Monday, June 5, 2017

BBQ Brisket Enchiladas

This past weekend we had some friends travel in for our Foundation's annual golf tournament in Hudson's memory. It was a jam-packed few days but by the end of the weekend, cooking a delicious meal was exactly what I wanted to do to decompress. I hadn't made enchiladas in a long time, and wanted to give the Californians the best taste of Dallas, so I thought a shredded brisket enchilada would be a tasty treat. I looked at a sour cream sauce, a tomatillo/avocado sauce, a ranchero sauce, but nothing jumped out to me. Staring in the fridge, I saw our favorite bottle of BBQ Sauce and that's when the aha moment occurred. The combination using the creaminess of a sour cream sauce with a punch of that tangy, smokey BBQ flavor was exactly what was needed.

I took a major short cut with this recipe to save on time and energy. We did not smoke the brisket ourselves, instead I called the spot who has my favorite shredded brisket - Taco Joint - and they sold it to us by the pound. After allowing the onions to properly caramelize by cooking on low for 30 minutes, they had shrunk down so much, combining them with the brisket stuffing didn't seem right anymore. I decided to top the enchiladas with them instead - that way most were covered, but I left them off a few in case people didn't want onion. Doing it that way also allowed the flavor of them to stand out a bit more, rather than being hidden in the brisket.

As soon as I finished sauteing, saucing, stuffing, smothering - I told Max to prepare himself because this may be in contention for best thing I've made. Consensus agreed with that and this thrown-together dish is one I wanted to share! All in all, this was not a very time consuming endeavor but I would recommend the time preparation for a weekend when you have more time. I was able to prepare it while Hadley was down for a long nap, so it happened without interruption. This is a great meal to make in bulk - this recipe made 2 pans of enchiladas (16 total).

(makes 16 enchiladas)

  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced in rings
  • 4 tbsp. butter (divided - 1 tbsp. and 3 tbsp.)
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. flour (I used wheat flour for no other reason than that is what was in my pantry)
  • 2 cups of low sodium broth (I had chicken broth - beef or veggie broths would work fine, too)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2-3/4 cup BBQ sauce (our favorite is Austin's Own brand in medium heat)
  • 1/4 tbsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. garlic granules
  • 2 lb. brisket
  • 10 - 16 Tortillas of choice (I prefer to work with flour tortillas when it comes to enchiladas. The fresh out of the oven whole wheat from Central Market are my favorite)
  • Lots of cheese. Get a big bag, or two small bags. Monterrey Jack or Cheddar. I used both. 
  • Green Onion, for garnish
  • Avocado, for garnish
1.) To start, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. 

2.) Sauteing: In a saute pan, heat the olive oil on medium high heat, then add 1 tbsp of butter. Once melted, add the brown sugar and mix. Add onions and move around with tongs to try to coat. Turn the heat down to medium low. Some people cover and that does make them cook faster, I do not because I feel like covering just steams them, makes them soggy from condensation, and doesn't truly caramelize the onions. Make sure you can come back to the pan a few times to toss the onions for a more even cook. 

3.) Saucing part I: As your onions caramelize and your oven heats, start the sauce. The first best practice of sauce making is the roux. This will allow your sauce to hold a thickness and coat your 'ladas with flavor rather than a runny liquid. In a shallow sauce pan, heat the 3 tbsp. butter. Once melted, add the flour tablespoon by tablespoon, whisking together with a smooth consistency before adding the next. You should have a thick base - if you do not, add a little more flour. Slowly add the stock/broth, about 1/4 cup at a time, continuing to whisk over medium high heat. Let the combination rest on medium-high heat to thicken up a little if needed. 

4.) Saucing part II: Remove the sauce pan from the heat, then add the sour cream. Whisk well to prevent curdling. Then add the BBQ sauce. Take a taste test - if you want to add a little heat to the taste, then add the cayenne. My BBQ sauce wasn't spicy enough and my sauce was missing that kick, so I used cayenne to achieve it. 

5.) Stuffing: Once your sauce is ready, spoon about 1/4 cups worth over a large glass pan to provide a thin base to keep the tortillas from drying out. Taking a tortilla, use the spatula to swipe sauce down the middle then fill with brisket and top with 2 pinches of cheese. Fold one end up to close off one side, then roll the stuffed tortilla up. Place in the baking dish seamside down. Continue process until your baking dish(es) are full, or you are out of stuffing. 

7.) Now we Smother: My brisket had a lot of delicious juices left over, so I brushed that over the tops and edges of the tortillas for flavor and again to help from them drying out. Next I poured the sauce over top, making sure to get down on the sides and edges. Next, top with your caramelized onions, followed by your cheese. 

8.) Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes to keep moisture in and prevent cheese from browning/contents from drying out. 

9.) Remove from foil and cook another 5 minutes uncovered to allow that cheese to bubble and slightly brown up. 

10.) Remove from oven, garnish with green onion and avocado if you choose. Serve and enjoy!