Black Bean & Beef Enchiladas

This is one of those recipes that just sore of ‘evolved’ from when I started it until it was time to put it all together.

It started out as refried black beans and beef quesadillas but, it was just after the holidays and, I simply didn’t want to bother with the quesadilla maker that night, and then thought “enchiladas! That’s the ticket!” so off I went to come up with a cheese sauce to add to the shredded cheese I’d planned on for the quesadillas. It turns out that queso dip and a bit of jalapeño works a treat.

Of course, I didn’t use regular pickled jalapeño; I went with some of my recently put up Cowboy Candy – jalapeños pickled in a sugar syrup. That first bite is nicely sweet, but the aftertaste? Yeh, you’re gonna wanna watch out for that.

Note: if you don’t want to make (or cannot get your hands on) candied jalapeños, go ahead and use pickled jalapeños, as many as needed to suit your taste.

•1 lb ground beef
•1-1/2 cup diced sweet onion
•1/2 cup diced celery
•1/4 cup sliced black olives
•1 tbsp oil
•2 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•2 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce – or your fave hot sauce, to taste
•2 tsp taco Seasoning
•1 tsp dried oregano
•1 tsp dried parsley
•1/2 tsp Kosher salt
•1/2 tsp paprika
•1/2 tsp curry powder
•1/4 tsp chili powder
•1 can refried black beans
•1 tbsp Sherry vinegar – or red wine vinegar
•7 to 12 large flour tortillas

Queso Sauce:
•1/2 jar Queso dip
•Cowboy Candy (plus juice), to taste – or diced pickled jalapeõs – to taste

•Shredded Jack or Cheddar cheese
•Taco sauce – jarred, or, try this New Mexican Red Chile Sauce
•Sour cream
•Lettuce, shredded
•Grape tomatoes
•Red onion
•Fresh parsley

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Warm the oil in a skillet over medium high heat, then add the beef and cook, breaking the beef into small chunks, for five minutes.

Stir in the onion, celery, olives, Sherry Peppers, and Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce and cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender and the meat fully cooked.

Stir in the taco and other seasonings, as well as the water, and continue to cook until the sauce has been reduced.

Warm the refried black beans in the ‘wave, then stir into the beef mixture over low heat until it is nicely mixed and heated through.

Give it a taste. Go ahead and stir in that tablespoon of sherry or red wine vinegar and taste again. Better, yes?

Heat your oven to 350º and apply cooking spray to a baking pan.

Note: my 2-1/2 quart baking pan fit seven to eight enchiladas, but there was enough filling for more, so, if you have a bigger crowd, mebbe go with a 3×9 pan.

Chop the tomatoes and add to a bowl with diced red onion and chopped fresh celery. You might could think about a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Set aside.

Stir some chopped Cowboy Candy (and mebbe the juice) or chopped pickled jalapeño into your fave queso until it is as spicy as you like. Set aside.

Lay a tortilla on a board and spread some of the beef and refried black bean mixture across the bottom third, as shown.

Drizzle some of the queso mixture over the top, then roll, tightening the tortilla as you go.

Place, seam side down, in the prepared baking pan and repeat with the remaining tortillas, filling, and queso.

Top the enchiladas with more of the queso, if you have any leftover, some jarred taco sauce, and shredded cheese.

Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.

Let rest for ten minutes before serving.

At this point, you can serve the enchiladas like this, passing the toppings to let folk choose their own, but…

It was just the two of us for this dinner, so I opted to add shredded lettuce and the tomato, red onion, and parsley directly to the enchiladas in the pan, then offer the sour cream and additional taco sauce to add as we each liked (Rich likes a bit more sour cream than I).

Worked a treat and, as always with a dish like this, leftovers for lunch the next day were even better.


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