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Washington, DC Dog

Washington Dc Hot Dog Recipe

Based on the famous dogs served at DC haunt Ben’s Chili Bowl, this version is loaded with beef chili, mustard and plenty of chopped onions.

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Washington, DC Dog

Makes 8 | Total Time: Less Than 60 Mins


Hot Dogs

All-Beef Chili

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 yellow onions, finely chopped 
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomato
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


Hot Dogs

  1. Grill hot dogs to desired doneness. 
  2. Arrange hot dogs in toasted buns. 
  3. Top each hot dog with plenty of chili, followed by a drizzle of mustard and a scattering of chopped onions.

All-Beef Chili

Like most stewed foods, this chili tastes better the day after you make it, so plan ahead (it also makes it easier to remove and discard any fat that rises to the top).

Makes about 8 cups

  1. Combine the ground beef and water in a heavy 4-quart pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the ground beef has broken up into very small, even pieces. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. 
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to simmer, uncovered, over low heat, until chili is thickened and deeply flavored, about 3 hours. Stir the chili from time to time, to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. 
  3. Add a drop of water if chili becomes too thick. Remove from heat, discard bay leaf, and let chili cool completely. Refrigerate the chili, covered, overnight. 
  4. Before reheating and serving, remove the layer of fat from the top and discard. Reheat the chili over medium-low heat until hot.