I found myself in the mood for homemade enchiladas this week. I knew that making a green sauce wouldn’t be a problem since I’ve created several recipes for tomatillo sauce. However, I’ve never tried making a red enchilada sauce before. I’ve been tempted to use store-bought varieties, but when I look at the list of ingredients I can’t bring myself to put one in my shopping cart. I had purchased a bison roast and cooked it up in my slow-cooker and wanted try a red sauce with it (in addition to the tomatillo sauce).
I did an internet search and found some common ingredients – tomato sauce or paste, cumin, and chili powder (or fresh or dried chili peppers), but a lot of differences between the recipes I browsed. I also didn’t like the idea of using store-bought tomato sauce as the main ingredient in my sauce. It seemed easy enough to create a sauce using organic canned tomatoes (since fresh tomatoes in Georgia in February are not a good option), so that’s what I did. Along the way I decided to make the red sauce a little like a mole, so I added some ground cinnamon and good-quality dark chocolate.
The result was a nicely balanced red-sauce that paired really well with the rich bison meat. The recipe makes lots of leftovers (I had almost a quart left of each sauce). Both sauces will keep for several days in the refrigerator and freeze well. And both are made with good-quality healthy ingredients.
For the green sauce, I used the recipe that I posted for Roasted Chicken Breast with Tomatillo Poblano Sauce. Details on making the sauce can be found in the link. Cook:
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1.5 pounds tomatillos (husks removed and scrubbed).
Once they start to get soft and charred, place into a medium sauce pan (removing the stem and seeds from the poblano) and add:
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar (preferably unfiltered)
- 1 tsp. salt
- juice of 1 lime
Simmer the ingredients for about 15 minutes until blended.
For the red sauce, place in a large saucepan:
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
Heat until shimmering, then add:
- 1 medium onion, diced
Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes then add:
- 1 14.5-ounce can organic diced fire-roasted tomatoes (I like Muir Glen)
- 1 14.5 ounce can organic diced tomatoes (I like Muir Glen for this, also)
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. chili powder (I used 1 tsp. of ancho chili powder and 1 tsp. of chipotle chili powder – this resulted in a spicy sauce, which is what I like)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
Simmer for about 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender puree the sauce. (If you don’t have an immersion blender do this in batches in a blender or food processor.) Add:
- 1-ounce good-quality dark chocolate (I used 71% cacao Costa Rica dark chocolate from Whole Foods), broken up into smaller pieces
Take off-heat and stir the sauce until the chocolate melts.
For the bison filling, I used my recipe for Slow Cooker Bison Roast. Details are contained in the original recipe. I cooked on low heat for 9-10 hours a 2.5 pound bison roast in a slow-cooker with a sliced onion, salt, pepper, 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder, 2 tsp. ground cumin and one 12-ounce bottle of beer.
To assemble the enchiladas, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Warm tortillas in the microwave or oven (I used corn tortillas, but flour tortillas are also fine). Place the sauce of your choice in the bottom of a baking dish. Dredge the tortilla in the sauce, then place bison meat in the center of the tortilla. Fold the edges of the tortilla over and place seam-side down in the baking pan. Spoon more sauce on top and add thinly sliced manchego cheese (if desired). I baked them for about 15 minutes, until the cheese was melted and they were warmed all the way through.