For Father’s Day this year, to show my appreciation for Dustin, I asked him if there was something special he would like me to make. Anything was on the table: rack of lamb, lobster, steak… Nothing’s too good or expensive for the wonderful father of our baby girl.
Well, his eyes lit up, he grinned and he immediately requested my homemade chili cheese dogs. My heart smiled a little when he did, as I knew he would request this meal. It’s at the top of his “last meal” list, next to a Texas brisket sandwich with a side of barbecued ham and fried okra, a cold Dr. Pepper and a breakfast burrito from this hole-in-the-wall liquor store in Carpinteria, CA (know the place?).
My “last meal” would have to be a good BLT with perfectly toasted sourdough bread, crisp lettuce, crunchy, yet chewy bacon, heavy on the mayo and perfectly ripe tomatoes. Oh, and an iced sweet tea. And maybe a thick slice of New York cheesecake with fresh strawberries. And…
But I digress as usual. This chili recipe is quite flavorful. It’s sweet, tangy and bold with a little kick to it. Plain and simple. Not pretty. Not fancy. Just chili. And Dustin loves it.
Happy Father’s Day, everyone!
Chili Cheese Dogs
For the chili
2 cups water
1 lb. lean ground beef (I use 80/20)
2 cups onion, chopped (about 3/4 medium onion)
6 oz. tomato paste
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
For the ‘dogs
hot dog buns
hot dog franks, preferably grilled (I use Ball Park all-beef franks)
shredded cheddar cheese
Heat water and ground beef in a large pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Once boiling, add onion and reduce to medium heat. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the meat into small pieces.
Add tomato paste, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and the spices and stir together, making sure all the meat is broken up into pieces.
Stirring occasionally, simmer over low heat until chili is very thick, about 15-20 minutes.
Serve over grilled hot dogs and garnish with shredded cheese.