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The Ultimate Steak Nachos

When I went to school in Seattle, I was introduced to the glorious gift of Matador Happy Hour Nachos. This was a huge mountain of nachos covered with every delicious topping you can imagine, and it was only $5. It was a ritual for us to end the day with a trip to the Matador at 10pm. Some of my favorite memories included friends sitting in those booths laughing and talking over a beautiful plate of nachos that made your hands so messy but your heart so happy.

I have been out of Seattle for six years now and the one thing I miss most about being in a city is the good Happy Hour food. In order to compensate for that deep longing, I have been working on recreating my favorite foods in our own kitchen. After many years, I think I can finally say I have my ultimate Matador nachos recreated in Central Montana, topped with our very own grass fed sirloin steak.

Can you say yummy, yummy, yummy in the way that J. Biebs does when you get a taste of these?

These nachos have everything: homemade queso, melted colby jack, pico de gallo, roasted corn, black beans, and enough cilantro and lime to go on for days. It's all baked and then broiled nicely in the oven to make everything hot and crispy.

The best part is, not only am I feeding my cravings, but Tye and the kids love nacho night. It's messy, it's noisy, it's silly, and by the end of it we are all full, happy, and wishing we had more room in our stomachs for one more bite.

This recipe takes a good bit of prepping but the prepwork is easy and so worth it. I have even made some of the toppings the day before and had them ready to go when the time comes to put the nachos together. I also recently discovered the beauty of homemade queso. Most recipes I kept finding used American cheese and I couldn't get on that train. Really I think queso can be made with any good cheese. I've made it with sharp cheddar, colby jack, and white cheddar. Regardless, it's delicious.

Matador, you might have to watch out. Moccasin Mountain Beef Nachos might put up a fight for best nachos in the nation.



sirloin steak

tortilla chips

2 cups colby jack cheese

2 cups frozen or fresh corn

1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and dried

sour cream



pico de gallo




3 avocados, peeled, pitted, mashed

1 tsp salt

1/2 lime

1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 TBS sour cream

2 TBS fresh chopped cilantro


2 TBS butter

1 TBS flour

1/2 cup whole milk

2 cups colby jack mix shredded cheese

pinch of salt

1 tsp chopped cilantro

1 4 oz can of chopped green chiles

1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes


2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup finely chopped onion ( I use whatever I have on hand but I prefer sweet onion)

1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 big squeeze of lime

pinch of salt

NOTE: Read the instructions ahead of time before you begin. Some of the steps require time.


1. Heat your grill to high. Preheat your oven to 350.

2.Brush steaks generously with oil, season with salt and pepper an hour before and allow your steak to come to room temperature.

3. Guac - mash your avocado, salt and lime in a bowl. Stir in your tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, onion, and garlic. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

4. Queso - melt your butter in a small skillet over medium low heat. Next, add flour and stir with a whisk. Slowly add milk while continuing to stir until it's mixed well. Now add your colby jack. Keep stirring until your cheese is melted and little bubbles are starting to form. Add salt, cilantro, green chiles, tomatoes and stir until mixed. Once everything is hot and bubbly, turn down the heat to low to keep warm while your prep everything else.

5. In a small skillet over medium heat cook your corn until it turns a golden brown and starts to pop. I use cast irons so I don't need to use any oil but if you don't have one add a little bit of butter to prevent sticking. Set aside.

5. Pico de Gallo - add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate. This is one of the toppings that is good to make a day ahead. The flavors really pop the longer they hang out together.

6. Place your steaks on grill. Cook until slightly charred and golden brown -- 4-5 minutes. Flip to the other side and cook until the internal temperature reads desired doneness. We like medium rare so our temp is 135 degrees, (medium -140 degrees) (medium well - 150 degrees). Transfer your steaks to plate or cutting board and cover loosely with foil. Let sit for 10 minutes. Once it sits, slice your steak thinly against the grain, then chop your slices into bite size pieces.

7. Place one layer of tortilla chips down on cast iron (if you don't have a cast iron you can use a cook sheet). Sprinkle a generous amount of colby jack, top with about 1/3 of the steak bites, then drizzle 1/3 of your queso. Place another layer of chips and repeat the same process. I make 3 layers. Once you reach your last layer dump your beans and corn on top and place in oven.

8. Let cook until cheese has melted all the way through (usually takes 8 minutes). Once cheese has melted switch oven to broil and let cook for no more than five minutes. Keep an eye on it because some broilers work differently. I let mine broil until the top layer of chips start browning and then I pull them out.

9. Top with pico de gallo, remaining queso, sour cream and gauc. WARNING: YOU WILL GET MESSY. But what are nachos without a little bit of mess? Pair with a nice cold beverage.



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