So, I took a poll on Facebook to see what today’s post would be! The choices were Beef & Bean Enchilada Casserole or Banana Split Pancakes! It was close, but the casserole won! Have no fear though, you’ll be getting the pancakes tomorrow! 🙂
Have I told y’all that I really love Mexican food? Southwest and Tex-Mex cuisine is great too! Growing up, our extent of Mexican food was pretty much ground beef tacos with those store bought packages of seasoning …… There’s nothing wrong with that, believe me, it’s all I knew for almost 20 something years! I know some of y’all had the same “experience”. On a rare occasion, my mom made enchiladas … I can probably count on one hand the number of times in my life we had them. Truthfully, those tacos and enchiladas were some of my favorite meals growing up. As I got older and started really experiencing different foods, I fell in love with all sorts of stuff I never really had growing up – tortas, tamales, quesadillas, posole, birria, barbacoa, carnitas, moles, sopes …… I had better stop, I’m making myself hungry!
When I lived in the Midwest, there was this authentic Mexican joint – a real hole in the wall type place …. but man, oh man! They had the best food! The owner and his wife were always so friendly – and I never got a meal that was sub-par! By far, it is one of my favorite restaurants ever! When Brian and I lived in North Carolina, we just didn’t have one of those kind of places …. they all seemed too “Americanized” … if you know what I mean?! To be perfectly honest, one of the things I love about the Phoenix area, is all of the Mexican restaurants and food! Hello …. it’s almost as if I have belonged here all along!
My bother-in-law (Gene) and sister-in-law (Caroline) have recently moved to the Phoenix area too. It has been nice having family close! Of course, having family close, means more meals together! Brian and I invited them over for dinner the night they actually moved into their house. I had originally planned on making my regular beef enchiladas (I’m sure that recipe will be on the blog sometime in the future), but decided I needed to “stretch” it a little further – so I added the beans and made this casserole! Of course, it was so much easier to just layer the ingredients rather than rolling all of those enchiladas! Needless to say, it was a huge hit and will definitely be made again! I think Caroline (who is a great cook too!) was impressed that I made my own enchilada sauce and that I didn’t use the canned stuff! It’s super easy!
Beef & Bean Enchilada Casserole
Yield: 8 large or 12 regular servings
For the homemade enchilada sauce:
½ of a green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup water
1 tbsp. chili powder
½ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. ground cumin
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
For the beef mixture:
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
½ cup sour cream
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (16 oz.) refried beans
12 corn tortillas, cut in half
6 whole corn tortillas
1 cup (4 oz.) Cheddar cheese, shredded
Additional shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, guacamole – if desired
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-in. baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine all of the enchilada sauce ingredients. Bring the ingredients to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown and crumble the beef with the onion until the beef is no longer pink. Drain if necessary. Stir in the sour cream, cheese, parsley and pepper. Cover and set aside.
Place one-third of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan. Line the bottom of the prepared dish with corn tortillas – see pictures below. Top with half of the beans – spread with the back of a spoon to cover completely. Top with half of the meat mixture. Do another layer of sauce, tortillas, beans, meat, tortillas and finish with the remaining third of the sauce. Top with 1 cup of cheese.
Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. Allow to cool slightly before cutting. Serve with additional shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions or guacamole – if desired.