Chilaquiles Rojos con Carnitas

Fried corn tortilla chips and shredded Carnitas baked in an ancho chile sauce topped with ooey, gooey melted cheese.

Chilaquiles con Carnitas -

It's been a while since I've shared a recipe the same day I made it. Okay, if we're being completely honest, it's been a while since I've shared a recipe, period. I know. But today I'm feeling inspired.

I didn't have anything specific planned for today, as all I wanted to do was use up the last of the Carnitas (before Lent starts tomorrow) that were leftover from the birthday party we co-hosted on Saturday for Hubby's aunt. On Sunday we had Tortas Ahogadas, and yesterday I made Tacos de Carnitas. I kind of wanted to make Tacos de Barbacoa, which would help to use up the two and a half kilos of corn tortillas in my fridge (also from the party), but there weren't enough leftover Carnitas to make enough tacos for all seven of us. So it was back to square one.

Baked Chilaquiles w/ Carnitas -

Then it hit me. Why not make Chilaquiles? Chilaquiles are a great way to use up corn tortillas. I fried up a couple dozen tortillas just for that purpose, then I fried up a couple dozen more to have on hand so Hubby and the kiddies could have chips and salsa with the leftover Pico de Gallo and Chile de Molcajate (again, also from the party) later in the week. Instead of cooking the Chilaquiles in a dutch oven on the stove top with even more oil, I chose to bake them. But not just any baking dish would do, so I ran home to get out my trusty olla de barro which I don't think has been used in the two years since I became my suegro's (father-in-law) caretaker and started cooking all of our meals at his place. Call me crazy but cooking again with my olla de barro felt like being reunited with an old friend.

And I think my olla de barro was happy to be back in action, because these chilaquiles were a huge hit with Hubby, the kiddies, and even my suegro.

Baked Chilaquiles Rojos con Carnitas -

Chilaquiles Rojos con Carnitas

  • 4 roma tomatoes, cut in quarters 
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 1 dried guajillo chile, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 dozen corn tortillas, cut in triangles 
  • 2 cups shredded pork Carnitas
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced 
  • 1 cup shredded asadero cheese 
  • Pickled Red Onions (optional)  
  • Mexican crema (optional) 

In a medium saucepan cook the tomatoes, dried chiles, and garlic in the 3 cups of water over medium-high heat until the tomatoes are cooked completely. Remove from heat; let cool slightly. Puree the cooked tomatoes, chiles, and garlic along with the water they were cooked in until smooth. Pour into the saucepan they were cooked in and season with salt; set aside.

While the tomatoes are cooking, heat 1-inch of vegetable oil in a deep skillet over high heat. Fry the tortillas in batches until crisp and golden brown. Transfer the fried tortillas to a large bowl lined with paper towel to drain the excess oil. Sprinkle the corn tortillas with salt while they're still warm.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange the fried tortillas in a 9x13-inch baking dish (or large casserole dish). Top with the shredded carnitas and sliced red onion; toss gently to combine. Pour the tomato and ancho chile salsa over the tortilla strips. Top with the shredded cheese. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes until heated through and the cheese has completely melted. Remove from oven.

To serve garnish with pickled red onions and a dollop of Mexican crema. Serve with Refried Beans, Ensalada de Nopales, and/or top with a fried egg. Enjoy!

Chilaquiles Rojos served with Pickled Red Onion & Nopales -

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