Please the crowds: how to make Frito Pie
Frito Pie. If you’re not from the South or Midwest, you may be new to this charming culinary creation. Welcome to comfort food at its finest.
It’s as simple and delightful as the name implies; at its essence, Frito Pie is beef chili served over Fritos. Need we say more? Optional ingredients include shredded cheese, vegetables, sour cream, and jalepenos. “Walking tacos” or “Frito boats” are variations that return the mix to a single serving Frito bag for consumption.
The exact origins of the Frito Pie are predictably contentious, with both New Mexico and Texas claiming credit as far back as the 1930’s. Texas, however, has elevated Frito Pie to its current status in food fame. You’ll see Frito Pie across the state at sports concession stands and restaurant menus. Indeed, Frito Pie has found its way onto menus all over the country, including this $3 doozie at our local Lone Star Taco Bar.
Our Frito Pie recipe comes from Richard Tufton: beef expert, Verde Farms rep, and British transplant to Austin, TX. Think you’re too sophisticated for Frito Pie? Trust Richard, an Eton-educated Freeman of the City of London and Liveryman in the Worshipful Company of Butchers (seriously) – this dish is “brilliant.” Learn how to make Frito Pie below and get happy for dinner tonight.
An easy dish to whip up for the drama of a football game or, say, a presidential election. And of course, always use Verde Farms grass-fed ground beef for the tastiest experience.
Tufton Family Frito Pie
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 half yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 lb Verde Farms 93/7 lean grass-fed ground beef (yum)
Vegetables of choice (if you’re into that kind of thing)
1 jar tomato basil sauce
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Fresh thyme, oregano and cilantro from the garden (you must have a garden to make Frito Pie)
1 large bag of Fritos (2 for a higher Frito-to-beef ratio)
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat
Add garlic and onions and cook until they begin to brown
Add bell peppers, cook until soft
Add Verde Farms grass-fed ground beef and brown whilst stirring
Add the jar of tomato basil sauce
Add any extra veg, thyme and oregano; mix together and simmer for 5 mins.
Add the spices and tomato paste. Stir and leave to simmer on low heat.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile: mash avocado into guacamole texture.
Pour 3/4 bag of Fritos in a flat bowl. Pour the beef chili mix on top (remove sprigs of thyme and oregano), add dollop of sour cream, scoop of avocado and sprinkle Greek feta over the dish. Add Fritos around perimeter of the bowl. Finish with cilantro on top.
Served perfectly alongside a Longhorn win on game day. #gohorns
Chef credit @texastufton / instagram: anniemariec