Fancy Frito Pie

Since it’s getting a little cooler, John and I were thinking of dining on something warm and comforting.  And well what’s more comforting than chili?  Besides mac and cheese, which I will make next weekend!

I had never eaten Frito pie before, but John, a connoisseur of all things chili got to explaining what it was.  Spices, onion, beef, cheese and Fritos – no problem!  After some research, I found a few recipes that I combined, influences from Texas, Missouri, and Ohio. This perticular chili, has beans and plenty of spices, but the heat is medium, and subtle – nothing the sour cream can’t temper!

Oh and the reason it’s “fancy” as John says…I use cubed beef instead of ground.  And I put everything together instead of buying a seasoning packet.

Fancy Frito Pie – 6 generous servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 pounds beef (bottom round), trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
6 ounce can tomato paste (or 1/2 cup)
28 ounce can of diced tomatoes in liquid
2 cups beef stock
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 family size bag of Frito corn chips
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
Red pepper flakes, for garnishing
Pickled jalapeno slices, drained, for garnishing

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, over medium heat. Add the onions, 1 teaspoon salt, and cayenne. Stir and cook until onions are softened and golden.

Season the cubed beef with remaining teaspoon salt, and add to the saucepan. Cook until the beef is browned evenly on all sides. Add the tomato paste, mix well. Add the canned diced tomatoes, beef stock, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and beans. Stir well and bring to a boil, uncovered, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 2 hours.

To serve you layer the items: In individual bowls, place a handful of Fritos (about 1 oz) , top with 1/2 cup of chili, some cheese, another handful of Fritos, 1/2 cup of chili, some cheese, a tablespoon of sour cream, and serve the pickled jalapenos and red pepper flakes on the side so your guest can adjust the heat to their individual bowl.

Another easy way to serve: Fritos scoops – fill a bowl with Frito scoops, chili, top with cheese, sour cream!

Don’t forget to serve with a spoon and thoroughly enjoy!

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