Inspired by our favourite tacos, Pork Enchiladas Al Pastor feature sweet and sour pork, pineapple, red onion and cheese, wrapped in a flour tortilla and then smothered in a green enchilada sauce and cheddar, and then baked in the oven to perfection.
The flavours of Mexican cuisine have always been a favourite in our house. Growing up, I remember the joy that came from taco night, and quesadilla night, and yes even burrito night. Tortillas, a fixing of toppings including jalapeños, onions and tomatoes, and all the sauces. And while I was more of a sour cream girl over salsa and chili, it was always a memorable meal – interactive, colourful and simply put, the best night of the week.
As an adult, taco, quesadilla and burrito night is still on our menu rotation at home, and more recently we ventured into new Mexican dishes with the same punch and ingredients as our favourites. The Mexican version of a lasagna, enchiladas have the same charm as taco, wrapped in a corn shell and stuffed with meat and cheese. Except, it's rolled into a burrito-like wrap, placed in a casserole dish and topped with chili sauce, oh yes and even more cheese.
What are Enchiladas?
Originated in Mexico, enchiladas are corn tortillas rolled around a filling and covered with a chili pepper sauce. They can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including different types of meats, cheeses, beans and vegetables.
How to Make Enchiladas?
Pork Enchiladas Ingredients
Flour tortillas (any size works but instructions are for 10" size), red and white onions, jalapeño peppers, pineapple (canned or fresh), white vinegar, garlic, canned green chilis, lime, pork tenderloin, cumin, chili powder, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Make the Green Enchilada Sauce
Inspired by Gimme Some Oven's Green Enchilada Sauce we opted for a spicier version by adding additional jalapeño and then brightening it up with some lime. To make the sauce start by sautéing a ½ cup of diced onion with 2 diced jalapeño peppers. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the onions become translucent then add 4 cloves of garlic, chopped. Cook for an additional minute, then transfer to the base of a blender.
Pour in 1 cup of chicken stock, 2 cups of canned green chilis, 2 teaspoons of cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon of black pepper and the juice of 1 lime. Blend this on high until it becomes a smooth, bright green enchilada sauce. Set this aside until ready to use. The green enchilada sauce can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Browning the Meat for Pork Enchiladas
We chose pork tenderloin for this recipe as it is the most tender cut. It can be cooked and stay tender without marinating. Start by cutting 1 ½ pounds of tenderloin into a small dice, about a quarter inch.
In a small bowl mix 1 tablespoon of chili powder and 2 teaspoons of cumin with about ¼ cup of water to make a thin paste. Set a skillet on medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil begins to smoke, carefully pour in the paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring often, until it thickens and becomes dark.
Chef's Tip: Sautéing the spices before adding the meat opens of the aroma and results in a more robust spice flavour.
Add in the pork chunks, a little bit at a time, then stir to coat the meat. Cook stirring every couple minutes until it has browned and caramelized on all sides. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, and 1 teaspoon of dried oregano. Pour in ⅓ cup pineapple juice and ¼ cup white vinegar and stir, scrapping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid has evaporated then remove from heat.
Chef's Tip: To get pineapple juice, chop your entire pineapple first and place in sieve over a bowl. Allow to drain until you have the required amount of juice you need.
How to Assemble Enchiladas
Enchiladas are traditionally made with corn tortillas, however we opted for flour tortillas for this recipe because they are more readily available and hold together better when assembling. If you don't care so much how the enchiladas look, then go with corn tortillas for a more authentic flavour.
With a tortilla on a flat surface, spoon on a couple tablespoons of green enchilada sauce and spread evenly. Next, add a couple spoonfuls of the pork and lay across a single line slightly off-centre. Top with some sliced red onion, and a couple spoons of pineapple. Finally, sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and roll the tortilla fairly tight. The enchilada should be a little more than 1 inch in diameter. Transfer to a 9 x 13, or similar sized casserole dish.
Baking the Enchiladas
Once all the enchiladas are assembled. Pour remaining green enchilada sauce on top and spread evenly. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese then place in the preheated oven to bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and the edges begin to brown.
Top with a sprinkling of cotija cheese (feta works too), some diced red onion, pineapple, and cilantro, if you like it.
What to Serve with Enchiladas
Although these enchiladas are amazing on their own, we also love to eat them with rice or refried beans, or a simple oil and vinegar dressed salad. If you're looking for something to serve on top of the pork enchiladas, try some salsa and sour cream.
Shop the Tools to Make Pork Enchiladas
Below are affiliate links to products that will assist you in making our enchiladas recipe. If you purchase an item through the links, Chef Sous Chef Inc. will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.
- Chef's Knife
- Le Creuset Saucepan
- Le Creuset Braiser
- Enamel Casserole Dish
- Cheese Grater
- Canned Green Chilis
- Chili Powder
Thank you for helping support us through these purchases. If you have made this recipe, please let us know in the comments below!
Pork Enchiladas Al Pastor Inspired
Green Enchilada Sauce
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 jalapeno peppers seeds removed and diced
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups canned green chilis
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ lbs pork tenderloin ¼ inch cubed
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ⅓ cup pineapple juice* see notes
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 6-8 flour tortillas
- 1 cup pineapple diced
- ½ red onion sliced
- 300 g mild cheddar cheese grated
- ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese
- ½ cup diced pineapple
- ⅓ cup diced red onion
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Make the green enchilada sauce: Place a skillet on medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and jalapeño peppers and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute. Transfer to a blender and add chicken stock, green chilis, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper.
- Return the skillet to medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. In a small bowl, mix chili powder and cumin with ¼ cup of water to form a thin paste. Once the oil in the pan begins to smoke, carefully pour in the spice paste and cook, stirring continuously for 1 minute, until thickened and dark. Add the pork, a little bit at a time, and cook until browned and caramelized on all sides, about 6-8 minutes. Sprinkle on the oregano, then pour in the pineapple juice and vinegar to deglaze the pan. Cook until the liquid has evaporated, then season with salt and pepper.
- With a tortilla on a flat surface, spoon on a couple tablespoons of green enchilada sauce and spread evenly. Next, add a couple spoonfuls of the pork and lay across a single line slightly off-centre. Top with some sliced red onion, and a couple spoons of pineapple. Finally, sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and roll the tortilla fairly tight. The enchilada should be a little more than 1 inch in diameter. Transfer to a 9 x 13, or similar sized casserole dish.
- Once all the enchiladas are assembled. Pour remaining green enchilada sauce on top and spread evenly. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese then place in the preheated oven to bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and the edges begin to brown.
- Top with a sprinkling of cotija cheese, some diced red onion, pineapple, and cilantro, if you like it.
- There is no need to buy pineapple juice. If using fresh pineapple, simply dice the pineapple and transfer it to a sieve placed over a bowl. This should leave you with more than enough juice for the recipe. If using canned pineapples, then use the juice from the can. - For a more authentic flavor, use corn tortillas if you can find them. They are harder to work with and will result in a less beautiful dish, but will provide a nice flavor to the dish.