Over the summer, Frank and I visited several cities; including Tulsa, Indianapolis, Detroit and Cleveland. In 3:4 of those cities, we had a local chili dog! Now, Frank is really more of the sausage person…oh the irony of that sentence. I enjoy a good hot dog every now and again though, so I was along for the ride. The “other” hot dog stories are for another time though or might get rambly.
During our stay in Indianapolis, Frank insisted that we visit his favorite wiener joint, Skyline Chili. The chain originates in Cincinnati and at this place, the chilli is the star of the show! What makes this place unique (besides CHOCOLATE and CINNAMON in the chili) is the vehicle they use to get it in your mouth. You can get the standard dog, fries or pasta! That’s right, Italy’s favorite carb and mine, spaghetti! The chili is also bean-less which is pretty standard when it is put on a sausage.
On this trip, I opted for the dog and Frank got his requisite five.
Frank’s friend Bob always gets the three-way (no really, that’s what it is called on the menu): chili, cheese and spaghetti. I was skeptical, but before I left Indiana I bought a canned-version of Skyline’s chili at a Meijer and tried this method at home. Omygosh!
That is what inspired last night’s dinner. I cooked up a version of the chili from a recipe I found online an altered a little bit. The original recipe that I used can be found here and here is what I did:
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion + 1 cup grated onion
- 3 cups beef stock + 1 Cup water
- 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 2 -3 tablespoons chili powder + a little dash extra
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ounce grated bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli baking chocolate)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder + a dash extra
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + a dash extra (1 tsp didn’t seem like enough and it has a distinct cinnamon flavor)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 bay leaves
1. Combine everything into a crock pot. Set it and forget it! Cook for about 4 hours on high heat.
2. Use chili to top hot dog, sausage, pasta, Fritos, baked potato… etc.
3. Add lots of cheese (I used a cheddar/colby jack mix) and onions.
3. Try to stop yourself from going back for seconds!!
Things I might do differently next time
1. Brown the meat first and drain off the fat. I used 80/20 ground beef and I didn’t think about all the extra fat until it was done cooking.
2. Use less liquid. Even though Skyline’s Chili is kind of runny, I ended up removing about 1/2 the liquid half way through the cooking time because there was too much.
3. Order a can of Skyline Chili to compare it to. The chili isn’t available here so I’m hoping it can be special ordered! The flavor was similar, but the texture was off. I’d like to have a Pepsi v Coke style challenge to see what else could be altered.
Bottom line: this dinner was Delicious! Even though it wasn’t exactly Skyline, I’d still say it was a hit and I definitely plan to make it again!