Black Bean Nachos with Red Chile Beef

  • Serves

    serves 8


This recipe came from a Houston institution, Cafe Annie, which helped put Southwestern cuisine on the map.


  • 9 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 12 cups chicken broth
  • 18 tsp. cumin seeds, lightly toasted
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. skirt steak, finely chopped
  • 14 lb. Mexican chorizo, casing removed, finely crumbled
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 12 lb. dried black beans, picked through and rinsed
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 dried ancho chile, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo
  • 2 tbsp. peanut oil, plus more for frying
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro, plus 16 sprigs
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. walnut oil
  • 2 avocados, peeled and cubed
  • 1 serrano chile, finely chopped
  • 16 (6") corn tortillas, each cut into 4 long triangles
  • 2 cups grated monterey jack cheese
  • 1 13 cups crème fraîche
  • 12 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 4-7 jalapeños, thinly sliced


Step 1

Toast guajillo chiles on a baking sheet in a 350° oven for 5 minutes. Soak in warm water until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain. Purée chiles, broth, cumin, 2 cloves garlic, bay leaf, and salt. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown steak and chorizo in 2 batches, about 5 minutes each. Drain. Return to skillet with purée; simmer on medium-low until thick, about 15 minutes. Chill.

Step 2

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until just crisp, 6–7 minutes. Transfer to a pot; reserve fat. Add remaining garlic, black beans, half the tomatoes and onions, ancho and chipotle chiles, and 5 cups water; bring to a boil. Simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered, until soft, about 2 1⁄2 hours. Let cool. Purée beans. Heat 2 tbsp. peanut oil and reserved bacon fat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry bean purée until thick, 8–10 minutes. Season with salt.

Step 3

Mix remaining onions, remaining tomatoes, chopped cilantro, lime juice, walnut oil, avocados, serrano chiles, and salt to make an avocado relish. Pour peanut oil into a pot to a depth of 2"; heat to 350° on a deep-fry thermometer. Fry tortillas until crisp, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels; sprinkle with salt.

Step 4

Preheat broiler. Heat beef and beans. Divide chips between baking sheets; top each chip with beans, beef, and monterey jack; broil briefly to melt. Top each nacho with avocado relish, crème fraîche, cotija, jalapeño, and cilantro sprigs.

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