With the Rams coming back home and once again giving Angelenos a sense of place and belonging in pro football fandom, it’s more important than ever to rep L.A. proudly in all aspects of your Super Bowl watching experience. And that includes your snacks, which—if you’re doing the Big Game right—means a giant tray of multi-thousand calorie nachos. Plus, everyone’s always telling you to “eat local,” you might as well start like this. Think of it as “culturally local.” Also, we just really wanted an excuse to make Animal Style nachos because that seemed like a great idea. Rams Super Bowl champs 2017 wooooooooo! (please trade up and draft a QB).
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 bag of corn chips (Your choice!)
1/2 lb ground beef
2 Tbsp yellow mustard
6 slices American cheese
1/4 cup-ish of Thousand Island
1 large white onion
A pickle, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Here’s what to do:
1) First, dice up that onion as fine as you can. Heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed sautée pan (or sauce pot, whatever works for you) on medium heat, and once it moves freely and starts to shimmer, add in those onions and season with a pinch of salt. Stir constantly on medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until some caramelization forms and the onions get nice and browned. I know, I know, “real caramelized onions take at least 45 minutes,” you may be tempted to say. We’re going for In-N-Out caramelized, not Ludo caramelized right here. Take the onions off the heat and reserve for later.
2) Form that 1/2 lb of ground beef into thin-as-humanly-possible patties. You could just sautée the ground beef, but you really want to get all the flat top caramelization that you can. Something, something, Maillard reactions, right? Heat a (preferrably) cast iron pan on high heat—really blast it—and and add in 1 tsp of vegetable oil. While the oil is heating up, schmear some yellow mustard on one side of the raw beef patties. Seems weird right? But if you look to Animal-Style tradition, you’ll remember that In-N-Out “mustard fries” their patties. When the oil starts to smoke (after 3 or 4 minutes most likely) throw the patties in, mustard-side down. After four or five minutes (or until a deep crust forms) flip the patties and repeat the process. Let the burgers rest for at least 5 minutes, then chop them into tiny cubes and reserve.
3) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and start assembling those nachos. Lay out a hefty layer of corn chips in the center of a heat-proof pan. I used a cast iron skillet because it is both impervious to heat and conveniently photogenic. Top those chips with all 6 slices of American cheese (you could use cheddar in theory, but just know that you would be spitting on every value that In-N-Out stands for), diced up burger patties, and caramelized onions. Pop them in the oven for five or six minutes or until all the processed, neon yellow cheese is nice and melty.
4) Decorate your beautiful nacho platter with liberal squirts of Thousand Island (or if you can get your hands on real-deal Spread, do that) and thin slices of pickle. Put them in your mouth. Watch football.