29 June 2010

Branding day menu

Our branding lunch always has my mom's beef enchiladas. I don't know when she started making them, but I can't remember ever not having them. You need many tortillas, hot oil, enchilada sauce, beef, cheese, and we put onion in the beef too. You could use just cheese, or whatever your heart desires. Oh, and we put sliced olives on top when we remember.
When there were more of us at home, we made a big assembly line. Good times, good memories.

First, you fry the tortillas one at a time in some hot oil. (Mom usually did this) Not too crisp, but it's necessary to keep the tortillas from sopping up all the sauce. I know, I tried it once without that step...yuck.
Then into the enchilada sauce. One sister coats on both sides, then puts it on a plate for the next sister to assemble the parts. Beef and cheese -next sister- roll it up and put in pan. We had another girl in charge of bringing new pans and removing the full ones. (That's right, five women in one kitchen. My other sister was already gone to college when I was big enough to help.) When the pan is full, pour more enchilada sauce over the whole thing, sprinkle cheese on top and then toss some sliced olives on. Then we cover and freeze because this is usually the week before we actually cook them.
The next step is very important. Fry up more tortillas, this time till crisp. As soon as you take them out of the oil, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Tear apart and enjoy the feeling of finishing a big job.
To cook, defrost (or just stick it in the oven after assembled) then stick it in a 350 oven for as long as it takes for the middle to melt. Sorry I can't be more technical on that part. Shouldn't take more than an hour. For the branding, we layer the pans into great big roaster pans and cook at about 300 for the morning hours while the branding is going on.

Then, we make buckaroo beans, also something I don't remember ever not having. We quadrupled this recipe because we usually run out. We had leftovers this year. This recipe is for cooking on the stove top, but when making huge amounts, we use the oven or the big roaster at 300. That's what that little note at the bottom is for.

To go along with these, we usually have several salads, some watermelon, grapes and chips. The kids usually only eat watermelon, grapes and chips, but since it's like a holiday, I let them eat what they want.


  1. how cool is your handwritten family recipe!!!
    This is such a heartwarming tradition, and I am sure having the same or most of the same foods every year makes it that much more memorable.
    Thanks for sharing!!!
    I honestly was not prepared for enchiladas. I figured you would say steaks/roast, potatoes, biscits, beans, cobbler-I guess I have watched too many wagon-cook-offs on tv, I admit!!!

  2. We have done dutch oven dinners in addition in the past, but it's quite a bit of work and most people are needed in the branding pen. I'm not sure how the enchilada tradition got started. I don't know any other ranches that do it.
    We do chuck wagon dinners too. I'll post those recipes sometime.

  3. teekaroo,
    What wonderful memories you have! Isn't it interesting how much we remember about moms and cooking when we look back on our childhood. When my mother passed, all I really wanted were her recipe cards! One of her bean recipes seemed really similar to this one and it was soooo good! I'm glad you shared it! Thanks for linking up!

  4. Very true. I recently scanned and printed all our favorite recipes to give as gifts because we have so many memories attached to her recipe cards. This bean one is written by one of us girls with my mom's notes and corrections written in. It's messy, but I love the memories it brings.