Chorizo Ragu with Queso Fresco Toasts
- 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 crushed or pureed tomatoes
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 9 tablespoons crema, plus more for serving
- 1 1⁄2 cups crumbled queso fresco
1Preheat the oven to 400 F. Halve the bread lengthwise.
2In 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.
3Use 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.
4Increase 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 to a simmer. Decrease the heat to medium-high and let simmer, stirring occasionally.
5While the ragu simmers, use a fork to mash or whip the butter with the crema until smooth. Mince the remaining 4 cloves garlic or use a Microplane to finely grate them, then stir the garlic into the crema mixture.
6Spread 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.
7After about 20 minutes of simmering, the ragu should have thickened up a bit and its flavors melded. Swirl in a splash of crema, then serve the ragu in bowls with cheesy toasts on the side or ladle it right over the toasts…
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