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Frito Pie

  • Yield: 8 servings.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 pounds beef bottom round, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes and their liquid
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dried red beans, picked over, rinsed, cooked in salted water to cover until tender, drained, and cooled
  • Eight 1 1/4-ounce bags Frito corn chips
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeño slices, drained


  • In a large, heavy pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, season with 1 teaspoon of the salt and the cayenne, and cook, stirring, until they are wilted and golden, about 4 minutes.
  • Season the beef with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and add to the pot. Cook, stirring, until the beef is browned evenly on all sides, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, beef broth, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes, and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender, about 2 hours. Skim off the fat that rises to the surface.
  • Open each bag of corn chips and remove half of the chips. Spoon 1/2 cup of the chili and 1 tablespoon of the cheese into each bag. Return the remaining chips to each bag and add another 1/2 cup of the chili, another tablespoon of the cheese, 1 tablespoon of the sour cream, and 1 tablespoon of the jalapeño to each one. Eat right out of the bag.