Photo by Johnny Autry

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8 slaw dogs

    For the chili
  • 1 cup flat beer or water
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely crushed saltine crackers (about 6 crackers)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons New Mexico ground red chile, or cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • For the slaw
  • 3 cups finely chopped cabbage
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons buttermilk
  • For the chili slaw dog
  • 8 all-beef hot dogs
  • 8 hot dog buns
  • Yellow mustard
  • Chopped white onion
  • Chili, Slaw
  • Hot sauce to taste
  1. Make the chili: Place 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. 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 hold its shape on a spoon. Stir in tomato paste. Remove from heat and stir in spices. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  2. Make the slaw: In a medium bowl, season cabbage with salt and pepper to taste. Thin mayonnaise with buttermilk, then mix with cabbage. Set aside.
  3. Assemble hot dogs: In a pot of boiling water, heat hot dogs for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, brush the inside of hot dog buns with yellow mustard and add onion to taste. When hot dogs are ready, drain and pat dry. Place in bun and cover with chili, then slaw. Serve with hot sauce.

Chef’s note: I like Hefeweizen, so I pour out the cup of beer to go flat and then drink the rest. The citrus and coriander notes in the Hefeweizen probably don’t survive the slow simmer, but I like to think they do. You can use any light beer, but not a stout or porter. Cheap beer is traditional.


  • Recipe from Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes by Ronni Lundy

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