Sometimes you find yourself craving enchiladas. And when that happens, all you can do is just go with it. After my second experimentation with using the crock pot to make enchilada filling, I’m pretty much sold. No matter what direction you take, the meat comes out flavorful, tender and oh-so moist — all with minimal effort involved.
For these enchiladas, I decided to roast my own poblano chilis for the sauce (yum), and dive into some pulled pork. Some of you might remember my dad’s “World Famous” burritos from Father’s Day, but my actual Father’s Day dinner was chipotle carnitas tacos (inspired by SkinnyTaste‘s Mexican Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas). I don’t get to cook for my dad too often, but when I do he becomes a little bit of a food fiend. He loved the carnitas so much he tried to dissuade me from taking any leftovers home.
A lot of recipes use a broiler for roasted poblanos, but you can actually roast them straight on the stove! Just keep rotating every few minutes until the peppers are perfectly blackened and giving off that smoky chili smell. I’ve used canned diced green peppers before, and there’s nothing wrong with that to save time (especially when you’re cooking for a crowd). But on a lazy Sunday afternoon, roasting your own peppers is well worth the extra ten minutes of prep time. (More enchilada recipes here, here, and here.)
Since I already had the poblano flavor going for me, I skipped the chipotle in adobo and seasoned the pork with onion powder, cumin, garlic powder, chicken stock and bay leaves. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I will never get over watching meat fall apart at the gentlest touch (Exhibit A, B, C). This crock pot (a birthday gift from my boyfriend) is seriously the best. For those in the market, the one I have is top notch.
I threw all my ingredients into the crock pot, turned it on high for four hours, and left it alone. (I’ve finally conquered my fear that I’ll burn down the apartment if I don’t obsessively keep an eye on it.) Then all you really have to do is assemble your ingredients and get those enchiladas rolled up for the oven!
The cast of characters: sour cream (for serving and for the sauce), roasted and chopped poblano chilis, chopped cilantro, caramelized onions, and crumbled Queso Fresco. Last time I used crumbly Mexican cheese, I went with Cotija. Queso Fresco is a little less salty.
Corn tortillas are much easier to handle if you heat them in the oven for a few minutes before you try to fold them. I mixed all my ingredients together to make a filling that was to die for. I definitely snacked on it a little bit. Don’t judge me.
Then, the sauce. Oh, the sauce. A nice thick roux, chicken stock, sour cream, and roasted poblanos. Enchiladas drenched in that sauce. Extra tortillas dipped into that sauce. I think, if nudged, I would take a bath in that sauce.
Since the meat is already cooked through, these only need to bake for twenty minutes! Just enough time to clean up, get the table set, and start on a generous glass of wine.
Top with any extra fixin’s you may want (more cheese, cilantro, salsa) and serve with a side salad or rice and beans. One of the great things about this recipe is that it’s reasonably healthy! Ok, there’s quite a bit of cheese, but if you use nonfat sour cream in the sauce and don’t go overboard on the Queso Fresco (if you learn how, teach me) you can make it work for you. Or you can just do what I did, and enjoy every minute of chile and cheese.
- 2.5 lbs pork shoulder, fat removed
- olive oil
- 4-6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- 2 bay leaves
- salt & pepper
- 2 poblano chiles
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup Queso fresco cheese, crumbled
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 cups hot chicken stock
- 2 Cups Sour Cream
- salt to taste
- 12 8-inch corn tortillas
- Remove all extra fat from pork shoulder and generously season with salt and pepper. Brown over medium heat for 2 minutes on each side, then set aside and let cool. Using a sharp knife, cut slits into the pork shoulder and stuff with sliced garlic. (Oh yes.) Season with cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder. Set the pork shoulder in the crock pot and add bay leaves and chicken broth. Cook on high for 4 hours. Once done cooking, shred the pork with two forks and remove from crock pot with a slotted spoon. Taste, adjust seasonings, and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roast poblanos over medium heat on the stove for about 3-5 minutes each side, until the entire pepper is blackened. Set aside to cook. Chop in half, remove stem and seeds and gently rinse under cold water. Set aside on a paper towel to dry, then dice and set aside.
- Heat a tablespoon of butter over medium heat and cook onions for 10-15 minutes, until soft and caramelized. Combine with chopped cilantro, half the pulled pork, 1/2 cup crumbled cheese, and half of the poblano chiles to make the filling. Set aside. (Note: you will have extra pork. Use it in tacos, wraps, and salads throughout the week!)
- To make the sauce, heat 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat and whisk in 3 tablespoons of flour. Cook for a few minutes, whisking constantly, until the mixture becomes a soft roux (it should no longer taste or smell like flour). Heat up chicken stock on the stove and whisk into the roux one cup at a time. Let the liquid cook for a few minutes, then stir in sour cream and poblano chiles. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Assemble your enchiladas! Grease a large baking dish and fill with a little bit of the sauce, just enough to cover the bottom. Heat up 12 corn tortillas in the oven or microwave (30 seconds) and add a spoonful of filling to each one. Roll together and position face-down in the baking dish. Cover generously with the rest of the sauce and bake for twenty minutes.
- Serve with extra cilantro, remaining Queso Fresco, and a side of rice and beans.