You know you are from Flint, Michigan if you eat at Halo Burger, know what a Boston Cooler is and can tell the difference between a Flint style and a Detroit style Coney. You know you aren’t from Michigan at all if you are saying to yourself, “What the heck is a Coney?”
For years, Flint has battled Detroit for the best Coney Dog – a delectable tidbit of chili-like substance usually smothering a Koegel Vienna hot dog – the best hot dog on earth! Now, maybe you are someone who doesn’t care for hot dogs. All I have to say to that is, “You haven’t had a Koegel!” I don’t like hot dogs either…but I love Koegels. And, sorry to tell ya Detroit, Flint style is by far the superior sauce. (Detroiters…there is a comment section below. Feel free to argue.)
But even among Flint Coney Islands (diners to those of you outside the mitten) there is varying quality. As you drive around Flint and the surrounding area, you are bound to see signs touting “Flint’s Finest” and “The Original Coney.” I have my favorites around town, most of which aren’t the large, well known joints. My favorites are the smaller, hole-in-the-wall places. But with so many choices, I would just rather make my own.
So, without further ado, here is my version of the Flint Style Coney Dog. This makes a pretty big batch, but sometimes I even double it (like I did for the Fifties Party our youth group threw for our senior citizens at church.) It freezes really well, so I like to make a lot so I can have more for later! Nothing better than having an impromptu barbecue, pull out the boring ol’ hot dog for your guests, then say, “Oh, would you like some Coney Sauce with that?” Mmmhmmm. It makes you look pretty cool.
Oh yeah…don’t forget the onions and mustard! Dinner is ready!
- 2 Tablespoons of Butter or Margarine
- 3 lbs of ground beef (I use ground chuck)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 Tablespoons of chili powder
- 1 pkg of taco seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons of yellow mustard
- 6 ounce can of tomato paste
- 1/4 cup of ketchup
- 10 ounces of water
- 10 Koegel Vienna Hot Dogs (or whatever high quality hot dog you have available to you.)
- Throw everything in the pot except the hot dogs. DO NOT BROWN GROUND BEEF BEFORE THIS STEP! You will not get the proper texture. Stir to mix ingredients.
- Simmer over low heat about 30 minutes or until the hamburger meat has had time to cook thoroughly.
- While sauce is simmering, grind the hot dogs using a meat grinder or food processor. (I usually just use my blender set on "Grind."
- Add ground hot dogs. Simmer another 20 to 30 minutes.