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The IL MIG+ Chili Dog

two chili dogs, Cincinnati style, topped with chili, onions, and cheese, sitting on a wooden cutting board

The chili dog is an all-time classic. Iconized in John Cougar Mellencamp’s Jack and Diane; Americans have been happily sucking on a chili dog for more than a hundred years.

The exact origins aren’t exactly known but food historians suppose Greek-born Brooklyn immigrants began slinging beef heart sauce glizzies in the early 1910s. The sauce was probably pretty mushy with warming spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. It’s easy to follow this food migration route down to Cincinnati where a regional chili dog (and spaghetti) has a significant cultural footprint to this day.

Other regional variants of the chili dog include: the Texas Weiner, the Coney Island dog, the New York System, the Michigan dog, Carolina style, Half-smoke, among others. Chili con carne atop of a snappy beef dog is familiar and highly customizable.


The IL MIG+ Chili Dog

IL MIG+ does the heavy lifting for chili as it comes preloaded with paprika, garlic, onions, coriander, and some punchy habanero. You could easily just add it to some ground beef, tomato paste, chicken stock, and call it a day but using it as a flavor amplifier really makes the chili shine here. 

By pulsing your finished chili with an immersion blender, a slightly chunky chili sauce lets the snap of the hot dog come through rather than hiding behind a highly textured chili. Not too heavy, but also deeply savory.

Make sure to find a high quality all-beef hot dog. The cheap supermarket hot dogs that your uncle used to boil by the dozen won’t work here. You want a natural casing that can stand up to a gentle sear and steaming without bursting in the pan. And no grilling- save that for another recipe. 

The buns should be simple. A brioche or milk bun style will work great here. You want a bun that steams well and gets out of the way while still holding up to what is kind of a sloppy meal.

You can have a plate of chili dogs in less than 45 minutes, or about 20 if you pre-make the chili sauce. A classic comfort food amped up with IL MIG+ to make things a little more interesting for a quick weeknight meal or Sunday’s backyard hang out.


Ingredients:

  • .5kg (~1lb) ground beef
  • 1 diced white onion
  • 200ml (~.5 cup) chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Large pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • IL MIG+
  • 4 hot dogs
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Yellow mustard
  • Cooking oil

Recipe:

  1. Add the ground beef to an oiled pan over medium high heat. Make sure to spread the beef over the pan in an even layer.
  2. Add half the onion, spices, and tomato paste on top of the beef to steam through. Once the beef is browned on one side, use a potato masher or wooden spoon to incorporate everything.
  3. Add the stock and simmer until slightly reduced.
  4. Use an immersion blender to lightly puree the chili. You don’t want a paste, so leave some texture. Simmer until thick and set aside.
  5. On medium high heat, carefully sear the hotdogs in a saute pan. Be careful to not burst the casings. Add some water and replace the lid to steam the hotdogs until fully cooked. Set aside.
  6. Add a few spoons of water to a pan on medium heat. Once steaming, add your buns and cover for about 30-45 seconds. Remove the buns and slice from the top view.
  7. Put a hotdog in the bun and add chili. Dress with yellow mustard, diced onion, and cold cheddar cheese.