Looking for a show-stopping dish for your Labor Day cookout? Try these hot dogs, topped with a big spoonful of smoky chili and wrapped in a grill-toasted bun. We suspect they’ll become a new tradition.
Smoky Chili Dogs
For the chili:
1 lb. (500 g.) lean ground beef
1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) ketchup
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. chile powder
1 Tbs. cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 hot dogs, preferably kosher beef
8 hot dog buns
Shredded Cheddar cheese and chopped white onion for serving
To make the chili, in a large frying pan over medium heat, cook the ground beef, breaking up any large clumps, until browned, about 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) water and break up the beef a bit more. Stir in the ketchup, chiles, sugar, chile powder, vinegar and bay leaf, mixing well. Simmer, uncovered, until thickened to a nice chili consistency, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Remove the chili from the heat and cover to keep warm. (The chili can be made in advance, tightly covered, and refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat before serving.)
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over high heat. Brush and oil the grill grate.
Place the hot dogs on the grill directly over the fire and cook, rolling the hot dogs every few minutes, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Then ask the guests how they like their hot dogs. Some will want them burnt and puffy, some will want them a little blackened, and some will want them exactly the way they are right now. Remove the hot dogs according to the answers you get. Place the buns, cut side down, along the edge of the grill and grill for a minute or two until toasted.
Place a hot dog in each bun and top with the chili, cheese and onions. Serve at once. Serves 8.