Ahhhhhh, Texas Chili Dogs! A food with a story, and oh so dear to my heart (and stomach)!
No they’re not from Texas, but Port Chester, NY (of all places). Texas Chili is a restaurant that’s been around at least 50 years, although the name and ownership has changed through the years. It’s a place that my Grandfather and Dad used to frequent when he was a little boy. It’s a “hole in the wall”, my Dad used to say. It’s a small diner that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The house specialty has always been “the Texas”, a split-and-grilled hot dog topped with chili, chopped raw onions, and Gulden’s mustard. If you leave out any of these ingredients, it’s not a “Texas”. What makes this chili dog so tasty is the spicy ground-beef, no-bean chili.
When my Dad was just a boy, he and his friends used to hang out here with older boys that could afford to get a dog. The “Texas” dogs were wrapped in wax paper. Of course the chili would spill onto the wax paper, making the wax paper a much wanted commodity to the younger boys! They would hang around just to get the older boys’ wax paper!
Well my Dad passed on the tradition, and we visited Texas Chili quite often growing up, but we didn’t have to beg for the wax paper. My dad also spent many years trying to copy the chili recipe, and he passed that along as well! So enjoy!
- 1 pound 85/15 ground beef
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 4 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons Gulden’s mustard
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 small whole red chili peppers
- Hebrew National or Nathan’s All Beef Hot Dogs
- Hot Dog buns
- Cook ground beef in a sauce pan over medium-high heat, chopping beef into fine crumbles and until it is no longer pink; drain well, remove beef from pan.
- Sauté onion in hot oil for 5 minutes. Add beef back to pan, along with salt, chili powder, cumin, dry mustard and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water and next 3 ingredients. Bring to a simmer; cover with lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates.
- Slit all beef hot dog down the middle and fry split side down in a lightly oiled or buttered frying pan until hot dog is browned. Put hot dog in toasted bun slit side up. Add Gulden’s mustard, chili, and raw chopped onions. Serve.
I grew up in Port Chester and loved eating texas hots. I thought the recipe was a good approxiamation of the oringal chile I had ata\ the diner. However, I was wondering what type of chiles does the writer think were used? The recipe only says “red chiles.” As you know, there are a ton of varifeties of chiles. Any idesas on which specific chile variety was used at the Texas Hot? It’s still the best hot dog chile I ever ate.
Don’t know. Please share
It doesn’t really matter what kind of chiles you use – What you choose depends on how hot you want the chili to be. You can use anything from a green jalapeno to a red chile de arbol (which is very hot) or beyond. You can even leave the chiles out altogether or just use a mild green poblano.
I have never forgotten Texas in Port Chester, I grew up in Greenwich and me, my mom and dad would always get those delicious dogs. I was real young then but still remember, who remembers Frank who cooked the dogs and the blonde lady who wore glasses (Can’t remember her name). Anyway I guess I wasn’t all that young to remember this. Thanks Kim!!
Wow, it’s a small world. I was also very young, but I do remember Frank and the older blond lady with glasses. I was born in Greenwich, and my ancestors are from Greenwich from a long time ago (Chapman and Merritt family). It was always such a treat to get Texas!
You’re such an awesome person for posting this recipe! It’s impossible to find anything remotely close.
You’re missing the most important ingredient that gives the chili it’s signature flavor…
90% of the flavor and heat comes from the habanero. And through experimenting I’ve found more specifically it’s Red Habanero which has a brighter tangy flavor compared to orange habs. Both work well though.
I never thought to add mustard powder, I’ll have to give it a shot. Thanks again!
Thank you for your feedback. Please add any ingredient that suits your “heat” preference. Unfortunately I have a reaction to spicy foods. I actually carry an epipen because my throat closes up when I eat spicy foods. The red chili peppers that I add is for flavor only.
Holy crap!!! My mind is blown! The mustard powder was the missing ingredient that tied it all together!!! My recipe is complete!!! (I currently have a pot of Texas chili on the stove)
how man habanero peppers do you add ?
how do you add them finely chopped or do you make a paste withe the peppers ?
I dont add habanero peppers to the chili. I can’t have spicy foods.
The spot your talking about is Pats Hubba Hubba. The “texas chilli” spots only opened in the last decade by former employees of hubbas (texas chilli dogs) taking the recipes and opening their own stores.
Thx for the recipe!
I am the guy who originally posted about Texas Hots (as we called them) and asked about which chili peppers were used. Since the original posting I had a chance to revisit the old Texas Hot site, and I asked the grill man what chili he used in his chili sauce. He told me cayenne. Having tried cayenne in the earlier provided recipe did seem authentic to me.