Photo by Erin Kunkel © 2013
Richmond magazine contributor and friend, the talented Kendra Bailey Morris, graciously shared this recipe from her new book, The Southern Slow Cooker.
The Frito pie recipe is one of several recipes in the book that's perfect for fall tailgating and game-day parties. One of the great things about the slow cooker is its portability, so all you have to do is pack it up, plug it in when you get to your event and then set it on warm. With this recipe, and many others in the book (such as the hot dog chili, the beer braised po' boys, the porcupine meatballs and the country-style pork ribs with bourbon and Coke BBQ sauce), I'll make the finished dish well ahead of any event or gathering, freeze it, and then on the day of, all I have to do is warm it up in the slow cooker.
Frito Pie with Chili con Carne
- 1 teaspoon of bacon grease or vegetable oil
- 2 pounds of extra-lean ground beef
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons of chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
- 3/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 (8-ounce) cans of tomato sauce
- 1 (10-ounce) can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (such as Rotel brand), with its juice
- 2 (14-ounce) cans of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup of minced sweet onion
- Sliced pickled jalapeños
- Sour cream
- Large (14-ounce) bag of Fritos brand corn chips, or 8 (1- or 2-ounce) individual serving–size bags
Spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray.
Heat a large skillet or cast-iron pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat and add the bacon grease. Crumble in the ground beef and cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Mix in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, sugar, black pepper, and cayenne. Cook for 1 more minute.
Pour the beef mixture into the slow cooker and add the tomato sauce, tomatoes and chiles, and kidney beans. Stir well. Cover and cook on low for at least 8 hours and up to 9 hours.
To serve, spread the chips in a 9-inch by 13-inch casserole dish or divide among eight smaller bowls. Pour in the chili, then top with the cheddar, sweet onion, jalapeños, and sour cream and serve. Alternatively, cut open eight individual serving–size bags of chips, divide the chili and toppings evenly among the bags, and eat straight from the bags with a fork.
To drink: An icy-cold Lone Star lager from Texas or similar light brew
Reprinted with permission from The Southern Slow Cooker by Kendra Bailey Morris, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
Morris is the author of White Trash Gatherings: From-Scratch Cooking for Down-Home Entertaining, contributor to Better Homes and Gardens, NPR’s Kitchen Window, CNN’s Eatocracy, Saveur, Richmond Times Dispatch, the Associated Press, Washington Post and publisher of her own blog, Fatback and Foie Gras. She also hosts a cooking segment for the Virginia Farm Bureau's television show, Real Virginia, a monthly show aired on the Community Idea Stations or Comcast Channel 95, featuring Virginia's local farms, food, products and wine.