Coney Dogs

Coney Sauce for Coney Dogs // Wit & VinegarI’m just a guy, standing here, asking you to give coney dogs a chance.

Only because you’re going to probably scroll past this whole post down to the recipe and go jesus, I just want a chili dog why are there so many ingredients and what the shit is allspice, cinnamon and yellow mustard doing in there. I get it, I do, it’s weird (only a little weird for me because I made this chili a while back with the same spice profile), weird enough for my mom to doubt me when I told her about them and what I was putting in the chili but guess what she ate 2 hot dogs aaand all of her words.

Coney Dogs are a super regional thing, originating in of all places not coney island but Detroit. I only know of them because growing up our dad would take us to the Coney Island Restaurant when we were in Downtown Fresno and they were so good. and so different. Hot Dogs covered in sauce like chili covered in yellow mustard and white onion, like a buck a piece so I would get 3 and eat them all in less than 5 minutes like my life depended on it no regrets.

The last time I was up in Northern California visiting my family I was talking to my sister about the chili dogs and we both agreed that we needed to figure out a recipe, find the spice that was in there, nancy drew that shit. I did the research and discovered the chili dogs were in fact a thing, the Coney Sauce was laced with allspice and cinnamon, depending on where you got them and they were always topped with a squiggle of yellow mustard and diced onion. 5 batches of chili later we’ve landed on what I think is as close as I can get to that magic I remember from almost 20 years ago.

Next time you’re in need of a chili dog go for this stuff. It’s saucy, spicy, and interesting, exactly what a chili dog should taste like, praise be the chili dog. And if you wanna know more about the coney dog and the coney sauce, of course you do because you’re weird like me, here are a couple videos, one of which also explains the mystery of what had happened to Audrina Patridge.

Coney Dogs

Makes 8 Coney Dogs

1 pounds ground beef, 85%
1 6oz can tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 tesapoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 can beef stock + 1/2 can water
1/4 cup yellow mustard

For Toppings:
1/2 white onion, diced
yellow mustard

In a large skillet, brown the meat, crumbling it up as fine as you can while it cooks. We’re looking for a sauce/gravy consistency in the end, so it’s gotta be more crumbled up than hamburger helper. While it browns, you’ve got about 5 minutes, use that time to measure out all your spices and mustard and open up the beef stock and tomato paste.

Once the beef is nice and crumbled and just starting to get some color, add the tomato paste and all the spices and work it into the beef, cooking it for a few minutes to wake up the spices and tomato paste. Add the beef stock with the extra half can of water and the mustard and stir until it’s all combined. Bring the sauce up to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, to give the flavors a chance to mingle and the sauce to thicken up. After the 20 minutes you’re ready to rock n roll just give it a quick taste for salt and add more if needed.

While the sauce cooks go ahead and cook up the hot dogs to your liking (the classic coney dog is boiled) and dice the onion. When you’re ready to serve go ahead and pop a dog in a bun, top with a scoop of the coney sauce and finish it off with a squiggle of yellow mustard and the onion.

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  • Lucy

    can you eat this chili on its own or must it be used as a topping?

    • I’d imagine you could, I would probably just make sure to not crumble the meat so it doesn’t make you feel like you’re scooping up and eating gravy (even though I’ve 100% done this with sausage gravy when the biscuits on the plate run out)

  • Loving the story behind this recipe! Also, I totally want a coney dog now. Thank you for Nancy Drew-ing up a recipe for it 🙂 xoxo

  • MarshmallowFluff 2781

    I love “Nancy Drew that shit” I grew up reading Nancy Drew, Right through till I was about 20. Love the blog behind the recipe, makes it more appealing. Definitely going to try this!!!!