Food & Drink

Frito Pie With Venison Chili, Fancy Cheeses And Texas Pico

Serves: 6 to 8

This Texan treat is dressed up with venison, but you can use beef, too. The caciotta (or Monterey jack) and goat cheeses add sophistication to the flavor, and the Texas pico makes a colorful finish. This recipe is from "The Texas Cowboy Kitchen," by Grady Spears and June Naylor (Andrews McMeel, $19.95).


4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 red onion, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 pounds coarsely ground venison or diced boneless quail meat

1 cup red chili sauce (See recipe below)

1 tablespoon pure chili powder (ancho or New Mexico is good)

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped

3 cups chicken stock

Kosher salt

To assemble:

1 large (16-ounce) bag of Fritos

Texas pico (See recipe below)

2 cups shredded caciotta or Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup crumbled goat cheese

2 cups sour cream


Prepare the chili by heating the oil in a stew pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until soft. Add the venison and cook until starting to brown, stirring as necessary. Add the red chili sauce, chili powder, oregano, cumin and tomatoes. Stir well to combine. Cook for five minutes, then lower the heat to a simmer and add the stock. Simmer the chili, uncovered, for 45 minutes to one hour. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Season with salt to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to assemble the Frito pie.

Assemble Frito pies by piling the Fritos into serving bowls. Top with hot chili, pico and cheeses. Drizzle with sour cream.