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Ronni Lundy’s Chili Bun

Ingredients

Chili Bun

1 hot dog bun

Yellow mustard

3-4 heaping tablespoons chili (recipe at right)

Chopped white onion

Hot sauce

Chili

1 cup flat beer or water

1 pound lean ground beef

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

6 saltine crackers, finely crushed (1/8 cup cracker meal)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons New Mexico ground red chile, or cayenne

1 teaspoon cumin

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

For the Chili:

  1. Put the beer and ground beef in an unheated medium saucepan. Use your fingers to gently break apart beef by rubbing pieces lightly until it makes a slurry with the liquid. You don’t want chunks or lumps.
  2. Stir in garlic, salt, and cracker crumbs and place over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to keep it from sticking to the bottom of pot. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Cook until liquid has largely evaporated. The chili should be a finely grained aggregate that holds its shape on the spoon.
  3. Stir in tomato paste. Remove from heat and stir in the spices. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

To assemble: 

Lightly paint inside of hot dog bun with yellow mustard. Pack chili into bun, starting with spoonful in center that you smooth in with the back of a spoon. Add more, moving out to either end and smoothing lightly as you go, until bun is filled. (You’re not making a sloppy joe; chili should be firm in the bun.) Top with chopped onion and pass hot sauce on the side.

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