The important thing about this recipe is NOT the filling — it is the sauce.
I have made this with numerous fillings. The last two times I used Dann’s BBQ — locally owned restaurant, their smoked pork is amazing, and it makes fantastic enchiladas. I have used ground beef, ground turkey, sauted chicken, pork loin, etc. It doesn’t matter, it’s all good!
- 4 Tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 cups water
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, etc.)
- 10 to 12 soft taco shells
Sauce: In a medium saucepan, brown flour in oil over medium-high heat. Add chili powder, cumin, salt, and garlic. Stir well to mix. Whisk water in, 1/2 cup at a time, eliminating all lumps. Add tomato sauce and mix well. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Note: Brown the flour, it makes all the difference to the final flavor.
Filling: Brown beef and onions in oil, breaking beef up into small pieces.
Assembly: Mix 1 cup sauce into beef. Divide the beef mixture among the taco shells (approximately 1/2 cup each), top with cheese, and roll up.
Grease a baking pan. Place rolled taco shells in the pan and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 20 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted. If the baking pan is covered the shells will remain soft, and if covered they will crisp somewhat.
The last time I made this I used Danny’s BBQ, as noted above. No onion, just mixed the meat with sauce and filled the shells.
When I was ready to prepare the sauce, I realized I had no tomato sauce, nor did I have tomato soup. [On another occasion I made the sauce using a chunky tomato soup.]
Lorraine spotted a jar of marinara sauce in the cupboard, and asked if I could use that instead. Great idea! The sauce tasted different, but was perfect good!