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ManchesterChef: nacho cheese recipe by Pico’s Tacos

A kilo of luscious, velvety cheese sauce courtesy of Pico’s Tacos for the ultimate TV snack? Yes please.

Who can resist a heap of nachos bathed in rich cheese sauce, with guac and jalapeños and sour cream? It’s the ultimate finger food – and the perfect TV snack.

If you want to up your game when it comes to nachos, we’ve got just the thing, courtesy of Pico’s Tacos in Mackie Mayor, which is run by the talented Luc Egret and Laura Howells. We believe they do the best Mexican food in Manchester – and now you can try it for yourself at home.

All you need, equipment-wise, is a couple of pans and a whisk. And all that whisking surely counts as a workout, right..?

“This is what we bathe our nachos in, serve as queso fundido when the mood hits, and sneak into dirty staff tacos when we’re peckish,” says Luc.

They get through a whopping 50k a week of the stuff at Mackie Mayor. This adapted recipe, which Laura reckons is her “greatest achievement”, makes just under a kilo of their velvety cheese sauce, which will keep for a week. If it lasts that long.


  • 1 x tin evaporated milk (410g)
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 11g Salt
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 8g onion powder
  • 8g garlic powder
  • 12g smoked sweet paprika
  • 350g mature cheddar, grated


  1. Scald the milks in a sauce pan over a gentle heat (make sure it doesn’t boil over) and dissolve the salt.
  2. Whilst the milks are heating, put the butter in a separate saucepan and heat gently until melted.
  3. Once the butter is liquid, sift in your onion, garlic and paprika powders and stir into a smooth paste (no lumps!)
  4. Add your cheese into the hot milks and whisk like your life depends on it. You want it to go stringy first and then eventually super glossy and smooth
  5. Once you’re happy with the texture, add the buttery spice paste and continue whisking until well combined.

And if you want to plate it like the pros, follow their tips:

Tortilla chips laid out in a single layer so that each even distribution of condiments (nothing worse than a dry chip!).

Then add:

🧀Queso Sauce
🐄Sour Cream
💜Pickled red cabbage
🌶Jalapeno slices

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