Texas is synonymous with barbecue—and the unsung hero of any Southern menu is, without a doubt, the Frito pie. For the uninitiated, the traditional dish made of chili, cheese, and corn chips (read: Fritos) and occasionally topped with salsa, refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, and jalapeños is basically a glorified, saltier version of nachos, but that doesn't make it any less delicious or heavily addicting.
The crème de la crème of the inspired creation—the origins of which are unknown—can be found at Lamberts Downtown Barbecue in Austin, Texas, an upscale barbecue restaurant that serves up fresh takes on classic fare. "The Frito pie epitomizes what Lamberts is all about: taking a beloved thing and elevating its awesomeness with the quality of ingredients and fancy technique," says executive chef and co-owner Larry McGuire.
Read on for the recipe, which will draw crowds from near and far at South by Southwest this weekend.
1 cup Fritos
3/4 cup chopped beef (smoked brisket and BBQ sauce, 3:1 ratio)
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated jack cheese
1/4 cup Lone Star chevre
1/2 cup queso
1 tablespoon pico de gallo
How to Make It
1. Put Fritos on an oven-proof plate. Top with chopped beef and sprinkle with cheddar, jack, and chevre cheese.
2. Place in a 350°F oven for 3-5 minutes until melted.
3. Spoon hot queso over the plate and garnish with fresh pico de gallo, cilantro leaves, and pickled jalapeño.
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