1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ cups onion, diced
1 ½ tablespoons garlic, minced
1 ½ pounds lean ground beef (90/10)
1 14-5-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 pint half and half
1 ½ pounds sliced white American cheese
8 ounce package NY sharp cheddar, shredded (we like Cracker Barrel)
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
24 or more jarred hot pickled jalapeño slices, see notes below
Tortilla chips to serve with finished dip
In a medium pot over medium heat, add oil and onions and cook two minutes. Add garlic and the ground beef and cook, breaking up the beef. Cook until no longer pink.
Add the canned tomatoes including the juice, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and oregano and on a medium simmer, cook ten minutes. Remove from heat.
In a larger pot, heat half and half over medium heat and once hot, slowly add the American and cheddar a little at a time, stirring as you go. Keep adding until all of the cheese has melted in. A non-stick pan is best for this.
Add in the drained green chilis and stir.
Place the 24 or more pickled jalapeno slices in a small food processor or blender and puree until smooth. (Add a few spoonfuls of the chili to the blender or food processor just to bring the volume up high enough for the blades to reach, if necessary.) Then pour the contents into the queso and stir.
Pour the chili into the queso, leaving out any excess liquid or fat that settled from the chili.
Stir and serve warm with tortilla chips.
24 pureed slices of the jarred pickled jalapeños was the perfect heat for this dish. However if you like it hotter, feel free to puree more than 24 slices (or less if you prefer).
If serving in a bowl, the mixture thickens to a perfect consistency as it cools. If serving warmed in a slow cooker, the mixture will be a little thinner because the cheese stays hotter. Feel free to add a little more American or cheddar cheese as needed to keep the queso thick while hot.
Keywords: queso, cheese, beef