcohol, Heirloom Recipe, Instant Pot Option, Slow Cooker Option, Takes Time

To really shorten cooking time, you could smoke the beef, poblanos, and onion for an hour at 225, then put the meat, seasonings, and liquids in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes. We just tried this cook method, and the enchiladas were delicious!

A faithful reconstruction of an heirloom recipe.
Authored by: Ludwig van Food
Estimated Cost: $15
Difficulty: Involved
Suggested Beverage: Tequila, Margarita
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 15 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 people
Calories 499

Equipment and Supplies

  • 9" x 13" baking pan
  • roasting pan
  • aluminum foil
  • smoker optional
  • instant pot optional
  • slow cooker optional
  • meat forks

Ingredients
 

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • – Or substitute 1 package taco seasoning for all of the above
  • 1½ – 2 pounds beef cheeks, chuck or arm roast
  • 3 ounces tequila
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 poblano chilies, chopped and seeds and stems removed
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 8 large tortillas
  • 1 cup prepared cactus, (you can find this jarred at the grocery store)
  • 15 ounces canned Spanish rice
  • 2 cups salsa roja/enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups grated Chihuahua cheese, Oaxaca or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced

Method
 

Oven method

  • Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
  • Combine spices in a small bowl.
    1 teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon cayenne, – Or substitute 1 package taco seasoning for all of the above
  • Plop the meat in a roasting pan, add the water, tequila, onions, peppers and sprinkle the spices over the meat.
    1½ – 2 pounds beef cheeks, 3 ounces tequila, 1 cup water, 2 poblano chilies, 2 yellow onions
  • Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil and cook for 4 hours.
  • One hour before serving, shred meat using a pair of forks and return to cook for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 375°.
  • Spoon ½ cup salsa roja / enchilada sauce into a 9” x 13” baking dish and spread over the bottom.
    2 cups salsa roja/enchilada sauce
  • Divide meat mixture into the center of the tortillas and add rice and cactus.
    1 teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, ½ teaspoon onion powder, 8 large tortillas, 1 cup prepared cactus, 15 ounces canned Spanish rice
  • Roll tortillas once, leaving an overlapped seam, and place in a baking dish seam-side down.
  • Spread the rest of the salsa roja / enchilada sauce on top of the rolled tortillas. Sprinkle the cheese and tomatoes on top.
    2 cups grated Chihuahua cheese, 3 plum tomatoes
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Instant Pot option

  • Smoke or bake the meat, poblanos and onions for 1 hour at 225°.
    1½ – 2 pounds beef cheeks, 2 yellow onions, 2 poblano chilies
  • Put the meat, seasonings, poblanos and onions, along with 1 cup of water and tequila, into the Instant Pot insert and pressure cook for 30 minutes.
    1 teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon cayenne, – Or substitute 1 package taco seasoning for all of the above, 1 cup water, 3 ounces tequila
  • Assemble and bake the enchiladas as described above.

Slow cooker option

  • Put the meat, poblanos and onions in the slow cooker. Add the seasonings and tequila on top.
    1 teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon cayenne, – Or substitute 1 package taco seasoning for all of the above, 1½ – 2 pounds beef cheeks, 3 ounces tequila, 1 cup water, 2 poblano chilies, 2 yellow onions
  • Cook on Low overnight.
  • Assemble and bake the enchiladas as described above.

Notes

Sure you can add beans before rolling up the tortillas! I prefer black or pinto beans over refried, but you do you.

Private Notes

Have you tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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