Beef Enchiladas with Spicy Red Sauce

  • To make the spicy red sauce, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook and stir 1/2 cup of onion until the onion is softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in 4 teaspoons of garlic, and cook and stir until fragrant, another 3 to 5 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning the garlic. Stir in the oregano, 3 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder, basil, salt and black pepper, 1 teaspoon of cumin, the dried cilantro, salsa, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and chicken broth until the sauce is smoothly combined.
  • Bring the sauce to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and simmer about 30 minutes, stirring often, until the flavors have blended and the sauce has thickened slightly.
  • While spicy red sauce is simmering, cook and stir the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the meat is evenly browned. Break the meat up into crumbles as it cooks, and drain off excess grease. Mix in 3/4 cup of onion, 1 tablespoon of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin into the meat, and cook and stir until the onions are softened and the meat mixture is fragrant with spices, 5 to 10 more minutes. Stir in the enchilada sauce and beef broth; simmer for 5 more minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of Mexican cheese blend, and allow the cheese to melt into the meat sauce. Reduce heat to low, and simmer the meat sauce for 30 more minutes to thicken.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Spray both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray, stack up the tortillas with a piece of aluminum foil between each tortilla, and wrap the stack with aluminum foil. Place the tortillas into the preheated oven to warm, about 10 minutes.
  • Spread about 1/2 cup of the spicy red sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Fill each tortilla with the meat sauce, reserving about 1/2 cup of the meat sauce; roll the tortillas into enchiladas, and arrange in the baking dish, seam sides down. Pour the remaining spicy red sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with the reserved 1/2 cup of meat mixture, and top with remaining 2 cups of Mexican cheese blend.
  • Bake until the cheese topping is golden brown and the sauce is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro to serve.

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