Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe

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Post
gschwim
Cheeseburger
2004/12/16 00:40:04
Last I heard, there were over 200 Coney Island hot dog places in my home town of Detroit, and there are at least two companies that sell pre-mixed coney sauce (just add water) to those places that choose not to make their own. Yet, I cannot find, on the Net, a single recipe for the authentic Detroit Coney Sauce. With so many Coney Island places, how can the recipe be such a well-kept secret? I mean, even the Mafia had its stoolies and they had to worry about being killed for talking. (Or does the "Coney Island Mafia" (La Coney Nostra?) have a death penalty, too?

Does anyone have the recipe for the authentic Detroit Coney Island sauce, which, according to the ingredient label on the premix from Koegel Meat Company, includes Beef hearts, beef suet, cracker meal, garlic powder, onion powder and "spices" (which, I assume is actually a combination of two or more spices and is the "secret" no one wants to reveal). Note that there is no tomato paste, sauce, juice, etc. listed in the ingredients. I'm talking about the real thing -- American Coney Island, Lafayette Coney Island. Help!
DinoS
Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2004/12/16 01:32:48
quote:
Originally posted by gschwim

Last I heard, there were over 200 Coney Island hot dog places in my home town of Detroit, and there are at least two companies that sell pre-mixed coney sauce (just add water) to those places that choose not to make their own. Yet, I cannot find, on the Net, a single recipe for the authentic Detroit Coney Sauce. With so many Coney Island places, how can the recipe be such a well-kept secret?

I'm talking about the real thing -- American Coney Island, Lafayette Coney Island. Help!


gschwim, I hope you find one. I've been looking for years and have collected/made literaly dozens of recipes. You're right, if it has any tomato, it's probably not the one.

How was that premix from Koegel? Was the other premix company called National Chili in Hamtramck?

Uncle Vic (a member of these forums) gave me the following recipe, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet.
__________________________________________
Original Greek Coney Sauce

1 pound Ground beef
1 cup lard
1 medium Onion(s), diced
1/3 cup Chili powder
2 teaspoons Paprika
1 teaspoon Black pepper, coarsely ground
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 teaspoon Cumin powder
1 teaspoon Allspice
1 teaspoon Basil, dried
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Oregano, dried

PREPARATION:
To get the right consistency, cover the meat with water and soak, in the
fridge, for about 30 minutes. Then take a fork and break up any remaining
chunks. Drain the water and go on to browning. You will have some water
while browning but it will slowly steam off.
Brown beef, onion and shortening.
Add remaining ingredients.
Simmer for 2 hours. You may have to add some water.
This freezes well.
__________________________________________

If you make it, let us know how it comes out.


Dino
gschwim
Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2004/12/16 02:39:19
Dino,

I haven't tried the mix from Koegel Meats, but plan to. Here's their site: http://www.koegelmeats.com. Look for the mix under "Specialty." Note also that if you buy a 24-pack of their Vienna hot dogs, you will, on the way to the checkout, that be offered the opportunity to buy some mix for two or three bucks off the regular price.

I have tried National Chili's mix (and yes, it's in Hamtramck). It was pretty good, though I'm not sure it's identical to American or Lafayette -- but then, I haven't been back to Detroit in probably 15 years, so I could be wrong. Ordering from them is a bit more complicated. You have to call on the phone and speak to someone there (John?), who will give you the details on how to mail them a check and how much to include extra for shipping, which, because the product is perishable, must be by 2-day air. That's what kills you: the high cost of shipping exceeds the price of mix. National sells the mix in 5 lb. "bricks." Usually, I order two. I them into 1-inch "slices", wrap them individually, and keep them in the freezer. Then, every so often, I'll thaw one out, mix it with enough water to get the proper consistencey and heat it up. Just type "National Chili" into Google (it should be the third item down) for the phone numbers and addresses (there are two of each).

As you can see, this is an expensive proposition, but until someone publishes the recipe, it's the best we can do.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2004/12/16 08:07:32
www.askyourneighbor.com/recipes/097.htm
gschwim
Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2004/12/16 10:25:33
Thanks, "wandering." I tried that recipe. To me, it did not taste like Lafayette Coney Island. Note the absences, in the recipe, of beef hearts, beef suet or cracker meal.
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2004/12/17 21:40:18
quote:
Originally posted by gschwim

Thanks, "wandering." I tried that recipe. To me, it did not taste like Lafayette Coney Island. Note the absences, in the recipe, of beef hearts, beef suet or cracker meal.


I've heard of cracker meal being added as a filler in coney sauce, but beef hearts and beef suet?? (They may be using reject all beef hot dogs ground up fine as part of the recipe). Either way, when you find your recipe, make sure you toss it in your crock pot on low and let it simmer 8 or more hours (LID OFF last 3 hours)... Stir it as needed and make sure you add liquid as needed also! Longer you simmer it, the more authentic the taste will become...

Also, before browing your ground beef or sirloin, if you want a really fine mixture put the meat in a bowl of COLD water for a half an hour or so (in the fridge).. Then drain well in the collander and continue on with your recipe (Excess water in the meat will cook off when browning).
gschwim
Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2004/12/18 01:59:02
The Flint coney sauce uses ground up hot dogs. The Detroit sauce is something different and definitely uses beef hearts. If you've had it, you definitely know it's not ground beef; the texture is different -- and better (well, at least to us Detroiters and ex-Detroiters). Also, most of the "sauce" recipes I've seen on the Net are mostly ground beef, with just enough water for "flowability," with a consistency of sloppy joes, or I ordered some Gold Star brand Cincinnati chili in cans that was rather thin and soupy; you could use only a little on a hot dog or it would run or drip off. Detroit coney sauce is a true sauce, like a hollandaise sauce, maybe a bit thicker, with bits of meat interspersed. It's very rich and thick and sticks to the hot dog real well and holds a lot of chopped onions on top. Even the way it comes when you order it is different. The other sauces I ordered come in cans, ready made. The Detroit coney sauce I ordered from National Chili in Detroit, came in 5 lb. "bricks," has to be shipped second-day air, is fresh (perishable) and what you don't use within a short time must be frozen. To prepare it, you put the desired amount of mix in a pot and smoosh it up with a spoon while adding water, to the desired consistency. Nothing else I've ordered online -- Wolf's, Gold Star, Rays, etc. -- tastes remotely like it.

Soaking ground beef in water is an interesting idea, but not "Detroit." You're just converting the ground beef to a pasty consistency. For true Detroit style (or the ground beef approximation) The ground beef "bits" need to retain their texture and be "floating" in a relatively larger quantity of sauce that is thick in it's own right, similar to ground beef in traditional chili with masa flour.

Having said that, for my own hot dog chili recipe, the way I thicken it is, after the chili has been simmering for an hour or two, I'll stick my "boat motor" hand-held mixer into the pot and puree it to the desired consistency, which is to almost liquify about half of the chili. Another alternative is to put 1/2 or whatever you want into a lender, puree it there and then add it back to the original pot.
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2004/12/18 06:24:10
Thanks Gschwim.. Now I have to take a couple hours and drive out to Detroit to investigate this sauce! It's been years since I've had a coney from that neck of the woods (I'm on the other side of the state).. I just looked at Americans website ( www.americanconeyisland.com ) but really couldnt get a good eye on the sauce. I've seen National Chili mentioned atleast once in these forums also, but other then that I have'nt really heard of them. Just out of curiosity, what do they get for one of them 5lb bricks? Also, we have a local chain here (atleast a couple of restaurants) called Red Hot Inn. They serve the standard lunch menu, but the only reason I stop in is for their Chili Dogs (Red Hots). Normally I just woof them down while on the road working, but back in October I had a slow day so I parked and ate. I was observing the sauce and it was a much lighter colored then the normal chili around here.. I kept thinking to myself its either because they add tons of lard or flour (or both) to their mix... It's a semi heavy sauce like you described above, that sticks real well to the dog. Though it was a definate ground beef mixture... But now that you have my curiosity peaked, I'll probably end up spending the weekend looking for the answer! I'll report back if I find anything that may be of value.
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2004/12/18 06:41:59
Just started my Detroit Sauce Snooping and found this... Amazingly they mention beef hearts...

http://www.chaski.com/wwwboards/food.oct/messages/8972.html

Posted by Denise on September 21, 2000 at 18:04:04:

In Reply to: Detroit Coney Sauce posted by Deb on September 16, 2000 at 17:50:18:

: I am out West for awhile and am missing the terrific Coney Islands we were able to get in the Detroit area. Anyone have a "secret" recipe?

Deb, Hope your ready for this one. Straight from the Motor City to you. Twenty three years in walking distance to Georges'Famous Coney Island on Michigan Avenue. Of course George did not give up his receipe, but this one is close.

2 pounds extra lean ground beef
1 quart water (boiling)
4 small onions, minced
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 small whole red peppers (or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 teaspoons cumin
5 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1 8 ounce can tomato paste

Add raw beef to boiling water and stir until beef separates to a fine texture. Add remaining ingredients. Stir and simmer uncovered for at least 3 hours. Last hour, pan may be covered after desired consistency is reached. Take out bay leaves and red peppers. Chili can be made in advance and refrigerated in order to lift fat from top before reheating.

That full bodied flavor in most Detroit Coney chili comes from beef heart. Experiment with different ratios of ground beef to ground beef heart until you find the one you like best.

==================================================================

Here's another one I found using beef heart:

Original Coney Island Sauce

1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Margarine
1 1/2 pounds Ground beef
2 medium Onions, minced
1 clove Garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons Chili powder
1 tablespoon Yellow mustard
6 ounces Tomato paste
6 ounces Water
1 Beef heart, cooked and ground
4 Hot dogs, ground
~ Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon Green olives, crushed
Combine all ingredients except hot dogsand cook until thick.

Do NOT brown the beef first.
Add the hot dogs and cook 15 minutes longer.
If the sauce is too thin, add some crumbled soda crackers.

seafarer john
Filet Mignon
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2004/12/18 09:18:39
Vic: Your recipes are getting a lot closer to our Texas Hot sauce or Chili sauce as served here in the NYC Metro area than the ones without any tomato as describerd by other Detroiters. I can't imagine that any of our joints ever put cracker crumbs in for thickening, although I've had some inferior sauces that seemed from their texture to have been thickened with flour. I'm wondering if the "Greeks Secret" that none of us have been able to duplicate at home is in the beef hearts?

Cheers, John
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2004/12/19 00:31:28
Not sure there Seafarer... Never knew they used hearts until yesterday, then started doing some snooping on the subject. I'll stick with beans in the sauce, but out of all fairness, will have to try some of the Heart infused chili also! I might become a changed man!
gschwim
Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2004/12/19 01:36:36
UncleVic,

You're going to Detroit for some coneys? I'm jealous!

The two must-visit places are the Lafayette Coney Island and American Coney Island, both on Lafayette St., downtown. I don't know how it is today, but, at night at least, waiters from each would lounge in their doorway and, in a friendly way, try to entice passersby about to enter their place and not the other. Hopefully, you will be there more than one day -- or for more than one meal on the same day -- so that you can try both places. I don't recall much difference between the two, but I think the Lafayette was my favorite. I have read that there are some people who have always gone to one place and never even entered the other, even though they are next door!

The standard order is "two up": two dogs with sauce, mustard and chopped, fresh onions -- the "American Special" on the Ameican's Web site menu (http://www.americanconeyisland.com). I see they now have shredded cheese available as an added topping, but that is not traditional -- just mustard, sauce and onions.

Also , if you have room for it, you should order a bowl of chili, "smothered," no beans. That's a bowl of the sauce, with chopped onions on it. When I was there, they also gave you a little plastic bag of oyster crackers. If you want, they can add ground beef to the chili (the "Chili Special" on the American menu") and/or beans. But I used to order it, "smothered, no beans." Try it that way first. Hopefully, you'll want to come back again and you can try the beans and ground beef if you want.

Let me know how you like it.
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2004/12/19 03:47:00
I shall do that! Thanks for the tips on ordering also. The Food Network just had a story on them on their "Best Of" show.. (Weekdays at 1pm est). It was covered in their "Best of Detroit" story (Aired Dec.1), and I see on their website, also on the best of "Street Eats" story. Might want to keep an eye on your TV guide to see when it will come up again...
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2004/12/20 10:56:40
gschwim, I see above you tried National Chili... I was searching and found another coney sauce maker that seems to be popular in the state (Abbotts). Was wondering if you've heard anything about them?

Abbotts Meat Inc.
3623 Blackington Ave
Flint, MI. 48532
(810) 232-7128
gschwim
Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2004/12/20 11:54:52
UncleVic,

Yes, I've heard of them. As one might expect given their location, my understanding is that they make "Flint style" coney sauce, which, I think, is different from Detroit style. I think someone (it might have been John Koegel at Koegel Meats (http://www.koegelmeats.com) told me that he referred to Detroit style as a "coney sauce" and Flint style as a "meat topping." I have also heard that one of the ingredients in Flint style is ground up hot dogs, but Detroit style premix, both from Koegel Meats and National Chili, does not list this among their ingredients. Well, maybe I'll order some from Abbott's someday and taste for myself. Thanks for giving me the address.
pigface
Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2005/01/03 01:36:09
The Coney (Chili) recipe you seek is from the roadfood member "stogie"
AKA the BBQ Guru, Kevin Taylor. The link is ...
www.recipegoldmine.com
here's the specific recipe ...
http://www.recipegoldmine.com/bbqguru/kevin4.html
The only difference I noticed is that his uses shortening,
where other's I seen uses lovely ol' LARD !
Something to be said for Using LARD .... Just don't get
you cholestrol checked for a few weeks
gschwim
Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2005/01/03 16:51:18
Thanks, Pigface. I've seen that recipe online before and dismissed it as not being authentic because it lacks the essential ingredients of beef hearts and some kind of binder, usually cracker meal. It looks more like a "meat topping" than a sauce. Detroit coney topping is like a spaghetti meat sauce -- i.e., a viscous gravy with bits of meat in it, but with no tomato taste. On the other hand, this recipe, at least, has no tomato in it. I also am assuming that you have eaten at the American and/or Lafayette Coney Islands and know what their sauce tastes like, and made this recipe and determined that they taste the same. So, I'll give the recipe a try and let you know what I think.
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2005/01/10 15:39:10
Gschwim... How do you think they cook the hearts? Boiled, baked, pressure cooked??? Any thoughts?
DinoS
Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2005/01/10 16:48:39
Hey Uncle Vic. If your travels ever take you down to Kalamazoo, try the product at:

Coney Island
266 E Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo

What they serve are what I consider a standard by which I judge all Coneys, and what I'm constantly looking for in a hotdog topping. I would be interested in your opinion if you ever get down there.


Dino
gschwim
Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2005/01/10 17:49:10
UncleVic,

One of the places you can get the Detroit-style premix is Koegel Meats. According to John Koegel, they melt one of the other ingreidents, beef suet, in a double boliler. And then, "[t]o this we add the ground beef hearts and let them cook."
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2006/03/08 11:29:37
Thanks Judy!

http://littlejudy.blogs.com/littlejudy/food_and_drink/
Russ Jackson
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2007/11/28 15:47:34
In regards to you request I am going to give the recipe for authentic Detroit Coney Sauce. I will also give the proper way to serve it.
First the proper Dog.
Never use a budget dog.
Whenever possible use in this order Koegle, Dearborn, Sabrett,Kowalski,or Boars Head. All with Natural casing!!!!
Dogs must be grilled on a griddle or a cast iron skillet on medium low with a small ammount of butter and vegetable oil. Constant turning of dogs is a must and they must never split open. You will be looking for a consistant light brown color with a darker line of brown on 2 sides.If dogs are straight they can be rolled back and forth regularily to insure even cooking with a large hamburger flipper. If curved use kitchen tongs and adjust next to the other dogs. NEVER BOIL A HOTDOG! And hot Dogs can be removed from grill using a fork with the center tines removed usnig a dremel tool with cutting blade leaving only the two outside tines remaining.The only onion to use is a large very white one. It must be chopped very fine to the point that if it was any smaller it would be a liquid. This is imperative as an onion has a different taste when chopped larger. Onion particles will be about 1/8 inch square.

In a very large preheated pot with 1 cup of lard simmer 5 lbs of ground round and 1/2 lb cow heart ground fine on medium heat until it seperates and turns just brown. This mixture must be stirred recularly and mashed during process to create a kind of rough paste.
In a cast iron skillet put 6 tablespoons of butter and melt it then add 6 tablespoons of flour and make a light brown roux and set aside. Cut 3 tomatoes in half and roast in a 450 degree oven with a little vegatable oil on top until completely cooked and starting to turn into mush with a slight browning taking place. Set these aside.Add 32 ounces of chicken stock to meat simmer for 20 minutes at a slight boil then add roux, cooked tomatoes, 3 tablespoons chili powder,4 table spoons paprika,1/3 cup plochmans yellow mustard,2 tablespoons tumeric, 2 tablespoons cumin powder, 1 tablespoon garlic powder not salt,and 1 tablespoon onion powder. Simmer this down to the proper consistancy.
Steaming buns is the best way in a home enviorment a chinese steamer basket works well or you can wrap them in paper towells and microwave 3 at a time on high for about 20 seconds. Open bun place dog spread slightly thinned yellow mustard over dog. Cover with Coney sauce then top with onions. Additional mustard may be added however cheese or KETCHUP is never allowed lets leave that to the people in ohio ok.

Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2007/11/28 15:52:53
Russ: for your first post, you were very complete and it sounds like you know what you are talking about.

Paul E. Smith
knoxville, TN
Russ Jackson
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2007/11/28 16:08:28
I have made a huge mistake in the recipe please note that i have asked for 1 complete cow heart i meant to put 1/2 pound of cow heart sorry about the typo. Have a great day and enjoy
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2007/11/28 16:12:19
Good looking out Russ! A true Motor City man who knows his sauce... (even if you are from Ohio)..


Russ Jackson
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2007/11/28 16:15:20
quote:
Originally posted by UncleVic

Good looking out Russ! A true Motor City man who knows his sauce... (even if you are from Ohio)..



I grew up in Livonia eating the best coneys and hamburgers served at Bates and Millers still I consider these to be the best in the country.
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2007/11/28 18:45:15
Good deal Russ... I didn't want to speak my thoughts (foot into mouth syndrome) but if you get a chance, post some pics of them good chili dogs you cross paths with... Along with all the input of your finds.. I made a post in the News Forum (search it), for instructions on how to post pics here.. I plan on doing a travel here around West Michigan (with my cheap little Canon A550) to document some of the best eats here... I've been lucky via Roadfood to have locals contact me on some must eats... Several emails, now just to sample out the goods to see if they where worthy....





pigface
Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2007/11/28 19:35:42
quote:
Originally posted by Russ Jackson

. Additional mustard may be added however cheese or KETCHUP is never allowed lets leave that to the people in ohio ok.




Very Nice recipe ... Bate's 5 mile & Farmington, Millers on Michigan in Dearborn,
No Mention of Mason's at Farmington & Schoolcraft
kiop
Junior Burger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2008/05/16 19:14:21
Hello.. I just tried Russ' recipe for Detroit Coney Sauce and made the following exceptions - I didn't use beef heart because I couldn't find it - and I cut the recipe proportionally down to use 1-lb ground beef. I have to say - it is so close to the real deal its not even funny! The flavor and consistency were right on, though I'm sure by using the heart it would have been perfect! But I am quite satisfied with the results as I have made it and will be doing coneys this way from now on - being a former Detroiter, transplanted to Tampa Bay.. gotta get my fix in once in a while.. I encourage all to try Russ' recipe, I am sure you will enjoy and agree this is THE classic flavor we all love!
Russ Jackson
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2008/05/17 11:28:21
quote:
Originally posted by kiop

Hello.. I just tried Russ' recipe for Detroit Coney Sauce and made the following exceptions - I didn't use beef heart because I couldn't find it - and I cut the recipe proportionally down to use 1-lb ground beef. I have to say - it is so close to the real deal its not even funny! The flavor and consistency were right on, though I'm sure by using the heart it would have been perfect! But I am quite satisfied with the results as I have made it and will be doing coneys this way from now on - being a former Detroiter, transplanted to Tampa Bay.. gotta get my fix in once in a while.. I encourage all to try Russ' recipe, I am sure you will enjoy and agree this is THE classic flavor we all love!



Glad you enjoyed it. That recipe took a very long time to duplicate. Alot of homework and trial and error. The Cow heart gives the sauce that flavor you might be missing. The taste of cow heart is unmistakable. try adding a little next time you make it. Also it is better when you make the full ammount. It also feeezes well. I hope others try it. You could make a good living serving Hot Dogs with that Coney Sauce...Russ
Detroit Red Hots
Junior Burger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2008/05/19 15:25:39
Hello, May I recommend that everyone try Red Hots in Highland Park. They have been family owned since 1921. This is by far the best coney in Detroit! You will not be dissapointed! I'm moving down to SC and will miss this place.
Pattye
Junior Burger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2008/08/20 18:03:57
Hi -

In your travels, if you can get to Grand Blanc (N. of Det.), try a coney from the Palace Family Inn (Saginaw St. Just N. of Dort Hwy (Aka Dixie Hwy.) This is the drier coney sauce - see what you think. But then again, there's always Angelo's too (Davison Rd - Flint). I have had Detroit dogs and Flint dogs - both delicious! But very different.
I'm new here and think the forum is great!
Cheers - Pattye
Foodbme
Porterhouse
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2008/08/20 18:33:36
I'm gonna need to make Russ's Sauce when my wife's not home. If I bring a cow heart home, she'll go beserk and throw me, my pot and the cow heart out the door!

Russ, how does it smell when you cook it????
Russ Jackson
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2008/08/20 18:45:41
The beef heart can be ground at the butcher and mixed in prior. She will never know. You will notice the flavor. If you have ever had Detroit Coneys it is the underlying flavor that you never could figure out. It will be great without however better with. The smell isn't bad or rank....Russ
RubyRose
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2008/08/20 19:26:20
I read somewhere many years ago that Coney Sauce was made with rabbit (coney) hearts. Do you think that was true or did it always use the beef hearts?
Foodbme
Porterhouse
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2008/08/24 14:09:16
quote:
Originally posted by RubyRose

I read somewhere many years ago that Coney Sauce was made with rabbit (coney) hearts. Do you think that was true or did it always use the beef hearts?


It would take a ton of rabbit hearts to make a pot of sauce & you don't find rabbit hearts all over. I doubt it but have no proof!
johnpaulh
Junior Burger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2008/09/09 13:20:15
I posted this recipe awhile ago for another thread on the same topic. Detroiters will familiar with the original Onassis Coney Island chain. This is the sauce that I am told was the original Detroit style wet sauce.

Onassis Coney Island Chili

1 pound ground beef (not lean)
1 pound ground beef heart
1/4 cup flour plus 1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/3 cups beef broth
4 cups water
3 tablespoons chili powder (mild)
2 tablespoons grated (and then chopped) carrot
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Prepare the chili by first browning the meat in a large saucepan over medium heat. Crumble the meat as it browns. When the meat has been entirely cooked (7 to 10 minutes), pour the meat into a strainer over a large cup or saucepan. Let the fat drip out of the meat for about 5 minutes, then return the meat back to the first saucepan. Cover and set aside.

2. With the fat from the meat, we will make a roux . Heat the drippings in a
saucepan over medium heat (you should have drained off around 1/2 cup of beef fat). When the fat is hot, add 1/4 cup flour to the pan and stir well. Reduce heat to medium low, and continue to heat the roux, stirring often, until it is a rich caramel color. This should take 10 to 15 minutes. Add the beef broth to the pan and stir. Remove from heat.

3. Meanwhile, back at the other pan, add the water to the beef, then whisk in the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour. Add the roux/broth mixture and the other chili ingredients and whisk until blended. Make sure your grated carrot is chopped up to the size of rice before you add it.

4. Crank the heat up to medium high. Stir often until you see bubbles forming on the surface of the chili. Turn the heat down to medium low, and continue to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until thick. The chili should be calmly bubbling like lava as it simmers. When it's done cooking, take the chili off the heat, cover it, and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour before using it.
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2008/09/09 13:31:26
Thanks Johnpaulh.. And welcome to Roadfood! Greetings from the other side of the state..
Foodbme
Porterhouse
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2008/09/09 13:36:55
There's been some discussion on RF related to Coney Sauce vs. Texas Lunch Sauce and vice versa. There are a number of threads on RF on this subject.
Here's a link with a VERY GOOD Recipe from TDJ_TX for a sauce similar to johnpaulh's recipe that I really like.
http://www.roadfood.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=13551

Here's another recipe I picked up on here for a "Detroit" Sauce.
Original Greek Coney Sauce

1 pound Ground beef
3/4 cup lard
1 medium Onion(s), diced
1/3 cup Chili powder
2 teaspoons Paprika
1 teaspoon Black pepper, coarsely ground
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 teaspoon Cumin powder
1 teaspoon Allspice
1 teaspoon Basil, dried
1 teaspoon Salt
1 TBSP Celery Seed
1/2 teaspoon Oregano, dried

PREPARATION:
To get the right consistency, break up the meat in a bowl & cover the meat with water & Ice and soak in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Drain water & remove Ice & then take a fork and break up any remaining chunks.
Line a colander with 1 layer of Cheese Cloth and drain the meat. You can make a packet with the Cheese cloth and squeeze to remove excess water. The meat in the cheese cloth makes it easy to transport to the pan. Use a large sauté pan with a lid or a chicken fryer with a lid, Brown beef, onion and shortening. At this point, Lay sheets of paper towel on the mixture to absorb any excess lard if you don't like your sauce greasy. Discard the towel (Duh!) Add remaining ingredients and stir.
Cover & Simmer for 1 ½ hours. Stirring occasionally. Remove lid and cook for another 15 to 30 minutes. You may have to add some water if it's too thick for your taste. Put mixture in a bowl & refrigerate. This allows the excess lard to firm up and can be scraped off if you desire. Package in sealed containers or Zip Freezer bags
This freezes well.

I guess there is no such thing as a bad sauce no matter what you call it.


OOOPS! RED ALERT! UPDATE!
The recipe I posted is already posted on page 1 of this thread BUT I adapted the directions to make it easier to put together. I guess I can take credit for the "Tips & Tricks' portion, but not the recipe.
Sonny Funzio
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2008/09/15 23:38:54
Can be hit and miss trying to find beef hearts.
Sometimes a butcher here or there might have one in or can order one.
Had a real tough time finding any about a year ago. Finally found em at Cattleman's in Detroits Eastern Market ... as long as you are ordering a frozen 50-lb case. Did not order the case.
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2008/09/16 01:28:10
Good topic in itself Sonny... I remember seeing them in the butcher cases as a kid, but as days have gone by, It's hard to recall seeing one at all.. And you know if you have to order it, it will be Filet Mignon prices.. Sheeshhh.. Probably best shot of finding one (at a reasonable price) would be a European family owned meat market (German, Polish, Etc), where they still run things old school.



Foodbme
Porterhouse
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2008/09/16 10:45:24
quote:
Originally posted by UncleVic

Good topic in itself Sonny... I remember seeing them in the butcher cases as a kid, but as days have gone by, It's hard to recall seeing one at all.. And you know if you have to order it, it will be Filet Mignon prices.. Sheeshhh.. Probably best shot of finding one (at a reasonable price) would be a European family owned meat market (German, Polish, Etc), where they still run things old school.


Another possibility is a Hispanic Market.
HeyLeroy
Junior Burger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2008/11/06 23:34:44
quote:
Does anyone have the recipe for the authentic Detroit Coney Island sauce, which, according to the ingredient label on the premix from Koegel Meat Company, includes Beef hearts, beef suet, cracker meal, garlic powder, onion powder and "spices" (which, I assume is actually a combination of two or more spices and is the "secret" no one wants to reveal). Note that there is no tomato paste, sauce, juice, etc. listed in the ingredients. I'm talking about the real thing -- American Coney Island, Lafayette Coney Island. Help!


Howdy, first post. I found this forum while perfecting (surprise, surprise) a good, authentic Coney sauce. I'm just south of Detroit in Windsor, and this batch will likely début as one of the specials on the menu for this year's Grey Cup at my local pub ('Leroy's Kildare Koney', at The Kildare House in windsor; can I say that here? :D) .

Koegel's is, without a doubt, the best. The key to that indescribable flavour is indeed the organ meat! The heart, the suet... Suet, by the way, is the fat from the cow's kidneys.

Beef heart shouldn't be that hard to find; most half-decent butchers'll have it, and it's cheap like borscht. Have him/her grind it as finely as possible. If your butcher can't help you out with the suet, plain ol' Crisco will do in a pinch.

Skip the ground beef; heart, heart, heart.

Other than that, follow Russ' recipe for preparation of the roux. Use finely crushed soda crackers (salted or not, your preference; if salted, adjust your salt-to-taste) and soy flour for thickening.

The idea (mentioned earlier) of using a hand-mixer was spot-on.

The longer you can let it simmer, the better. Honestly. If adding moisture, add equal parts low-sodium beef-, as well as LS chicken-stock and water. Water, mostly, but a little stock couldn't hurt! :D

My next batch is gonna be just under 4.5 kg's; or, ten pounds, for you American friends to the North (or South, if y'all ain't in Detroit).

Other than those ingredients, paprika and onion- and garlic-powders, there's not much else but: "the spices". I got some untested ideas that I'll be double-blind testing (against a sample from the last batch), but I don't wanna say what they are, in case they're bloody awful! Experiment, and keep track. Eat, and enjoy.

"The spices", fortunately, are subtle. Make your Coney sauce using any of the fine recipes and techniques in this thread and I'm sure you'll eat like King or Queen, and die happy remembering the day.

Cheers!
Leroy





Russ Jackson
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2008/11/07 07:18:28
HeyLeroy,

Welcome to Roadfood. I spent many a night in your fine town when I was a young man drinking Bradour, Extra Stock, Blues, and Molson when I was too young to drink in Michigan. Most people do not realize that Windsor is actually south of Detroit. Makes for a good trivia question. Could you post your recipe for 10 lbs or 4.5 kg as we know metric is coming...Russ

Pictures also if possible.
Maeseroni
Junior Burger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2009/06/08 16:42:02
Hey Vic,

 I am a former Detroiter (well Port Huron but most my weekends were spent in the D) and I currently reside in West Michigan. I was curious what you've found over here worth while. I learned quickly West Michigan dogs are mainly Chicago or Flint style and not worth my time. I got spoiled on Detroit coneys in my youth and can't justify anything less. Grand Coney in Grand Rapids and Allendale are close but not quite there. My favorite Detroit Coney is actually a Port Huron coney from Coney Island (now Mama Vicki's Coney Island). Anyone going into Port Huron, do yourself a favor and grab two coney with everything, chili cheese fries and a rootbeer.....I'm hungry just thinking of it.

 About West Michigan....I am fond of the pizza here....Scribbs and Fortinis. The thin crust is great and affordable. $8 pizza at Fortinis....they only serve one side and only certain toppings, the place is always packed so go early!

 I'd really appreciate any input you have. People tell me US 131 BBQ is good but I haven't made it there yet.
Maeseroni
Junior Burger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2009/06/08 16:43:42
They only serve one SIZE ....typo in my first post. DOH!
Pattye
Junior Burger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2009/06/25 19:16:27
Hi all,

Just a quick note. You can buy the Flint style sauce from the Koegels website. (Complete with beef hearts.) It is the first item on the products page, then look to the left and you will see the link for purchase.  Here - so its easy. http://www.koegelmeats.com/products.cgi
Hope this helps someone.

Cheers,
Pattye
NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2009/06/25 19:37:14
I was surprised to note in the list of ingredients for canned Gold Star Chili are cracker meal and MSG!
fastballweb
Junior Burger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2010/04/06 14:22:56
I've made Russ's recipe twice now ... Opening Day 2008, and Opening Day 2010 :) Just some random observations:

1. It's a solid recipe. The best way I can describe it is to say that the taste, appearance, and texture are exactly what you'd expect from a coney sauce ... nothing "off" here. Russ, if you reverse-engineered this, you did a great job.

2. The beef heart is obviously the toughest part of this recipe for several reasons. But I may be able to help with that a bit. In '08 I got a neat little parcel of it, all ground up, from the butcher. This year I had some difficulty with that, as I needed it the same day. Most butchers in my area (which admittedly is pretty agriculturally rich) could order heart for me. A handful had it in stock. None of them were all that excited about grinding it for me, because they would have to clean their grinder afterwards considering it is organ meat. So I couldn't get any ground heart unless I was willing to wait a day. (I couldn't)

I was forced to drive a bit, to a *beef processor* as opposed to a butcher. Difference being, there's a big barn attached and you can hear the future beef mooing. I handed a gruff gentleman a five dollar bill, and in return he gave me two ones from a cardboard box, and an entire beef heart in a giant clear plastic bag.

I couldn't find anyone to grind it for me for the previously mentioned reasons. I very reluctantly accepted the fact that I was going to have to trim and grind this big ugly thing myself.

This was a blessing in disguise. Heart is very interesting actually. Mine weighed about 5 pounds. All the fat is on the top. They are not pretty to look at, as the surface of the meat is very smooth, and features heaven knows what in terms of projections and valves and atriums and other miscellaneous features. BUT, it was clean, and if you cut the "skin" off of the large sections of meat, you are left with very large usable portions of perfectly clear and pure red meat. No mysterious gristle or nasty or anything.

I cut these slabs into inch-ish cubes, froze them a bit, and put them 1/2 pound at a time into the food processor. Normally it is tricky to get a good grind this way, but since I boat-motored the meat later anyways, it made absolutely no difference. And I will tell you, I felt 100% better about eating that than I did about the ground heart from the butcher two years ago. I'm telling you, if you can get over yourself, buying whole heart is definitely the way to go.

3. Speaking of heart, it just makes tons of sense to use more of it than Russ suggests. HeyLeroy had a couple of good ideas, and after reading his post I decided to up the amount. I cut Russ' recipe in half, so it would call for 2.75 pounds of beef total, 1/4 lb of that being heart. I upped that to a whole pound. I don't remember my '08 attempt well enough to say that it's significantly better with more heart, but I have a feeling it was. It certainly doesn't taste more "organy." It's just good. And as an added benefit, the heart is cheaper than the ground round.

4. I boat-motored the meat after adding the chicken stock. Clear everything of value away from your stove and wear clothes you don't like very much. But this is an essential step.

5. This recipe makes a ton of dirty dishes, but it's thankfully low on prepwork, time, and cost.

6. Take the skins off the tomatoes after you roast them, or someone will end up with an orange tomato skin roll on their coney.

7. A Grand Rapids-style coney has cheddar and jalapenos on it, and I recommend this heartily.

8. I am curious to know if this would be more authentic if thickened with saltines instead of a roux.

9. I've had 3 West Michigan coneys (including the famous Yesterdog), and 1 Detroit (not American or Lafayette yet though). I truly believe this sauce can hold its own among these. (and it absolutely kicks Yesterdog in the face) BUT it didn't exactly wow my coney and baseball enthusiast friends either. I think it is missing something that can truly propel it to greatness. The right spice blend maybe. I don't know. I think you all owe it to yourselves and to the world to experiment with this recipe and further the cause of this Roadfood community creation.

Maeseroni: I lived on Grand Coneys in college, 2004ish. I will tell you, they are not what they used to be. But to their credit, they do know the proper hot dog to put chili on.

I too am fond of the pizza here, and am absolutely bewildered that you did not include Fricano's in your summary, whether in a positive or negative light. Having never been addicted to crack, the closest thing I can imagine to that experience is sitting down at a table with 5 other people and 10 Fricano's pizzas.
jdcarib15
Junior Burger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2010/05/19 15:52:40
Coney Chili Lovers --

This is my first post on roadfood.com so bear with me.  I've been on the hunt for the perfect Detroit Coney Chili recipe and after reviewing the recipes on this board, other websites, talking with people, and making the recipe myself I've decided I need to share with all of you my findings.  Props to Russ and Fastballweb for providing such detailed comments to this board.  Below is an amalgamation of the recipes and comments on this board and beyond for which I used to create the chili I made this past week.  By no means is this the "perfect recipe" but I feel like we're getting really close here.  I'm going to have to try a couple different places in Detroit when I go back in July to see what is missing or what could be improved upon so until that happens, experimentation will continue.

Detroit Coney Island Chili
 
1 cup lard or beef suet
½ lb cow heart ground FINE (have the butcher do this)
6 tbsp butter
6 tbsp flour or cracker meal
3 tomatoes
32 oz of chicken stock
3 tbsp chili powder
4 tbsp paprika
1/3 cup yellow mustard
2 tbsp turmeric
2 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp kosher salt


1.     Grate or crumble 1 cup beef suet into a pot.  Substitute 1 cup of lard if you don't have suet.  Place pot in double broiler and cook until melted.
2.     Combine melted suet (or lard) with 5lbs of ground beef and ½ lb cow heart in a pot over medium heat.  Constantly mash and stir during cooking to create a rough paste until brown.  It is very important to mash in this manner, or else you won't get the coney style consistency.    
3.     Cut 3 tomatoes in half and roast them at 450 degrees with a little vegetable oil until completely cooked and start to turn into mush with a slight browning taking place.  Remove the skin and set aside.
4.     Add 32 oz of chicken stock or beef stock to meat and simmer for 20 minutes at a slight boil.
5.
     In a cast iron skillet (or normal skillet if you don't have) put 6 tbsp of butter over medium heat.  One melted, turn heat down to medium low and add 6 tbsp of flour (or cracker meal) to make a light brown roux.  This will take around 10 to 15 minutes.
6.     Add roux, the cooked tomatoes, 3 tbsp of chili powder, 4 tbsp of paprika, 1/3 cup of yellow mustard, 2 tbsp of turmeric, 2 tbsp of cumin powder, 1 tbsp of garlic powder, 1 tbsp of onion powder, and 1 tbsp of salt. 
7.     Once mixed, let the chili simmer on low for at least 8 hours.  Keep the lid off for the last 3 hours or longer, depending on how thick you'd like the chili to be.  Stir as needed so as to not burn the bottom.  Add water as needed.
 
About beef consistency
For true Detroit style (or the ground beef approximation) The ground beef "bits" need to retain their texture and be "floating" in a relatively larger quantity of sauce that is thick in it's own right, similar to ground beef in traditional chili with masa flour.  Much of texture comes from how long you cook the chili down and how much you mash the beef as you cook it in the pot.
 
To eat with hot dogs:
 
About the buns
Steaming buns is the best way in a home environment.  A Chinese steamer basket works well or you can wrap them in paper towels and microwave 3 at a time on high for about 20 seconds.
 
About the franks
Long skinny mostly pork franks with NATURAL CASING are ideal since they’re usually not as garlicy and spicy as beef franks, and beef franks just compete with the chili sauce for center stage.  Koegle, Dearborn, and Kowalski are the local brands.  Koegle is a pork and beef mix.

Also, here are my thoughts on the recipe as I made it
- I used flour instead of cracker meal, has anyone used cracker meal to make this chili and is the difference noticeable?
- This recipe could stand to use more beef heart, not much more but I think 1 lb for every 5 lbs would be a better start.
- After all the ingredients were in the pot and I cooked the pants off the chili, I found that it wasn't as flavorful as I'd like it to be.  I used lard instead of beef suet, I wonder if that would be a difference maker... anyway, I added more salt and more onion power and I think that improved the taste.
- I still think a flavor is missing here, does anyone have any suggestions?  I'm thinking adding some more spice will help (more chili powder? tumeric?).
- It was definitely necessary to cook the chili for a while, it helps break down the meat, making it softer.
- I'm not sure who decided that the roux only needed to be 6 tbsp of flower and 6 tbsp of butter but I wonder if this recipe could be better if that was doubled or increased?  Might provide a richness and thickness that the recipe is missing.
- All in all, I brought this chili to a BBQ and people really enjoyed it, I think it was a success and now it comes down to tinkering to perfection and cross-examination with true Detroit Chili (Leo's Coney Island, American, or Lafayette would be to compare to)

good luck all!


Joel

post edited by jdcarib15 - 2010/05/19 16:00:28
scott t
Junior Burger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2010/08/01 09:53:53
Russ,
Thanks for the recipe.  A couple quick questions.  You mention a White Onion chopped fine, that gets browned with the meat, right?  Also, just to confirm you want 1/2 lb. of Beef Heart with 5 lbs of ground round, right?
Thanks,
Scott
fastballweb
Junior Burger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2010/08/12 11:47:14
Last week I made my semiannual pilgrimage to Detroit ... although the coneys were the primary reason this time considering my Tigers have basically no playoff hopes.

We decided, as neutrals in the coney debate, to try American and Lafayette one after the other and help the world settle the debate. I also was interested in gathering some information about how to better duplicate the "real coney sauce" at home.

First, I can say without hesitation that Lafayette's is the better of the two. Everyone I was with agreed. When I tried to analyze what I was tasting in the Lafayette chili, it really just came across as a well-balanced complex flavor. American's, on the other hand, had a primarily cumin-based flavor. It was a lot closer to the stuff you buy in cans at the supermarket. This flavor profile was the only significant difference between the two coneys though. American seemed to be using a batch of dogs that had some thick, tough casings ... this didn't help their cause. And American had a more angular onion dice than Lafayette.

Speaking of onions ... Russ, telling us to chop our onions just this side of the liquid stage was a little misleading! Neither place had what I would call a particularly small dice. I'll post pictures later if I'm able.

The buns are definitely steamed, and the dogs are grilled on a flat surface. They came with large, wide, deep char marks. It is a very pink natural casing dog.

I did not notice what type of mustard was used at either place, but I'm sure many of you understand how important this would be to know. I did see bottles of no-name mustard sitting around at American. I hope they didn't actually put that on my hot dogs. If so, it may be part of the reason they tasted inferior. Both places somehow deposit a wide flat ribbon of mustard on the dog, so the home cook striving for authenticity would need to find a way to duplicate this.

To sum up regarding American vs. Lafayette ... After four coneys and some chili cheese fries, I can see why both places exist and have cult followings. They both make a great coney. American is the place to go if you want a clean, modern looking restaurant that isn't cramped. Much better for the kids. Lafayette is where you go if you want the best coney dog on the planet. I think both places will be there long after the Detroit economy has boarded up every other store in the downtown area (lots of them already are).

Now I discuss the better of the two chilis ... Lafayette's.

I could definitely tell that it had Greek roots. In fact, it reminded me just a bit of frozen Skyline chili. I could identify cumin and paprika off the bat, and then a few things I wasn't as familiar with. I wouldn't be surprised if the "missing element" is spice(s) that come from its Greek heritage. I know Cincinnati chili has all kinds of weird stuff in it, so maybe a good Detroit chili is one step closer to that?

(Once I made a chili con carne with mole flavors. There were several ingredients that weren't necessarily detectable in the finished chili--ground raisin, ground peanut, and cocoa, for example. It just came through as a warm, rich, earthy flavor. I wouldn't be surprised if Lafayette's has an unexpected ingredient like this--it definitely is warm and rich.)

In terms of texture, Lafayette's was different than what I remember coming up with on my own. Their chili had a gravy-like thickness, but something was giving the chili body besides the meat. That is, I would say their chili actually has less meat in it than the recipe developing in this thread. I would say that more thickener is definitely in order.

I also am not sure if tomatoes belong in this recipe after all. I am leaning towards no.

That's all for now. I think next time I'm going to try to bring a bowl of it home for some real in-depth analysis. It is surprisingly hard to do sitting in a restaurant with 3 other guys waiting for you, wondering what your problem is.

post edited by fastballweb - 2010/08/12 11:49:00
Monkeyfister
Junior Burger
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2010/08/21 14:35:07
jdcarib did a pretty good job of mashing-up the recipes from Russ and Fastball.

This thread has made SO homesick for my beloved Michigan-- they only know barbecue and frying things down here.

Needless to say, I HAD to try this recipe. I live outside of Memphis, and am lucky to have an Organic Beef Grower right around the corner, from whom I get my beef. I called him up, and placed an order for a Cow Heart, finely ground, and packed in 1-lb bundles. He called last night, and I started this sauce at 9am.

One thing that REALLY bothers me about this recipe is the sheer amount of fats-- all that lard, then the beef grease, and then butter on top of that. WHY so much fat? It just lays on top, thick and nasty and heavy.

Is the lard really needed? Why is it used?

Can I refrigerate the sauce, and pull that grease away without wrecking the sauce?

Yes, I know that this is not health food, but all that grease is just in the way. Did you all just forget to mention, "drain the grease?"

--mf

Foodbme
Porterhouse
RE: Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2010/08/21 16:48:37
Monkeyfister

jdcarib did a pretty good job of mashing-up the recipes from Russ and Fastball.

This thread has made SO homesick for my beloved Michigan-- they only know barbecue and frying things down here.

Needless to say, I HAD to try this recipe. I live outside of Memphis, and am lucky to have an Organic Beef Grower right around the corner, from whom I get my beef. I called him up, and placed an order for a Cow Heart, finely ground, and packed in 1-lb bundles. He called last night, and I started this sauce at 9am.

One thing that REALLY bothers me about this recipe is the sheer amount of fats-- all that lard, then the beef grease, and then butter on top of that. WHY so much fat? It just lays on top, thick and nasty and heavy.

Is the lard really needed? Why is it used?

Can I refrigerate the sauce, and pull that grease away without wrecking the sauce?

Yes, I know that this is not health food, but all that grease is just in the way. Did you all just forget to mention, "drain the grease?"

--mf


I do believe the grease adds to the flavor but to each his own on that one. Here's a trick I use. After its done cooking, turn it off and wait a few minutes until the grease rises to the top. Lay down several layers of paper towel on the grease and soak up as much grease as you want to remove. That way you can use the sauce as soon as you want without refrigerating it and then taking the grease off.
 
OOH! And don't forget, take the paper towel off before you eat it! 
post edited by Foodbme - 2010/08/21 16:50:46
chock
Junior Burger
Re:Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2010/10/12 04:15:44
Living in San Francisco, CA after 30 years in Detroit, I definitely get the Coney jones.  I decided to forgo my usual "Hormel from the can, no beans" (which, actually is not that bad of an option) Coney Dog and search out a proper recipe to make for a bunch of MI transplants who were coming over to join me in watching the Michigan State - Michigan football game.
 
We made Russ Jackson's recipe (on the 1st page of this thread) - with a few modifications: no beef heart (couldn't get on short notice - we decided to make this @ 9PM the day before the game), substitute butter instead of lard (couldn't get on short notice), and homemade turkey stock instead of chicken stock.  Bottom line: after 30 years eating Lafayette, American, Kirbys, National, Onassis, etc... I know my Detroit Coneys.  This is a VERY GOOD approximation.  Some observations:
  • TEXTURE: Gschwim's comment: "Detroit coney sauce is a true sauce, like a hollandaise sauce, maybe a bit thicker, with bits of meat interspersed" is spot on!  In fact, leave a bit of Coney sauce out to cool and it will get a sheen covering very similar to what happens to a hollandaise sauce when left out at room temperature for a couple of hours.  I got a good texture - consistent density and meat to sauce ratio, not chunky, firm, not runny - but I had a touch of grittiness and didn't quite get that smoothness and sheen.  I didn't do a motor-boat hand processor like some recommended.  Maybe that was the reason?
  • COLOR:  Detroit Coney sauce is brown, not red.  The color of the sauce in this recipe was great.  I imagine the hearts might add some depth to the color, but I was very pleased with how it came out.
  • SMELL & TASTE:  The smell and taste were excellent.  I think Russ' selection of: chili powder, paprika, yellow mustard (I used Frenchs Original), tumeric, cumin powder, garlic powder, and onion powder were great.  We added some salt also as it was simmering.  We let our sauce simmer in a crock-pot over night (on low about 7 hours with lid, 3 hours no lid) which I thought made a pretty big difference.  The taste really took on more depth.

    Other thoughts:
  • After simmering for a number of hours we skimmed off about 1/2 cup of butter/fat from the top.  Seemed like the sauce would be too runny if we kept it in.  Wonder if we could get by on less butter (or lard) up front?
  • Reheated the sauce the next couple of days for more Coneys.  It's just as good, if not even better.  When I reheat, I do so on the stove/flame and add some beer.  We're also freezing some of the sauce.  We made Russ recipe @ his quantities - which fed our party of about 10 folks with about 1/2 left over.
  • To be authentic with your Coney Dogs, use Koegle Vienna hot dogs and lightly steam the buns
Last: for me, "chili cheese fries" are as much Detroit Coney Island as the Coney dogs.  I know, Lafayette (I believe) didn't have fries back in the day, but all the other Detroit Coney Islands have them and I went to MSU when Top Dog was still around (enough said if you know Top Dog).  So, deep fry up some french fries. When they come out of the fryer and are still hot, cover them with about 3/8 inch of grated sharp cheddar cheese, smother the cheese & fries with the some heated chili.  Top with diced white onions and yellow mustard and enjoy.  I had that for dinner tonight and it was to die for.
 
Thanks for the recipe Russ and thanks to the other posters here for their pointers/tips.
 
badcableman
Junior Burger
Re:Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2010/11/27 16:27:17
 
Detroit Chili Dogs
 
Ingredients:
 
SAUCE:
1 ½ cup rendered beef suet
2 ½ LB beef heart, finely ground
2 ½ LB ground round, 86% lean, finely ground
48 oz beef stock/broth
1 LARGE VIDALIA onion, minced/pureed
6 TBSP garlic, minced
6 oz tomato paste
1/3 cup prepared yellow mustard
4 TBSP paprika
4 TBSP Sauer's chili powder
2 TBSP Sauer's curry powder
1 bottle Labatt's Blue beer
3 TBSP ground cumin
2 TBSP kosher salt
½ TBSP black pepper
½ TBSP Louisiana REDHOT sauce
1 ¼ cup water, divided
6 TBSP all-purpose flour
Saltine cracker meal
 
DOGS:
Koegel's natural casing Viennas
Aunt Millie's hot dog buns
VIDALIA onion, finely chopped
prepared yellow mustard
 
 
Directions:
 
 
Some of the prep can be done the day before, to reduce the prep time on the day of cooking.
 
  1. Render 1 ½ cup of beef suet.
  2. Prepare and finely grind beef heart in food processor.
  3. Finely regrind ground round in food processor.
 
Cool and refrigerate rendered suet and reground beef (heart and round).
 
 
On preparation day:
 
Please note, there is a LOT of simmering and stirring going on during the cooking phase. It only enhances the taste of the sauce!! BE PATIENT!!
 
In very large stock pot, melt 1 ½ cups of rendered suet. Add finely ground beef heart and ground round. Brown beef until done.
 
We found it beneficial to brown the beef in two parts. Remove the browned beef into separate bowl, and RE-MINCE browned beef, still warm, with retained fat and liquids, in a food processor. RE-MINCE in equal parts, until a rough paste is formed. Return minced beef to pot, with remaining fats and liquids. Consistency should be of a “rough paste”. Rice sized bits and smaller, with retained liquids and fats is perfect. Reserve remaining melted fats for use in making the roux.
 
Add beef stock/broth. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring often. Add minced/pureed onion and minced garlic. Simmer another 20 minutes, stirring often.
 
Add tomato paste and prepared mustard. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring often. Purists will contend that there should be NO tomato component to the sauce. I strongly disagree, and could not imagine what the sauce would taste like without it. It is a subtle component, and one that I feel is necessary. Use your own judgment here.
 
Now it's time to add the spices.
 
NOTE: We did NOT use a boat motor blender. We used a hand-cranked hand mixer instead. It allows for a more even disbursement of spices, without further reducing the consistency of the beef.
 
Add the paprika, chili powder and curry powder, and the bottle of beer. Use the hand blender to incorporate the spices. Simmer another 15 minutes, stirring often.
 
Add the cumin, kosher salt, black pepper, and REDHOT sauce. Use the hand blender to incorporate the spices. Simmer another 10 minutes, stirring often.
 
Throughout this process, we added the water in varying amounts, totaling 1 ¼ cup. Add the additional water when the sauce seems to get a bit too thick, perhaps ¼ cup at a time. Continue to simmer, stirring often.
 
Make the roux. Use the retained fats and flour in equal proportions. Use medium heat, stirring constantly, until a rich caramel color is obtained. Add roux to sauce, and mix thoroughly. Continue to simmer, stirring often.
 
At this point, PURISTS can STOP. Continue to simmer to your heart's content, stirring often. It could be from 1 hour to 8 hours. Put sauce in a slow-cooker if desired, and continue cooking on low for hours. Here is where time only improves the taste of the sauce. The longer you let it simmer, the better. If you choose to stop and refrigerate the sauce overnight, and begin re-simmering the next day, so much the better.
 
Add cracker meal as necessary, stirring often, until desired sauce consistency is obtained.
 
Serve sauce over prepared Kogel dogs and Aunt Millie's buns, topping with onions and mustard to taste.
 
 
ENJOY!!
*****************************
As for my family, we PREFER beans in our chili sauce. Like it or not, we added them, and we really enjoyed the end result.
 
As before, some prep can be done the evening before.
 
Ingredients:
 
2 lbs. Dried Pinto beans
Water
 
 
Directions:
 
Cover dried beans with enough water to cover by 2”, and allow to soak overnight.
 
Drain the soaking liquids. Rinse beans twice with fresh water.
 
Recover beans with enough water to cover by 2”, and heat to a low boil. Reduce to a simmer, and simmer 1 ½ – 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
 
Turn off beans, and allow to cool.
 
 
 
Once sauce is finished as outlined above, add the cooked beans along with 2 cups +/- of the “bean stock”. Continue to simmer, stirring often.
 
Add cracker meal as necessary, stirring often, until desired sauce consistency is obtained.
 
 
Serve sauce over prepared Kogel dogs and Aunt Millie's buns, topping with onions and mustard to taste.
 
peety
Junior Burger
Re:Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2011/10/21 20:16:51
We moved from Detroit to Kentucky, and I am able to order coney chili from Gordon's Food Service.  They don't carry it in Ky they have to order from Michigan but they don't charge a fee for that you just have to buy it by the case 4 bricks that make 4 gallons total.  It's just like Coney Island Chili.  Everyone we make it for here loves it and has never had anything like it.
wheregreggeats.com
Filet Mignon
Re:Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2011/10/22 12:51:52
Pretty good first posts in this thread ... looking bay to Russ (and as of today badcableman's only post.)
BlackBirdCD
Junior Burger
Re:Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2012/01/24 00:17:54
Great discussion, and my search for a Detroit-style Coney Island sauce led me to this wonderful forum.
Former Flint-area native here, and below is the recipe for the Flint Style coney island sauce - much drier than the Detroit version. I'm not going to get into a "which is better" argument (although I've poked friends from both cities just to watch the show). I find them both wonderful-licious.
 
Note that this is the original recipe and also calls for beef heart. When the price and availability of beef hearts made their use less cost-effective, the Flint-style joints started using ground up, cheap hot dogs. I do NOT recommend going this route. The flavor is much better with the heart. My local butcher was able to provide one, and ground it up for me. They were baffled as to why I'd want it. Ground-up beef heart isn't a popular item in the Pacific Northwest where I now live.
 
I noticed an earlier posting about Abbot's Meats in Burton, near Flint. I do not believe they're in business anymore, but someone could confirm I'm sure.
 
It makes quite a bit, but freezes very well. We portioned it out in small freezer bags, each enough for a single evening for ourselves.
 
This article was once printed in the Flint Journal

Recipe: Original Fllint Coney Sauce
From the Kitchen of: Nordahmae Little
Ingredients: 1 T vegt oil
5 lbs. lean ground beef
1 beef heart ground uo
3 lg. onions finely minced
2 cloves of garlic finely minced or
the equiv.of garlic powder
4 T chili powder
1 T ground mustard
2 t ground cumin
2 6 oz cans of tomato paste
2 6 oz cans of water
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: DO NOT brown the beef; cook slow over
low heat till done and thick. The longer you let it simmer; the better the taste because the flavor gets through the meat. I use a slow cooker or my roaster depending onthe size of the batch.

(quote from article) "This recipe was from my mother, which
she got from from one of the owners of the old orignal coney Island Restrant on No. Saginaw St. in downtown Flint over 50 years ago"
Russ Jackson
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Seeking Authentic Detroit Coney Sauce Recipe 2012/01/24 08:48:40
Welcome BlackBirdCD. Looks like a great recipe. I will be making Coney's for my staff of 8 today and was pleased to see this thread pop up. I hope this is not your last post. I believe this thread was my first Roadfood post as well back in 2007. I will try your recipe...Russ
post edited by Russ Jackson - 2012/01/24 08:51:29
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