Nothing says Texas like frito pie. Indeed, this dish was the subject of much curiosity some months back when a birthday outing to the garishly themed Cowgirl restaurant had us all eating it right out of the bag. My suitemates who had the misfortune to grow up outside of the former Republic of Texas were awed by its savory, salty complexity. I merely reveled in the ability to eat this delicacy outside of my native land.
This brings us to our next recipe friends, Frito Pie! Brought to us by that most marvelous of Texas transplants, The Homesick Texan. Trapped in Manhattan, she makes all the food people outside of Texas have no idea that they’re missing. Fools.
Frito Pie, slight adapted from the Homesick Texan
2 lbs ground beef
6 ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed, and cut into pieces
2 onions, diced (reserve 1 for topping)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup water
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
shredded cheddar cheese, for topping
1 bag fritos
Step 1: In a skillet, heat the chile pieces about a minute per side. Turn off heat and fill pan with water. Allow chiles to soak about 30 minutes.
Step 2: In a large pot cook onions in oil until translucent (about 10 min). Add garlic and cook for another minute. Place onions and garlic in a blender.
Step 3: Drain chiles and add to blender. Add cumin, oregano, clove, cinnamon, and 1 cup of water to blender. Blend until smooth.
Step 4:Form the meat into small balls, and brown for 10 minutes in same pot. Add chile puree and enough water to cover meat. Heat until boiling and then simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.
Step 5: Season with salt, pepper, and lime. Cook 15 more minutes. Serve over fritos topped with cheese and diced onions.