June 28, 2010

Rachel's Famous Chili Dogs

1 lb 94% lean ground beef
15 oz tomato sauce*
15 oz canned dark red kidney beans, drained
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon cumin
hot sauce

to serve:
8 hot dog buns
8 hot dogs
chopped onion (optional)
shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
mustard (optional)

Slow cooker instructions:
Brown the beef in a nonstick skillet, breaking it up into fine bits. Drain off any excess fat. Add the beef and the remaining ingredients to a 2 or 4 quart slow cooker. Stir. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. If it is too wet, remove the lid and cook on high for 30 minutes.

Stove top instructions:
Brown the beef in a nonstick skillet, breaking it up into fine chunks. Drain off any excess fat. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated and everything is cooked through.

Cook the hot dogs according to your preference. Nestle into buns and top with chili and other desired toppings.

*Not chunky pasta sauce. Look for it in the canned tomato aisle.
My thoughts:
Every once in a while I am hit with an overwhelming urge for a chili dog. Unfortunately Baltimore has a severe lack of quality hot dog houses. There are some truly delicious yet deadly dogs from Ann's Dari-Creme out on Ritchie Hwy but that is quite a hike. There are a few in the city but none that I can say that I love. When I was a child, we'd make chili dogs with chili from the soup counter at the grocery store. I have to say, homemade chili is much better. And after developing an entire chapter of chili for my slow cooker cookbook, I am the self proclaimed slow cooker chili queen. I wish I had thought to put a recipe in for chili for hot dogs in the book (although it is a healthy slow cooker cookbook)but I didn't so the book's loss is your (free recipe) gain. Slow cooking the chili means that all you have to do to have from scratch chili dogs is to pop some stuff in the slow cooker in the morning, go about your day, come home, broil or grill some dogs for 10 minutes and you are ready to go.

There is a lot of contention on what makes the best chili for hot dogs (everything from a bean only mixture to the various versions of a "Coney" to a thin sauce) but this is what I like the most on my dogs. Not too spicy or chunky and with kidney beans. I think it is best made in the slow cooker where the flavors develop throughout the day but the stove top version is tasty too.

The leftover chili is great on baked potatoes.