Chorizo Ragu with Queso Fresco Toasts

This Mexican chorizo and beef ragu with queso fresco toasts from star chef Aarón Sánchez is a delicious spin on your usual comfort food.

Chef Sánchez shared the recipe to help us celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, and also clued us into some of the most common people make when cooking Mexican food. Hear it straight from the chef and get more tips.

Then make this dish on repeat to keep you warm all season long. The rich ragu pairs perfectly with the crunchy, creamy, cheesy toasts, but you could also serve the sauce over noodles for a Mex-Itali pasta, or wrap it up in tortillas for tacos, burritos, or enchiladas. Use leftover ragu for the best nachos ever (sprinkle extra crema and queso on top).

Ingredients

  • 3 bolillo-style rolls or 1 long baguette
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 8 ounces white or baby Bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1⁄4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 (10-ounce) package pork chorizo
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of crushed or pureed tomatoes
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 9 tablespoons crema, plus more for serving
  • 1 1⁄2 cups crumbled queso fresco

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Halve the bread lengthwise.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and salt, then cook stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just starting to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Mince 2 cloves of garlic and add them to the pot with the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes more.
  3. Use your spoon to push the vegetables to the edges of the pan, then add the tomato paste, oregano, and cumin to the center of the pan and sauté until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Increase the heat to high and add the beef and the chorizo. Break the meat up with your spoon but don’t over stir. When the beef is no longer pink, pour in the tomatoes and bring them to a simmer. Decrease the heat to medium-high and let simmer, stirring occasionally.
  5. While the ragu simmers, use a fork to mash or whip the butter with the cream until smooth. Mince the remaining 4 cloves of garlic or use a Microplane to finely grate them, then stir the garlic into the cream mixture.
  6. Spread the crema mixture evenly over the bread, trying to cover as much area as possible. Sprinkle the crumbled queso fresco all over and place on a rimmed baking sheet, cheese side up. Toast for 4 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. If you’d like, finish it under the broiler for 30 to 60 seconds for deeper browning. Cut the bread into individual portions.
  7. After about 20 minutes of simmering, the ragu should have thickened up a bit and its flavors melded. Swirl in a splash of cream, then serve the ragu in bowls with cheesy toasts on the side or ladle it right over the toasts.

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