One Saturday evening we had planned to have beefy nachos for dinner using some of the wonderful vine ripened tomatoes we had. I was still in my pajamas with uncombed hair at 5 pm. It was a lazy day. I was searing ground beef when the phone rang. My P.S. and I both realized by looking at caller ID that we’d forgotten we had dinner plans. Oh oh.
While my P.S. jumped into the shower, I dumped the beef into a slow cooker, added seasonings and tomatoes, and set it on high. It could cook and perfect itself for 3 hours on its own. We would have our beefy nachos the next night.
Returning home to the smell of Mexican seasoned beef was usually charming, but not on a full stomach. I let it cool then refrigerated it for the next evening.
I started by heating the beef again and chopping some tomatoes.
I was cutting up a large beefsteak tomato when my P.S. squealed that it should have been used for sandwiches. I reminded him we had so many tomatoes we were to the point of eating them as they approached over-ripeness and this tomato was in danger of getting to that point.
We had handfuls of pear tomatoes that I thought would be a nice color contrast to the deep red tomatoes so I halved a handful of those for each nacho plate as well.
I layered out tortilla chips then covered them with the seasoned beef. We usually like the cheese spread over the meat so it melted a little, but I forgot. Instead I spread the diced green onions on top of the meat.
The red tomatoes and pear tomatoes were layered next. They’re just so colorful and fresh I couldn’t wait to dig in!
Next I spread roughly chopped lettuce over the plates, then drizzled salsa over them and added a couple of tablespoons of sour cream.
When I was adding some cucumber slices I thought would be a fresh touch around the outsides, I remembered the shredded cheese and spread it over the top. Our mountains of nachos were ready to eat.
My P.S. decided it was more salad-like and used a fork along with the chips to eat his nacho plate. I like the addition of lettuce even though it’s not usually on a nacho plate. I often add some black beans as well, but this time I left them off.
It’s a good time of year to enjoy nachos with the tomatoes in season. Sometimes I use seasoned shredded pork or beef I’ve made in the crockpot and frozen in portions to make them a fast meal. They’re fast to thaw in the microwave while I chop tomatoes and green onions. Making the ground beef in the slow cooker made me laugh and decide the dish should be renamed “slow-chos”.
Crockpot Beefy Nachos
1 ½ lbs ground beef (I used 90% lean)
1 cup tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano (or use regular oregano and a pinch of cayenne)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a skillet heated over medium high heat, brown ground beef until caramelized in spots for the best flavor. Transfer to slow cooker or crockpot and add rest of ingredients. Set on high for 3 hours.
Test for taste, adding salt and pepper as desired.
Use immediately or refrigerate and heat later to use.
sliced green onions
shredded cheddar or cheese of choice
Layer chips onto a plate, then top with rest of ingredients.