Photo by Hispanic Kitchen

Chile Morita Beef Nachos With Spicy Queso

Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6 servings

Have you heard about Morita chile?


This smoky and spicy pepper is just like the chipotle, just a bit darker with slightly softer skin. One of the best ways to incorporate Morita chile into a recipe is in cooked salsa.


For this recipe, we've decided to use salsa as the braising liquid for our slow-cooker version of carne guisada. Served with a big bowl of nachos and spicy queso sauce, this recipe will make a great addition to the Game Day menu or for a weekend movie night.


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  1. In a skillet, preheat (2 minutes) 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium/high heat. Add the beef and season with one teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder. Toss to combine and cook until the beef browns nicely. Add the onions, garlic, and serrano and cook for three more minutes. Transfer to slow cooker; add 5 cups of water, bouillon, and bay leaves. Cover and turn the heat to high.
  2. In a saucepan, add the tomatoes, tomatillos, and chile Morita. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ingredients to the blender. Add 1/3 cup of the cooking water, cover, and blend on high until smooth. Pour blended salsa into the slow cooker—season with cumin, oregano, and salt to taste. Keep covered and continue cooking for 4 hours on high.
  3. While beef is cooking, in a separate saucepan, heat the three tablespoons of butter to medium heat. Once the butter melts, whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook, whisking as needed, for one minute. Add the red chile pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the room temperature milk. Cook, often whisking, until sauce becomes thick, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the hot sauce and chile lemon powder. Remove from heat and stir the shredded cheese until the sauce is smooth. Set aside. If it's not soft, heat on low and stir until smooth.
  4. Once the beef is tender and seasoned to your liking, reheat the spicy queso until melted and creamy. You can plate the nachos on a big serving platter layered with spicy queso, chile Morita beef, fresh salsa, and garnishes. Or, for smaller parties, you can let your guest serve them in individual bowls and tops as desired.

Chef Notes

After the beef has cooked, if the chile Morita sauce is too thin, whisk one tablespoon of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of cold water until smooth. While beef is still cooking, stir it into the slow cooker until well incorporated. Cook on high for another 30 minutes.

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