I know what you're thinking, but this isn't your idea of frito pie. New Mexican frito pie uses real red chile, not Texas chili. This is so delicious, in my family it is a staple party food. It goes a long way and is a definite crowd pleaser, so give it a try! Halve or quarter the recipe if you are making this for a small family. There are variations at the bottom of the recipe that make the recipe a bit easier.
1 lb beans, prepared according to package directions
12 dried red chile pods, rinsed & stems and seeds removed
36 oz water
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp oregano
2 T flour
1 lb ground beef
1 clove garlic
1/4 c onion, chopped
1-2 bags frito chips
16 oz cheese, shredded (cheddar, mexican blend, etc)
1 head lettuce, shredded
1-2 tomatoes, diced
1. Soak chile pods in warm water until soft (~3 minutes). Rinse of remaining seeds, remove veins, and bring to boil in a saucepan of water. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Place the pods in a blender with half of the cooking liquid. Reserve the rest of the liquid. Add salt, garlic, oregano, and flour. Blend until smooth and set aside.
2. Cook onion and garlic in a skillet with vegetable oil until clear. Add ground beef and cook thoroughly. Drain. Place chile back in saucepan with cooked meat and simmer about 10 minutes or until it becomes a tomato sauce consistency. Add water (or reserved chile liquid if using pods) if needed to reach desired consistency. To assemble frito pies, place chips in a bowl and top with beans, chile, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.
Easier Variation: Instead of preparing chile as in step one, prepare chile using chile powder according to package instruction.
Easiest Variation: Instead of using chile pods or powder, use frozen prepared red chile sauce. If you are not in an area that sells this, stick to the pods or powder. Whatever you do, DO NOT use enchilada sauce. That is not the same at all!