Texas Chili and Dogs

Today was yet another BEAUTIFUL summer day in Anchorage. 70 F and still the sun is shining and 10:22pm. One of those rare days that makes visitors from Outside decide to move North. Suckers.

I have been craving chili for the longest. My Dad taught me how to make his version a long time ago but it really wasn’t all that good. Sorry Dad. Basically tomatoes, beans, hamburger, and a pre-packaged mix of spices and cayenne. I have been looking for something a little more traditional and authentic. A recipe that has enough spice to make you crave a cold beer, or three.

Flipping around on the DVR I found an episode of Tyler Florence on Chili. Sweet. His meals are usually pretty good. So I gleaned from him what I could and then put my own two cents into tonight’s meal.

Start with chills. These are dried New Mexico Reds.

Cut off the stem and grind these up in the spice grinder, seeds and all. This stuff smells amazing and is so much better than anything called “chili powder” that you will find on the spice aisle.

Set this aside and get started on the meat. I used stew meat. Toss into a hot heavy bottom pot with just a little oil. I should have done this in batches but too late for that. I just cranked the heat to high so as to get some sear on the meat. Once it was browned I tossed in 2 diced yellow onions. Now start adding in your spices. I put in the freshly ground chilies, 1 tsp each of  coriander, cumin, paprika, and Mexican oregano. Then just a small pinch of cinnamon, 8 or so cloves of garlic, 4 chipotles, and 1 diced jalapeno. Stir this around and use the moisture from the onions to deglaze your pot.

When the onions have turned translucent add in a couple Tbsps of tomato paste and a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes.

Stir to combine and turn the heat way down. Cover with a tight fitting lid and forget about it. Actually don’t forget about it. Stir about every half hour. Be sure that nothing sticks to the bottom. A wood spoon is the very best tool for this kind of thing.

This simmered away for just about 2 hours. When the meat becomes fall apart tender you are almost done. On some chili cookoff I remember seeing that most competitors did two spice dumps. So after tasting I went for another round of spices. The rest of the chipotles in adobo, cumin, coriander, oregano, and some more cinnamon. Then take your potato masher and get medieval on you meat. Squish the hell out of it. Basically you are breaking down the stew pieces into a mash of deliciously tender strands of braised beef.

Mr. Florence suggested thickening with masa harina but no need for that here. This stuff was perfect. Even with a whole can of chipotles with the adobo, the heat was fairly mellow. The cinnamon gives the heat a nice sweet balance. Now for the kicker. I had grabbed some Hebrew National dogs (you know “We answer to a higher authority”). These were tossed on the grill. Wishing that I had bought the 1/4 lb version.

Toast your buns and top with chili, onions, and lots of cheese.

Why is it that spicy food tastes so good when it is hot and sunny outside?

I know that this might seem like a lot of effort for just a chili dog. Sometimes you just get a taste for something and nothing else will satisfy. Tonight was one of those nights. Don’t forget the beer. I suggest something cheap and ice cold.

How do you take your dog?


~ by climbhighak on June 30, 2009.

9 Responses to “Texas Chili and Dogs”

  1. When I was growing up my dad made homemade chili for our hotdogs. All I remember is that it had sausage in it and was super spicy ~ which we all loved. I also remember feeling like I was consuming a heart attack in a bun. But seriously ~ can you really go wrong with pork on beef? I think not.

  2. Hot dogs, i made deep fried kraut hot dogs last week, thanks for the post, looks great!!

  3. I grinned when I saw the name of your recipe. When I lived in San Antonio, chili offered for hotdogs or hamburgers was rare. Unlike North Carolina, where there is no such thing as a hotdog without chili, in SA you nearly had to make your own if you wanted it. I remember the first place I went too that had a hamburger on the menu with chili listed on it. I was nearly estatic…LOL…. then, when it got to my table, it truly was chili… with BEANS in it !!… *ack*…. Maybe it’s more popular in other parts of Texas, but in SA…. it wasn’t common to find it. Here in North Carolina, the most common ingredients to find offered for a hotdog is slaw, mustard, chili and chopped onions… or any combination of those toppings. I like mine minus the onion. We like cheesedogs too, where there is a log of cheese instead of the weiner…. or… if you order a combo, they will put both !! mmmMMMMmmmmmYummyyyy

  4. Oh that looks so worth the heartburn!

  5. That looks amazing. I’ve had really good success with Tyler Florence recipes too.

  6. YUM!! That looks amazing! Have a safe and Happy 4th!

  7. HOLY SHEET! I must have two or three of those! Not bad for a TF recipe, although I have no doubt yours taste better 🙂

  8. I wonder if you could help me. I recently saw something on line that caught my eye.

    It was a group of rocks made to llok like a small person. I just thought it was so cute. The person wrote that they were popular in Alaska.
    Would you happen to know what they are called and how I could go about making one.

    Thanks for any information.


    • I googled “stone cairn people alaska” and came up with a few images. Not something that I have ever seen up here. Cairns are used as markers on trails and to mark hunting or fishing areas. A carefully stacked pile of rocks sticks out on a trail.

      I also worked on a job that made assembled a cairn that was created in LA. Sent you some photos.

      Just remembered that a proposed gold and copper mine called Pebble uses a stone man as one of their logos.

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