Build your nachos in a sheet pan so that each chip ends up evenly smothered with saucy meat, two kinds of cheese (stretchy and melted, crumbled and fresh), creamy avocado and crisp scallions.
At the heart of this dish is bricklayer-style beef, a beloved taco filling made with tender beef, salty bacon and sometimes chorizo in a chunky fire-roasted salsa. Once a common snack available near construction sites in central Mexico, it saw its popularity extend beyond those street food stands into homes and restaurants. One taste and you’ll understand why.
• 2 pounds ripe Roma tomatoes or 2 (15-ounce) cans fire-roasted tomatoes
• 8 ounces thick-cut bacon, thinly sliced
• 8 ounces fresh Mexican chorizo, casing removed, coarsely chopped
• 1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin, excess fat removed, meat cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• Kosher or sea salt, and black pepper
• 1 1/2 cups medium white onions, halved and slivered
• 1-2 jalapeños or serrano chiles, halved, deseeded if desired, and sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1-1 1/2 pounds store-bought or homemade tortilla chips
• 3 cups shredded Mexican melty cheese, like Oaxaca, Asadero or quesadilla, or even Monterey Jack or mozzarella
• 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted and finely chopped
• 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
• 8 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
If using fresh tomatoes, place them on a small baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Place them under the broiler for 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through, until charred, mushy and juices have begun to run. Remove from heat. Once cool enough to handle, chop them without discarding any of the juices, seeds or charred skin.
Heat a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it browns slightly and renders some of its fat, 3-4 minutes.
Add the chorizo to the bacon, and cook, breaking the sausage into smaller pieces using a wooden spoon as it begins to brown and crisp, 3-4 minutes.
Add the beef, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring a couple times, until it begins to brown, about 4 minutes.
Incorporate the onion and jalapeño and cook until they begin to wilt, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant but not browned, less than 1 minute.
Stir in the fresh or canned chopped tomatoes with their juices and cook over high, stirring occasionally, until saucy, 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Set the rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400 degrees. Place all the tortilla chips in a half sheet pan or large baking sheet in an even layer.
Cover the chips with the bricklayer meat mixture and all of its chunky salsa. Cover with the shredded cheese.
Bake until cheese has completely melted, about 8-10 minutes.
Garnish with the avocado, crumbled queso fresco and scallions.
Total time: 1 hour, serves 6-8.
The beef can be prepared ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days. Reheat before assembling nachos.