Venison Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

I live in the middle of nowhere.

I’m telling you this because, as I recently discovered, enchiladas are typically made with a corn tortilla. And, this presented a problem as I am limited to the number of grocery stores near where I live, and none of those grocery stores seem to carry these precious corn tortillas. Even the stores that had a section specifically for Hispanic or Latin food only had a limited selection of flour tortillas. Ironically, I was able to find the flour tortillas in more than one section of the store as they are also, apparently, a refrigerated item that can be purchased near the eggs and milk.

I almost ordered some corn tortillas as a specialty product online, but then, decided that I would stray from tradition and bring you the version of enchiladas that my family is going to enjoy. Because these corn tortillas are so scarce in this area, and this is basically the only way we will be able to eat them.

Also, I know you could make the argument that I could make my own corn tortillas right at home, but after going to the lengths of making my own sauces, I just wanted to sit down and enjoy the dang enchilada already. Plus, if I’m being totally honest, I don’t even really like corn tortillas anyway. I prefer the flour tortillas, which only strengthens my argument. Thus, the next few recipes that you see for me are going to be enchiladas with a flower tortilla because it’s America and I can do what I want.

The first enchilada I made was a relatively straightforward recipe using the typical red sauce. However, I changed it up a little bit by using venison. You could absolutely use beef in this recipe or even some finely-sliced steak in the same manner I use the venison. But, since we are a family that hunts and enjoys a lot of game meat, we’re always looking for ways to use it in different recipes. If you’re hesitant to use venison, because you’re afraid of the “games” taste, these enchiladas, with their spicy sauce, really help to accentuate the good flavor of the venison without the any detectable gamey-ness. So, if you’re considering introducing someone new to venison, I would definitely recommend a recipe like this where it’s not necessarily the star of the show, but still gives you some of that game meat flavor.

Stay tuned for more on my enchilada project!

Venison Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

8 flour tortillas (or corn, if you prefer)

2 tbsp. butter

1/2 white onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 lb. venison steak meat

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

3 cups red chile sauce, divided

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

Cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven 350F.

In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Cook onions in butter for about 5-6 minutes, or until slightly translucent. Add garlic and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Slice venison into thin 1/4″ strips and cook in butter for 4-6 minutes. Add the chili powder and cumin. Flip venison and cook and additional 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Cut each strip of venison into small pieces, between 1/4″ and 1/2″ pieces.

In a large bowl, combine venison, onions, 1 1/2 cups of red chile sauce and 1 cup cheese. Season to taste.

Spoon 1/8 of the mixture into the center of a tortilla.  Spread it into a long thin column and roll the tortilla into a burrito shape.  Place the burrito into a greased pan (The size of the pan will depend on how large your tortillas are.  I used extra large 8″ tortillas, so I used a 9×11 pan).  Repeat with the rest of the tortillas until you have a full pan of rolled burritos one layer thick.

Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

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