Our Paleo enchilada recipe is made with our favorite authentic Mexican enchilada sauce smothering tortillas filled with chicken, beef or pork and finished with authentic Mexican condiments.
Paleo Enchilada Recipe
If you want to serve authentic Mexican cuisine, the enchilada is a good bet.
We’ll admit that enchiladas not exactly low carb, but suspend your disbelief and see how easy it is to cook a tasty chicken enchilada dinner.
The components of a traditional enchilada are the tortilla, the meat, the sauce and the condiments. Get all four right, and you will have something exponentially better than fast-food or frozen Mexican fare.
The foundation of the enchilada is the tortilla. Start with making your own tortillas if at all possible. See, our post on breakfast tortillas for ingredients and method for homemade tortillas.
On par with homemade tortillas are fresh-pressed tortillas that can be found at a nearby Mexican supermercado – they usually make them daily, many times with both white and yellow corn masa. It doesn’t get any fresher and tastier.
Chain grocery store tortillas are a last resort, although there are some decent brands out there nowadays.
When we don’t have time to make our own, we absolutely love the fresh white and yellow corn tortillas made daily at El Mirasol grocery in Plant City.
There are thousands of variations of red enchilada sauce. Just search YouTube for “authentic Mexican enchilada sauce” and prepare to be overwhelmed by the dozens of videos of Mexican abuelitas bustling around their kitchens while being filmed by their children and grandchildren. Just watching a few of these home-grown cooking videos will get you in an authentic cooking mode.
Enchilada sauces include a variety of ingredients, but the basics are onion, garlic, tomatoes, tomatillos, chilies, salt, and a little sugar to counter the bitterness of the chilies. However, the main thing is getting the chilies the way you like. Then adjust from there.
Yes, we have our own enchilada sauce.
The shredded meat filling is simple. Chicken is most common, but shredded pork and beef brisket are standard fillers for enchiladas. The meat is typically boiled with garlic, salt and peppercorns until tender, then shredded with two forks. (Be sure to save some of the resulting broth for the sauce and mixing the masa if you are making homemade tortillas.)
Sometimes we mix the shredded meat with the enchilada sauce and sometimes we don’t.
The main condiments are Mexican crumbling cheese, table cream and fresh cilantro.
Assemble the Enchiladas
With the meat and sauce prepared and ready to go, heat a fair amount of organic lard in a frying pan until just before smoking. Take a tortilla and slip it into the hot lard and fry it for a minute and a shorter time on the flip side. The idea is to soften up the tortilla so it can be filled and rolled into the classic form of an enchilada. (Cook the tortilla for too long and you get a corn chip or tostado!)
At this point fill the tortilla with the meat, rolling it up and placing in a baking dish or on the plate. Some cooks like to have another frying pan full of enchilada sauce and dip the tortilla into the sauce either before or after frying so that the result is a tortilla that is already steeped in sauce. And, there are some tomatillo-type green sauces that are used for this pre-stuffing dipping.
Once plated, top with sauce, shredded cilantro, Mexican crumbling cheese and table cream.
Grab a cerveza and enjoy!