For the beef:
- 1 tsp. vegetable or olive oil
- 1 lb. ground beef or ground sirloin
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 plum tomato, seeded, cored and diced
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- ¼ tsp. cayenne
- 1 chipotle in adobo, minced (or ½ tsp. ground chipotle powder)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
- step 1: Show Images
To make the chipotle beef, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is beginning to brown and the onion is somewhat softened, about 7-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook about 30 seconds more. Stir in the tomato, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne and chipotle. Reduce the heat and simmer about 15 minutes. (If the pan seems dry, add a bit of water to keep the mixture moist.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the lime juice. Adjust the seasonings to taste if needed.
- step 2: Show Images
Heat the oven to 375˚ F. Pour about ¾-inch of oil in a heavy skillet or the bottom of a Dutch oven. Heat the oil to 350˚ F. When the oil is hot enough, add the tortilla quarters in batches and fry, flipping once, until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and season with coarse salt.
- step 3: Show Images
In a large skillet or rimmed baking sheet, lay the chips in a single layer so that they are close but not overlapping. Top each chip with about 1 teaspoon of refried beans, 2 tablespoons chipotle beef, and 1-2 tablespoons cheddar cheese. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Once removed from the oven, top each chip with a small spoonful of guacamole, sour cream, and a pickled jalapeño slice. Serve warm with salsa and/or hot sauce.
- step 4: Show Images
- Yes, this is making your own tortilla chips. Yes, you will be tempted to go the simpler route and just buy them. I urge you to make your own for this dish. They taste better and are sturdier than the store bought variety. If you do use store bought, make sure they are thick so that they can withstand the awesomeness that is these nachos.
- If you do make your own chips, use whatever oil you prefer. I use refined coconut oil – healthier than vegetable or canola oil, but because it is refined, it doesn’t have a noticeable coconut flavor.
- For best results, always use freshly shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese comes coated in things such as flour, cornstarch to prevent clumping and results in an unpleasant, gritty texture when melted.