Happy Seis de Mayo?
Bahahah. Did any of you do anything fun yesterday? I didn’t really, except I ate this chili!
I don’t know why, but I’ve been craving chili dogs somethin’ fierce! And not just any chili dogs, the kind with the all meat chili on top—NO BEANS!
So yes, this is a ground beef chili that is perfect for topping chili dogs! Incidentally, it’s also great for topping baked potatoes, burgers, fries, and just about anything else.
This chili seems like it has a lot of ingredients, but everything comes together super easily!
Also, the ingredients probably look really, really bizarre. They are kinda bizarre….fish sauce? ras el hanout? soy? But I promise, all of them have a purpose!
The fish sauce sounds gross, but it’s totally necessary! It lends an umami type of flavor that no one can quite put their finger on, but it’s delicious! The soy and Worcestershire do a similar thing, but it different ways.
Ras el hanout is a North African spice blend that I’ve used here instead of chili powder. It brings more warmth and depth than I feel like is possible with chile powder. It has many of the same ingredients but it also has sweeter spices like allspice, mace, nutmeg, cardamom, and clove. Sounds weird, but just trust me here!
Plus, we’re getting the chili powder flavors from an even better source—actual chiles!
I like using ancho chilies that have been rehydrated in water and blended into a paste. Ancho chiles are simply dried poblanos. They are smoky, sweet, and not very spicy, and work beautifully in chili!
Now, you could probably eat this chili on it’s own in a bowl, but like I said, it’s better for topping things! It’s got a sauce-like consistency, but it is quite thick. That’s thanks to a little thickening I did at the end with masa harina—the same stuff used to make tamales and corn tortillas.
I love making a huge pot of this chili, and then using it to top different things throughout the week! It also freezes well in a sealed tupperware!
- 2 or 3 dried ancho chiles + enough water to cover chiles
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp ras el hanout*
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 lbs ground chuck
- 4 cups chicken stock (I use homemade)
- 1/4 cup masa harina
- 1/4 cup water
- shredded sharp cheddar, chopped white onion, sour cream, hot sauce, chives, etc.
- hot dogs, baked potatoes, fries, etc.
- In a small bowl, add the ancho chiles and cover with water. Place plastic wrap over the top and microwave for 1 minute and 45 seconds. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Remove the stems and seeds and puree in a blender with 1 cup of the chile water.
- In a large pot, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add in the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook for 4 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute or two, until everything is soft. Add in the ras el hanout, cumin, and some black pepper, and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Add in the tomato paste, Worcestershire, soy, fish sauce, and sugar, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and break the ground chuck up into the pot. Add in the chili mixture and chicken stock, and using a whisk, break the meat up so that no large chunks remain.
- Return to heat and bring to a simmer. Place the lid on the pot, and cook on medium-low for 30 minutes. Then, remove the lid and cook for another 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the masa marina and water. Stir this mixture into the chili. Taste the chili and adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Serve over hotdogs, fries, baked potatoes, or anything else, and top with cheese, onion, and/or sour cream!
*Ras el hanout is a warm, Morroccan spice blend found in some grocery stores, and most specialty stores