I didn't become familiar with this particular way of eating chili until we moved to Texas. There were a lot of things I did not know until I moved to Texas, really. Texas is almost like a whole other country unto itself. The culture varies throughout the state and so does the food. And boy, did I fall in love with the food! And the Dublin Dr. Pepper. I miss me some Dublin Dr. Pepper. So anyhow, I was introduced to Frito Chili Pie while we lived there. Now, I'm still not sure exactly why it's called a Pie. Maybe because of the layers it comes in on your plate? Maybe someone with some knowledge on the history of this meal can explain it to me. It is such a fun and different way to eat chili and I was immediately hooked.
Now, what a lot of folks out there like to do (and I noticed this quite a bit at football games) was to take smaller single-serving packs of Fritos and then slice them open on the side, then serve the chili right inside the packets of Fritos. Then add in additional toppings of cheese, diced onions and minced jalapeños. You just hand everyone a fork and they each have their own individual servings of Frito Chili. It makes for an easy cleanup too! So, although we no longer live in Texas, I still have meals like this one and the memories that go along with it to remind me of our time there.
2 pounds ground beef
3 small cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1-2 tbsp. chili powder (to taste)
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup water (or beef broth)
grated cheddar cheese
diced red onion
minced jalapeño peppers
minced jalapeño peppers
Note: This is a basic, thick chili recipe. If you like chili with beans, add in a can of drained and rinsed kidney beans. Also, if you have it on hand, try beef broth instead of water to give this chili and even "beefier" flavor.
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown and crumble ground beef along with onions and garlic. Drain excess grease.
Add in tomato sauce, paste, seasonings and water (or beef broth.) Stir well until combined. Give it a taste, see if it needs a bit more salt and pepper. Turn heat down to medium-low and allow mixture to simmer for at least 20 minutes.
Put a handful of Frito chips on a plate or in a bowl. Top with chili mixture. Then add on any toppings your family enjoys like shredded cheese, diced red onions, and for some spicy heat, add minced jalapeños.
Like this recipe? Check out my Frito Corn Salad!