They say you’re not a true cook until you’ve owned (or at least cooked in) a cast iron skillet. I don’t know who “they” are, but I do know why “they” love the cast iron. Cast iron provides the most even cooking temperature, it’s oven safe, and the more you use it the better your food tastes.
I’ve always dreamed of using a cast iron skillet. I’ve even gotten really close to buying my own – but I chicken out at the price. I’ve seen many recipes that require or heavily suggest the use of a cast iron skillet. I always save these recipes but they’re filed under the “yeah-right-that’ll-never-happen” category. (Like ice cream maker recipes, until my husband gave me an ice cream maker for Christmas!)
These cast iron skillet recipes are no longer only in my dreams because I am now the happy owner of a cast iron skillet. But not just any cast iron skillet! I have Stuart’s grandfather’s skillet! My mother-in-law had two and generously gave me one.
Naturally the first thing I use it for is Mexican Monday!
This tortilla pie tastes better than it looks (now that the sun goes down at 5:30 it’s impossible to get good food photography). If you want to see photos that do this pie justice check out the original recipe. There are a lot of steps but they can easily be done in advance. And let me tell you, it’s completely worth it. This tortilla pie takes the flavors of enchiladas, combines it with the volume of a burrito, and assembles it in pie form. Crispy on the top and creamy on the inside.
The size tortillas you use will depend on the size of your skillet. Because my skillet is a square, my tortillas were smaller than the original, therefore I used less of the filling. What was left of the filling ingredients created a perfect burrito that Stuart took to work for lunch.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1/2 C beef broth
- 1 – 2 tbsp canola oil, divided use
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 C milk
- 3 scallions
- 1 can (15oz) refried beans
- 1 C enchilada sauce
- 5 flour tortillas (size to fit in cast iron skillet)
- 1 – 2 C shredded Mexican blend cheese
- In a cast iron skillet, brown ground beef over medium-high heat. Season with taco seasoning and add the beef broth. Cook until reduced. Remove from skillet and place in a bowl.
- Add up to 1 tbsp oil to the skillet (if needed) and saute the onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook 60 seconds. Remove and add to the beef.
- Create a roux by putting 1 tbsp of oil in the skillet and whisking in 1 tbsp flour. Reduce heat to medium and slowly add the milk to the pan, whisking constantly. When thickened add the beef and onions. Add scallions. Remove from skillet.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Wipe out skillet. (Careful, it’s hot!) Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a bowl, mix together refried beans and enchilada sauce.
- Place 1 tortilla in the cast iron skillet. Top with up-to half of the bean mixture. (This will depend on the size of your tortillas.) Place a tortilla on top of the beans. Top with up-to half of the beef mixture. Repeat. Top pie with last tortilla, cover with shredded cheese.
- Bake 30 – 40 minutes, until golden brown.
*This recipe is adapted from Anita at http://www.hungrycouplenyc.com/2014/06/mexican-tortilla-pie.html *