Nachos are kinda like pizza: even when they’re bad, they’re still pretty awesome. If you’re hungry enough (or in college enough), even a microwaved plate of tortilla chips topped with packaged shredded cheddar is a satisfying snack.
But great nachos are a thing of true beauty. The crunch of the tortilla chips, the freshness of cilantro and pico de gallo, the creaminess of the guacamole and sour cream, all bound together with slowly solidifying melted cheese makes for a textural playground of intense flavor.
This recipe – excerpted from Matt More’s cookbook, The South’s Best Butts – really takes things to the next level with smoked brisket. Do your inner college kid a favor and make them this weekend. Or right now.
For the nachos
- 2 (16-ounce) cans Seasoned pinto beans, drained
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 1/2 cups shredded brisket
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup taco sauce
- 1/4 cup meat drippings from brisket or beef broth
- 1 (9oz) package round tortilla chips
- 1 (8-ounce) block Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 3 1/2 cups pico de gallo (recipe below)
- Optional Toppings: guacamole, sour cream, pickled jalapeño, fresh cilantro
For the pico de gallo
- 6 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
To assemble the nachos
- 1 Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- 2 Cook the first four ingredients and 1⁄2 cup water in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally, over medium-low for 5 to 7 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
- 3 Heat the brisket in hot oil in a large skillet over medium, stirring often, for 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
- 4 Stir in the taco sauce and the pan drippings; cook 2 minutes.
- 5 Divide the chips, bean mixture, brisket mixture, cheese, and 1 cup of the pico de gallo among three pie plates.
- 6 Bake at 425°F for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately with the remaining pico de gallo and desired toppings.
To make the pico de gallo
- 1 Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl (makes 3 1/2 cups).