Chilli Dogs

Chilli Dogs

Take an old-world food (the hot dog), slap it in a bun, ladle on
smokin’-hot chili made with spices indigenous to the American
Southwest, and – voilà! – quintessential Americana.

Frankfurters hail from Frankfurt, but the resemblance between these and the American hot dog, may only be skin deep. Chilli has existed since prehistoric man (or woman) discovered that mixing spicy chilli peppers into past-its-best meat made it taste better. Where the marriage between sausage and spicy-ashell beef chili first occurred is debated: California, Michigan and Brooklyn’s Coney Island all claim the honour. Whatever, the result is darn delicious.

You’ll need
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and
1 large yellow onion, peeled
and chopped
Olive oil
500g (1lb) ground beef
2 tbs cayenne pepper
2 tbs chilli powder
2 tbs smoked paprika
1 tbs cumin
1 tsp salt
225g (8oz) can of tomato
2 tbs honey
20 hot dogs and buns
1 large red onion (to garnish),
peeled and finely chopped
110g (¼lb) shredded extramature
(extra-sharp) cheese

Cooking Method
1 Sauté the chopped garlic and yellow onion in a little olive oil over a medium heat for about 10–15 minutes, until soft and translucent.
2 Stir in the ground beef along with the cayenne pepper, chilli powder, smoked paprika and cumin and stir-fry for about 10 minutes, until the meat is browned.
3 Add the salt, tomato sauce and honey,reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for an hour, stirring occasionally.
4 Once the chilli is ready, grill or boil the hot dogs and grill or toast the buns.
5 Place a hot dog in each of the buns, ladle over some chilli and garnish with chopped red onion and cheese.

Tasting notes
Traditional Tex-Mex chilli is an explosion of meat and spice that works brilliantly slathered on top of a beef dog, tempered slightly by extra-sharp cheese and topped with the additional crispy tang of raw red onion. Though easy to find (in America, at least) making your own chilli dogs allows you to indulge in variation. Not a fan of processed meats? Use sausages prepared by a local butcher. Red meat not your thing? The entire dish can be made with turkey. Vegetarians can even use soy-dogs and chilli made with texturized vegetable protein (TVP). Some folks split the dog down the middle, but keeping them intact gives a more satisfying juicy meat-bomb mouth-feel.

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