How To Make St Louie Special Chili Dogs

In the two short months that Bay Leaf Restaurant has offered lunch and dinner, the St. Louie Special has quickly become a favorite. After many compliments and questions, we decided to share. Thanks so much to our guests and friends in Franklin, MA for supporting Bay Leaf Restaurant!

This chili is easy to make, easy to double, and requires very little attention once on the stove. We make our chili in small batches for quality, so this recipe yields slightly less than 2 quarts. It has a heat on the lower end of medium, and just a hint of sweetness from the fried onions.


Grilled hot dogs

New England hot dog buns, toasted

Shredded Cheddar cheese for garnish

Chopped onion for garnish


One large white onion, finely chopped

2-3 tbsp oil or butter

Two lbs. ground beef

One 28oz can crushed tomatoes plus one full can of water

Two 10oz cans of tomatoes and green chiles, medium. You can also use mild or hot, according to your taste.

Two slightly rounded tbsp seasoning (see below)

Salt and pepper (to adjust seasoning if needed)


In a large, heavy skillet, fry chopped onion in oil or butter until slightly brown and remove from skillet.  Brown finely crumbled ground beef just until no longer pink. Add onions, beef, crushed tomatoes, water, tomatoes and green chiles, and seasoning to a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Set on very low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick, 4-5 hours. Add a little extra salt and pepper if needed, no more than ¼ of a teaspoon at a time.

Seasoning: These measurements make about 2/3 cup of seasoning, more than enough for a double or triple batch.  Use one slightly rounded tablespoon per pound of meat.

4 tablespoons chili powder

4 teaspoons ground cumin

4 teaspoons garlic powder

4 teaspoons noble-sweet or half-sweet Hungarian paprika (not smoked)

2 teaspoons finely ground oregano

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon finely ground white pepper

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

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