Beef Enchilada Casserole
Our layered Tex-Mex classic depends on corn tortillas for taste, texture, and structure. A topping of melted cheese studded with minced jalapeños crowns this hearty casserole.
Why This Recipe Works
Tasters preferred the flavor of 85 percent lean ground beef in our Beef Enchilada Casserole to anything leaner. Canned enchilada sauce was one-dimensional, so we made our own by first sautéing onion and garlic in oil and then stirring in chili powder and cumin before pouring in canned tomato sauce and beef broth. After the sauce had simmered for a few minutes to thicken and concentrate, we mixed half of it with browned beef. Minced jalapeños and hot sauce added heat.
Deep corn flavor was key, but corn tortillas straight from the bag turned slimy in the casserole, and baking rendered them tough, chewy, and flavorless. The solution was to toast the tortillas first in a dry skillet. After the casserole had baked for a half hour, we sprinkled on colby-Jack cheese and minced jalapeño before returning the dish to the oven to bake until golden brown and bubbling.