The evening air is cooling down a bit, finally! Halloween decorations are up. That just means one thing: Fall is here! And, with Fall, comes roasts. There is nothing that I love more in this season than slow-cooking big chunks of meat, whether that’s a roasted chicken, pork loin, or beef rib roast. It’s economical, easy, and the smell just permeates the house. Yet, the downside of cooking a large amount of meat, unless you have a huge family, is leftovers.
Leftovers: we all have them at one point or another, but the trick is what to do with them. I love adding leftover meat to tacos, pastas, even sandwiches, but my new favorite (especially with roast chicken) is enchiladas. Whether you use pork, chicken, or beef, they all taste great mixed with tortillas, spicy sauce, and cheese….lots of cheese! However, enchiladas can be a bit time consuming to make, so here is my alternative: Enchilada Lasagna! Instead of rolling the tortillas, you’re going to make flat layers, just like you would in composing a pan of lasagna with noodles. There are no firm quantities here. Go with what you have and layer away. Add whatever meat and veggies you want and see where it takes you. Enjoy!
Note: If your meat was roasted in thick gravy, you may want to scrape off as much as you can. Too much liquid will make the tortillas soggy.
about 2 cups leftover chopped meat (for this recipe, I used one whole leftover roasted pork tenderloin)
1 cup chopped vegetables, such as peppers, onions, and kale
2 jars enchilada sauce, 12 oz, each (for this recipe, I used Trader Joe’s Enchilada sauce)
1 package (18 count) small corn tortillas
1 package Mexican blend shredded cheese (12 oz.)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package shredded cabbage for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Chop the meat into even bite-size pieces, or shred if desired.
- Chop the vegetable combination. The vegetables do not need to cook before being added to the dish. They will soften during the baking time.
- In a large 9 x 13″ Pyrex pan, add some of the sauce. Just eyeball the amount (about 1/2 cup). You want just enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it evenly in the pan.
- Add a layer of tortillas. You can leave the tortillas whole or cut them in half into half-moons. Depending on your pan, half-moons may layer more easily. Cover the bottom of the pan with the tortillas (approximately 6 whole tortillas depending on the size you use).
- Sprinkle about a 1/2 cup of Mexican blend cheese over the tortillas. Again, just eyeball it. You want an even layer.
- Next, add half the meat and half the veggies. Top with another layer of cheese.
- Drizzle more sauce over the meat, cheese, and veggie layer and spread as evenly as possible. Top with another layer of tortillas.
- Repeat the layers: tortillas – cheese – meat, veggie – cheese – sauce.
- The final layer (the third) should be the last of the tortillas; topped with the last of the sauce; topped with the last of the cheese. Sprinkle an even layer of the mozzarella for extra cheesiness.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling throughout the lasagna and the cheese is a golden, bubbly, gooey top.
- Remove from the oven and allow the lasagna to rest before cutting. You want that cheese to settle; otherwise it will just overflow out of the layers. Serve with shredded cabbage and a little guacamole, or a little side salad. Enjoy!
Wine pairing Note: The spices and creaminess of this dish screams for a hearty, yet earthy red wine. I love an Argentinian Malbec with this dish and Trapiche Oak Cask Malbec is a favorite for under $15.