The Original: Carnitas Cheese Enchiladas


Take a second and think about all the enchiladas you’ve ever had. Was there one that really stood out, or were they all about the same? If it’s the latter, then you have to make this recipe. The sauce is thicker than the usual version of enchiladas sauce, and the tortillas were lightly fried before filling them with cheese, onions and carnitas.


Before moving onto the recipe, I also wanted to share a preview of May’s 5 Star Makeover. We are doing something very different this time – we are split into teams of 3 to create a full menu together. So appetizer, main, dessert, using a theme or ingredient of our choice. I am paired with two extremely talented cooks and I cannot be happier to be on the same team with them! One is the incredible Lazaro from Lazaro Cooks! and the other is Joan, whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through this makeover, from FOODalogue. Together, we are “Le Morel”. Le Morel for a team using morels throughout their dishes. Seasonal, unique, and powerful, morels are a lot of fun to work with. Joan is going to introduce elegant and creative appetizers that are beautifully presented. I have a main course that I can’t wait to share with you, and Lazaro has a crazy and mind blowing morel dessert that he is prepared to shock the world with. Wait for it, coming soon!

Enchiladas with Cheese, Onions, and Carnitas

Carnitas Cheese Enchiladas

Serves 2-4, Adapted from Serious Eats



  • 1lb boneless pork shoulder, cut into large cubes
  • 1 quart beef broth
  • 2 cups fresh tomato salsa
  • 2 cups canned chunky tomato salsa

Chili Gravy

  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp powdered garlic
  • 2 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 2 cups chicken broth


  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 corn tortillas (small)
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • cilantro, for garnish


  1. In a large pot, combine pork, beef broth, and salsa. Add water (if necessary) to completely cover the meat. Bring pot to a boil and simmer on low heat, covered, for 2 hours. Add salt to taste if necessary.
  2. Prepare chili gravy. Heat grapeseed oil to a large skillet or wok over medium heat. When warm, whisk in flour and stir until smooth. Continue to stir until roux is light brown (3 minutes). Add all the dry ingredients for chili gravy and cook for one more minute.
  3. Pour chicken broth into roux and stir. Let it come to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450F. Heat grapeseed oil to a small skillet over medium high heat. When oil starts to shimmer, add a corn tortilla. Using tongs, flip after 15 seconds and fry for another 15 seconds. Transfer tortilla to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat this for all the tortillas.
  5. Add a tbsp of cheese, a tbsp of chopped onion, and 1/2 tbsp of carnitas to each tortilla. Roll it up and place (seam side down) it in an overproof casserole dish. When all the filled tortillas are set in the dish, pour the roux over the tortilla rolls and sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over the top. Bake for 10 minutes and garnish with more chopped onions and cilantro.

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6 comments for “The Original: Carnitas Cheese Enchiladas

  1. Shannon
    April 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    yes, the morels in a dessert is something I need to see 😉 in the mean time, I’ll take an enchilada, please!

  2. Magic of Spice
    April 30, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Gorgeous enchiladas! My son makes his own from scratch and would love the pork here 🙂
    Love your teams theme as well…it is going to be such fun!

  3. Laz
    April 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I am so happy to be working with you and Joan. I am one lucky crazy cook. Carnitas made to shine here. One of my favorite dishes. Love it.

  4. angela@spinachtiger
    April 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    These look gloriously delicious. I’ve never made enchiladas. You’ve set the bar high.

  5. Jill~a SaucyCook
    April 30, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Laz sent me. I see why! These look and sound amazing. One order to go please-FedEx delivers!

  6. juniakk @ mis pensamientos
    May 8, 2012 at 10:15 am

    my favorite enchiladas are “green enchiladas” – made with chicken, white cheese and salsa verde! this recipe looks delicious!

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