Howdy folks, and thanks for stopping by the website! I’m a big fan of loaded cheese fries, but we’re always looking for ways to cowboy up a recipe and make it better. That’s how we came up with this recipe. Loaded tater tots smothered with a smoky cheese sauce and covered in brisket and bacon. We’re taking all the elements of loaded fries, adding some flavor and pouring it over some crispy tater tots.
Start by Melting the Cheese Sauce
Melt about a block and a half of Velveeta cheese with some creamy mozzarella cheese. Make sure you cook over medium low so we don’t scorch any of the cheese. Add butter, stirring continuously, and then add cream until you have the consistency you want.
Tip: Warm the cream before you add to the cheese. It will keep the cheese from seizing up when you add it.
When the cheese sauce is the right consistency, put it on the smoker for about 10 minutes and move on to cooking up the bacon and brisket.
Fry Up the Bacon and Leftover Beef Brisket
I’m using leftover brisket from our recent video for this. You can use any type of cooked beef that you want – when you chop it or shred it and put it in the bacon grease you want to crisp up the ends like you do with carnitas. When it’s good and crispy, stir the beef into the cheese sauce. Reserve the bacon for later.
Fry the Tater Tots
Don’t overload the fryer with tater tots – fry in batches so that the oil doesn’t cool down too much. They are done when they’re golden – remove and put over a paper towel or cloth to drain excess grease.
Tip: For unbelievable flavor, fry the tater tots in beef tallow. Take leftover beef fat from a roast or brisket and cool on medium low heat until it’s rendered.
Assemble the Loaded Tater Tots
Once the tots are drained and ready, lay them on a piece of parchment paper. Pour the cheese sauce over, then sprinkle the fried bacon bits and top with green onions.
Serve this as an appetizer or a meal, either way everyone’s going to be happy!
Loaded Cheesy Tater Tots - Cowboy Kent Rollins
- 16 oz. Velveeta cheese cubed
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese cubed
- 32 ounces heavy cream or half and half
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon chili seasoning
- 2 lbs. thick-cut bacon
- 2 poblano peppers seeded and diced
- 4 lbs. brisket rough chopped or shredded
- 4 lbs. frozen tater tots
- Beef tallow for frying or fry oil
- ¾ cup chopped green onion
- Heat the Velveeta and mozzarella cheese in a large saucepan or pot, over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. When the cheese begins to melt, add the butter and cream and continue stirring until the cheese melts and is smooth. Then stir in the chili powder and keep warm.
- In a large cast iron skillet, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet, reserving the grease, and roughly chop and set aside.
- Return to the skillet and add the poblanos to the bacon grease. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir the peppers into the cheese sauce, reserve any leftover bacon grease in the skillet.
- Return to the skillet and add the brisket. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the brisket begins to crisp on the edges, over medium-high heat. Stir the brisket into the cheese sauce.
- Preheat a smoker/grill to 350 degrees F. Place the cheese sauce on the indirect side of the smoker/grill and shut the lid. Smoke for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Meanwhile, add about 3 inches deep of beef tallow or frying oil to a deep fryer or Dutch oven and heat to 350 degrees F. Fry the tater tots in batches. Strain from the grease and place on a baking pan lined with parchment or waxed paper.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the top of the taters tots and top with bacon and green onions. Serve immediately.