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Chef Tim Hollingsworth assembles the perfect bite of nacho, balancing diced beef cubes with just a touch each of fresh pico de gallo and guacamole.

Pro Tip: If marinating the beef before the day you assemble the nachos, prepare the pico de gallo up to three days in advance and the guacamole on the day you plan to serve the final dish.


For the pico de gallo:
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (about 1 large or 2 medium)
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
For the guacamole:
  • 2 large avocados
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • ¼ red onion, minced
  • 1 to 2 limes, juiced
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Cayenne
For the nachos:
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 bunch thyme, chopped
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • One 2-pound beef tri-tip roast
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bag tortilla chips (8 to 10 ounces)
  • 8 ounces sliced cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces sliced Monterey Jack cheese
  • Sour cream
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, for garnish


Serves: 4


For the nachos, marinate the beef: In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, onion, garlic, thyme, vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne and red pepper flakes. Add the beef, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 3 days. 

For the pico de gallo, in a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Season to taste with salt. 

For the guacamole, in a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. 

Prepare a two-stage grill with high and medium-low sides. Season the beef with salt and pepper, place on the hot side of the grill and sear, turning once, until charred on both sides, about 3 minutes a side. Move the meat to the medium-low side of the grill and continue grilling, turning the meat over every 10 minutes or so, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat reaches 140°F for medium, about 35 to 40 minutes total. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes before cutting into ½-inch dice. (You will have leftover beef; start by cutting about 2 cups’ worth and reserve the rest for another use.)

Working in batches, arrange the chips on an oven-safe baking dish or a microwave safe plate. Top each chip with half a slice each of cheddar and Monterey Jack. Microwave the nachos at full power just until the cheese melts, 30 to 45 seconds. Top each chip with a piece or two of beef, a dollop each of guacamole and sour cream and a spoonful of pico de gallo. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and serve.