Call this dish "Enchiladas meets lasagna!" Layers of tortillas, rice and beans, and beef picadillo combine to make a hearty and delicious meal.
When I need a tasty dish for a potluck or gathering, I instantly think of a beef enchilada casserole. The easiest way to prepare it is by layering all of your ingredients in a large pan. Just like building a lasagna, you could add your favorite ingredients to suit your taste.
This beef enchilada recipe uses a version of picadillo that I love! If you don’t have a cupboard filled with spices, you could use a good-quality chili blend to make it. And if you add a little more broth and some cooked pasta noodles, you have yourself a great soup recipe! Layers of flavor!
Also, for a quick homemade enchilada sauce, blend 2 cups tomato sauce, 3 cups chicken or beef broth, 3 tablespoons flour (or cornstarch), 2 tablespoons hot sauce with 1 packet of taco seasoning from the market. Add to the skillet with 3 tablespoons of olive oil at medium heat. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes until it becomes thick. Taste for salt and pepper and add any extra spices that you like.
I typically choose chicken over beef, but this particular pan was for a group of men, hungry men! LOL! If you don’t want to prepare such a large amount, take your ingredients and layer them into individual (oven-safe) cazuelas or stoneware crocks. Just 30 minutes in the oven and you have enchiladas for two to four people.
In a skillet, add the ground beef. Heat to medium/high heat and season with the spices listed for the picadillo. Cook until nicely browned, using a wooden spoon to break the beef into crumbles as it cooks. Add all of the remaining ingredients for the picadillo in the order listed. Bring to a boil, reduce to low, cover and continue cooking until liquid reduces, potatoes cook and broth becomes thick. Taste for spices as it reduces. Set aside.
For the rice, heat a skillet to medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 cup of rice. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring as needed. The rice should become aromatic and a bit toasted in spots. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add all of the remaining ingredients, minus the beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until most of the broth has been absorbed. Add beans on top and cover. Fold beans in with a fork before using the rice.
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Layer a pan with 1 cup enchilada sauce, 6 corn tortillas, slightly overlapping, picadillo, cheese and sauce, Then layer 6 more tortillas, a generous layer of rice, cheese and sauce. The last layer will be tortillas, sauce and more cheese. You could sprinkle on a little smoked paprika or oregano before baking.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Uncover and add crushed corn chips, if using. Broil just until cheese browns a little.
Remove from oven and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with a little more smoked paprika and green onions before serving.