When I was growing up, Martin’s Grill was less than three miles from my grandmother’s house. My cousins and I loved their footlong hotdogs. We ordered them “all the way” which meant they were loaded down with cole slaw, raw onion, and their homemade chili.
By the time I set out to create a chili for hamburgers and hot dogs, it had been at least three decades since I’d eaten at Martin’s Grill. In fact, I wasn’t even thinking about that little locally-owned diner until I took a taste test from the pot of chili I had simmering on the stove.
The moment that chili touched my lips I was transported in time and place. “Martin’s Grill!” I yelled to no one in particular. David had no idea what I was talking about so I texted my cousin who lives at least an hour or so away to tell him I’d accidentally created a hot dog chili that tasted just like our old favorite.
This isn’t a soup chili. Nope. This is a SIDE dish for hot dogs or hamburgers. You want the hamburger finely minced to get the right texture for a chili dog or my favorite, a Carolina Burger.
What’s a Carolina Burger? oh child! You get a big juicy burger. Top that with some creamy Cole slaw, a generous serving of my Cookout Chili, a tablespoon or two of chopped raw onion, and several drizzles of yellow mustard. That’s a Carolina Burger all the way!
- 1 pound ground beef (80/20)
- 1/3 cup chopped onions
- 1 cup beef broth
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 heaping teaspoons chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 drop liquid sweetener or 2 teaspoons granulated sweetener (optional)
- Brown the ground beef in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, using a spatula to break up the meat into fine pieces. When it is just browned, drain most of the fat, leaving at least 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan. Stir in the onions and cook until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the broth, tomato paste, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, and sweetener, if using. Simmer until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately over hot dogs or burgers.
- Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to a month.