I’m a big fan of pulled pork sandwiches. Buttered and toasted hamburger buns, stacked with a big pile of lightly sweet slow smoked pork shoulder, with a batch of homemade coleslaw and a little barbecue sauce is the perfect combination.
The challenge is eight pounds of pulled pork will make a lot of sandwiches. It’s just my wife and me here, and she’s not as big a fan of pulled pork sandwiches. She’s not ready to eat them as often as I am.
To keep her happy and make it possible to barbecue more often, I needed to find other ways to use up all that leftover pulled pork.
One of the best ways I’ve found is pulled pork green chile enchiladas. Unlike red enchilada sauce, the green enchilada sauce pairs perfectly with the slight sweetness of my pulled pork (there’s a little apple juice in my pulled pork recipe).
An added bonus is that I almost always have the ingredients for this lying around, due to the volume of tacos we eat.
Roasting Your Green Chiles
You don’t need an open fire to roast green chiles, although the smokiness the fire adds makes them taste even better. They taste just fine roasted in your home oven.
Roasted chiles also make your house smell amazing. Forget the smelly candles. Just give me a batch of roasted chiles.
To roast your chiles in the oven, put them in a heavy-duty pan and slide them under a preheated broiler with the rack in its highest position. Turn them over after they’ve turned black and roast the opposite side.
To make them easy to peel, throw them in a heat-proof bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. This will allow them to steam and help release their skins.
Once they’ve cooled enough to handle, peel off the blackened skin, then tear off the stem and remove the seed pod along with any stray seeds.
Resist the urge to run them under water to wash away the seeds or skins. You’ll wash some of the flavor away along with the seeds.
A few seeds making their way into your diced chiles won’t hurt anything.
Yes, Fry the Tortillas
I understand that you may be on a diet and don’t want to fry the tortillas (the amount of fat in your diet may not be as bad for you as you think, anyway).
I recommend you fry the tortillas, regardless. By frying the tortillas, you create a barrier that prevents the sauce from soaking into the tortillas and turning them into mush.
- Try one of our 12 salsa recipes to help you master Taco Night.
To fry them, put about a half-inch of cooking fat in a pan and heat over medium heat.
Dip the tortillas into the fat and cook for about 15 seconds on each side.
Don’t cook them to the point they start getting crispy. You want your tortillas just cooked through. If they’re cooked too long, they’ll break when you try to roll them.
To minimize the amount of fat, drain the fried tortillas on paper towels and blot the tops with another.
NOTE: Yellow corn tortillas are firmer than white corn tortillas. I always use yellow corn in enchiladas to help hold up to the sauce. I use white corn for tacos.
Leftover Pulled Pork Green Chile Enchiladas
Green Chile Sauce
- 1 1/4 lb. New Mexico or Anaheim chiles - roasted, peeled, de-seeded, and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups), or, substitute frozen chiles
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 cups chicken stock - divided
- 1/4 large white onion - finely diced
- 3 tbsp. pork lard - melted, or, substitute vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. Mexican oregano
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 10 yellow corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup lard - or, substitute vegetable oil
- 1/4 large white onion - finely diced
- 1 lb. leftover pulled pork
- 8 oz. Oaxaca or Monterey Jack cheese - shredded (pre-shredded is evil), divided
- 3 tbsp. cilantro - chopped
Green Chile Sauce
- Roast, peel, and de-seed the chiles per the instructions above.
- Add the chiles, garlic, and 1/2 cup of chicken stock to a blender jar and puree until smooth.
- Heat the lard over medium-high heat and cook the onions until soft. About 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly with a wire whisk, until well incorporated and the raw taste is cooked out of the flour. About 3-4 minutes.
- Add the chile puree, then pour the chicken stock into the blender jar to rinse out any remaining puree and pour it into the pan. Add the seasonings and stir thoroughly. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Keep your puree hot while you assemble the enchiladas.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Add 1/4 cup of lard to a small pan and preheat over medium heat (about 350 degrees).
- Once the lard is hot, fry the tortillas one-by-one, without letting the edges get crispy. About 15 seconds per side. Drain on paper towels and blot with another.
- Pour off all but about a tablespoon of lard, then fry the onions until soft. About 5 minutes. Add the pulled pork, mix well with the onions, and cook until heated through.
- Divide the shredded cheese by half, then divide one of the piles of cheese amongst the tortillas. Add about 1/4 cup of the pulled pork/onion mixture to each tortilla. Roll the tortillas up and place seam-side down in the casserole dish. Sprinkle any remaining meat over the top.
- Top the enchiladas with 1/2 of the green chile sauce and the remaining half of the cheese (it's okay for the ends on the enchiladas to poke out from the sauce). Cook in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is starting to bubble at the edges. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro.
- To serve, ladle some of the still-hot green chile sauce onto warm plates, then place some of the rolled enchiladas on top.