May 16, 2015

Chili Dogs

My spring semester (and freshman year) is finally over! I'm back in Atlanta, where it is even more hot and humid than I could have possibly imagined. The one upside is that it's definitely grilling season, and there's no better way to eat a hot dog than by smothering it with chili. Let's get one thing straight: I wouldn't necessarily call this 'real' chili and eat it with a spoon. This is hot dog chili, which means it's simple ground beef with lots of spices in a yummy sauce. It can be piled on other things besides hot dogs, too; I'm happy to eat it on burgers, toast, mixed with scrambled eggs, or even on pasta, as the folks in Cincinnati do.

It all starts with some onions and garlic, which are sauteed until soft. You'll notice soon that this whole recipe is extremely customizable, and the first opportunity to do so is by adding other veggies to this step. Bell peppers in particular would be welcome here, and diced jalapenos would add a nice kick. Ground beef is added next. Again, it is extremely easy to add or swap ingredients; virtually any ground meat or combination of meats could be used here, including pork, chicken, turkey, chorizo, or other sausage.

Once the meat is browned nicely, I start adding the ingredients for the sauce (or I suppose it's just the liquidy part of the dish that makes it chili). I use chicken broth, ketchup, barbecue sauce, tomato paste, mustard, and Worcestershire. I add the tomato paste first so it coats the meat and dissolves better. The other ingredients can be added in different proportions; I'm not a huge fan of mustard, so I don't add too much. You can also use whatever barbecue sauce you prefer. You can even make it yourself, though you don't use that much and it's not one of the standout flavors, so it might not be worth it here.

That whole mixture simmers together with some spices until all the flavors combine and are fully developed, about 10 minutes. From there, you can pile it on your hot dogs or whatever else you feel like putting it on. This is really easy to make in advance so you don't have to slave over the stove while everyone else is outside enjoying the sun; simply make it a day or two before you want to eat it, refrigerate it, and reheat it over the stove (or on a pot on the grill) until hot again, about 10 minutes. These will get pretty messy when you eat them, but that's half the fun!

10 Hot Dogs
10 Hot Dog Buns
1 lb Ground Beef
1 Medium Onion, Minced
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 T Tomato Paste
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1/4 Cup Ketchup
1/4 Cup BBQ Sauce
1 T Mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Paprika

Heat some oil in a large skillet.

Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Stir in the beef and cook until mostly cooked through, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard, Worcestershire, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and paprika. Turn the heat to low and cook until thick and bubbling, about 8 minutes.

Cook the hot dogs and warm the buns. Spoon on the chili.

Makes 10
Recipe Adapted from Tyler Florence


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