These Cheesy, Meaty Nachos Are so Dreamy

In this series, our Head Chef Elana Karp shares the recipes for dishes she’s dreamed about.

Sometimes (read: all the time) I wake up dreaming about food. Last night, it was nachos. My friend was having people over to watch football, and the world’s best nachos seemed like a must-bring. After a lot of research on the best type of chips and topping ratios, I came up with this recipe. And it totally lived up to the dream version.

Serves 6–8
Tostitos restaurant style tortilla chips
1 pound chuck or brisket
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 bottle lager style beer
2 avocados
1 lime
Cholula hot sauce
1 red onion
¼ cup sour cream
1 cup salsa (mild, medium, or hot depending on preference)
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (note: must be hand-shredded for optimal meltability)
2 jalapenos


Brown Beef:

Cut beef into 1-inch cubes and season with ½ teaspoon salt and as much black pepper as desired. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a medium pot over medium heat. When oil is shimmering add beef and cook until browned outside, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and drain off fat.

Braise Beef:

Return beef to pan and sprinkle over spice mix and brown sugar. Stir to coat and cook for 1 minute. Pour over beer and scrape up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Add diced tomatoes and increase heat to medium high. Once sauce is bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low and cover pot. Simmer for 30 minutes and then uncover. Continue to cook uncovered until beef is fork-tender, about 30 minutes more.

Prepare Avocado:

While beef braises, halve avocado and discard pit. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out flesh, discarding skin. Halve lime. In a medium bowl combine juice of 1 lime, a few dashes of hot sauce, and avocados, mashing with the back of a fork. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare Remaining Toppings:

Peel onion and mince half. Thinly slice jalapeno. Shred cheddar cheese.

Prepare Nachos:

Turn oven to broil of 450 degrees F. Using 2 forks, shred beef and return to sauce. Arrange tortilla chips in a single layer on a baking sheet. (You may need 2-3 baking sheets to ensure maximum cheese coverage). Sprinkle over red onion and shredded cheddar cheese. Place in oven until cheese has melted. Scatter beef over and return to oven for 3-5 minutes to warm through.

Serve Nachos:

Pile nachos high on a platter. Spoon avocado, salsa, and sour cream over top. Garnish with jalapeno and serve!

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