Chipotle Pulled Pork Enchiladas

This recipe makes approximately 20-24 medium-sized enchiladas or enough to fill two 9×13 pans

3 lb pork roast, preferably bone-in, with some marbling

Sauce for the pork:
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
2 T adobo sauce
1/4 C cider vinegar
2 t smoked paprika
2 T brown sugar
1 1/2 T spice mix (see below)
1 t oregano
3 bay leaves

Enchilada sauce:
3 14 oz cans tomato sauce
15-20 small dried chilli peppers
3 garlic cloves
2 t oregano
1 1/2 t cinnamon
2 t – 1 T spice mix (see below)
1 T smoked paprika*
1 T sweet paprika (Spanish or Hungarian)*
juice of 1 1/2 – 2 limes
kosher salt to taste

Enchilada filling:
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 lb shredded Monterrey or Monterrey-Jack cheese, divided
1 12-14 oz can black olives, pitted and sliced
10 scallions, chopped
1 1/2 – 2 bunches cilantro, chopped

2 dozen medium-sized corn tortillas

Spice Mix:
2 T cumin seeds
2 T coriander seeds
1 1/2 t allspice berries

To make the pork, sauté the onion and garlic in some olive oil until soft and slightly caramelised. Meanwhile, toast your spice mix in a dry sauté pan over low heat until the spices are fragrant and just barely begin to smoke. Remove the spices from the heat and grind into a fine powder. Add the can of tomato sauce and the rest of your spices and sugar to the pot and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, rub the outside of your pork with kosher salt and a generous amount of the spice mix (the cumin, coriander and allspice), and brown the roast in a very hot (preferably cast iron) pan until well browned on all sides. Place the pork and sauce into a slow-cooker and cook until very tender and falling apart – tender enough to shred with forks – around 5.5 hours on high, 8-10 on low.

To make the enchilada sauce, soak the dried chillies in about 1 1/2 C hot water for an hour or so until softened. Depending on how hot your chillies are and how spicy you want your sauce, you may want to remove some or all of the seeds. They’ll be strained out at the end, but they still contribute quite a bit of heat (depending on type of pepper you use). I like to use the smaller red chillies which are pretty spicy, and I leave about 1/4 of the seeds in. Once the chillies are soft, put them, along with the soaking water, into a blender and blend until completely puréed. Then pass the mixture through a sieve to remove all the seeds and pulp. Lightly sauté the garlic being careful to not let it burn or scorch. Add in the three cans of tomato sauce and the chilli sauce and the rest of your spices. Simmer for about 15 minutes, adding the lime juice at the very end. Let cool and set aside until you assemble your enchiladas.

Once the pork is done, remove it from the sauce and shred it with two forks. Reduce the sauce down (removing the bay leaves) in a saucepan on the stove until there’s just enough to keep the pork moist and juicy, but not overly liquidy when added back to the shredded pork.

At this point, preheat your oven to 375-400°F (depending on whether you’ve got convection). Put some of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of each pan and begin to stuff your enchiladas. I put down a spoonful of the meat, then beans, cheese, olives, onion and lastly the cilantro. Roll and lay into the pan seam side down. Do this for both pans, top with equal amounts of the sauce. I usually have left-over olives, scallions and cilantro and I top the enchiladas with this and then add about 1/4 lb of cheese to each pan.

Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned and the sauce is bubbly.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, Mexican rice and fresh pico de gallo.

*Some people will refer to smoked paprika as Spanish paprika which can be confusing. While smoked paprika is an originally Spanish product, “Spanish paprika” is simply paprika from Spain. Make sure your smoked paprika is actually smoked as “Spanish paprika” can be sweet, spicy or smoked. I said use Spanish or Hungarian paprika for the sweet paprika because they’re usually very good quality, high flavour paprikas, unlike what is often sold in N. American grocery stores as paprika which turns out to be a flavourless red dust. See this article.

If you don’t have whole spices (and I highly recommend you try them!) go ahead and use pre-ground spices to taste. All the amounts are approximate anyhow because I never measure when I cook – I just throw in what seems appropriate and adjust to taste.

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