Cast Iron Mexican Layer Dip
Why This Recipe Works
While cool and creamy seven-layer dip holds lots of appeal, we wanted to heat things up and make a sizzling-hot take on this classic that was layered with beans and spicy ground meat, plus a variety of fresh toppings. We also wanted to keep this ultimate appetizer simple, not fussy. For ease and simplicity, we used the cast-iron skillet for every step of the cooking process, from sautéing on the stovetop, to baking in the oven, to serving. We really wanted the meat layer to pack a punch, so instead of simply using browned ground beef, we created a bold mixture by using ground pork seasoned with tomato paste, chipotle chile powder, garlic, oregano, and cumin. On its own, the seasoned pork was slightly dry, so we moistened it with a little chicken broth and incorporated some shredded Monterey Jack cheese to produce a saucy, cheesy, meaty mixture. We then briefly removed the meat from the skillet so we could create the base for our dip by simmering pinto beans with chicken broth and then mashing them to a smooth, scoopable consistency. When the meat mixture was layered back in the pan, our dip was ready to go into the oven to bake until hot. Once it was out of the oven, we finished the dish with assorted fresh garnishes for a colorful final presentation. Our dip might not have seven layers, but it definitely has more than enough flavor for your next fiesta.