Detroit Coney Island Sauce

Does anyone have a recipe for Coney Island Sauces from the Detroit region? In particular, Lafayette Coney or American Coney.


Thanks. Have you tried either recipe? In reading about Coneys. It sounds like Michigan is where they originated from. It also looks like Lafayette Coney gets the best feed back. Being I live in Minnesota with hardly and Coney places, it would be fun to try to copy one of the best in the business.

Thanks again for your reply.


Here’s a Coney recipe from a Grand Rapids, Michigan newspaper. I’m from California and have not tasted a true Coney.

Almost Flint-Style Coney Sauce (Hot Dog Chili)

1-1/2 lbs ground beef
4 or 5 hot dogs
1 Tbs shortening
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbs prepared yellow mustard
6 oz water
6 oz tomato sauce
3 Tbs mild chili powder
Kosher salt and pepper

1 12" skillet
1 colander
1 old-fashioned hand-driven meat grinder
1 8" x 8" glass dish
1 2-quart sauce pan with a lid

Brown the ground beef in the skillet till itʹs nice and tender. Dump it into the colander and let it drain. Push on the browned meat in the colander with the back of a spoon until most the grease is out, and then dump the meat into the sauce pan.

Install discs onto the front of the meat grinder for a fairly small grind and grind the hot dogs into the glass dish. After digging the rest of the ground hot dogs out of the inside of the grinder, add the ground hot dogs to the browned meat. With the exception of the chili powder and the salt and pepper, add the remaining ingredients to the sauce pan and mix it all as completely as possibly. Start heating the sauce on the stove over medium
heat. When it comes to a simmer, cover the saucepan, set the burner for low heat, and let the sauce simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add the chili powder to the sauce and stir it in well. Check the flavor of the sauce and add the salt and pepper to taste.

Cover the sauce again and let it simmer another 10 minutes to let the flavor develop before serving on grilled Koegel Viennas in natural casings on decent (not wimpy) steamed, grilled or toasted buns, all topped with a squiggle of a rich yellow prepared mustard and some chopped onion.


•The hot dogs you grind up will affect the flavor of the finished sauce. Using Koegel Viennas for this makes a lot of sense.

•Tomato sauce comes in 8 oz cans, but you should only use 6 oz.

•Don’t use garlic powder instead of minced garlic. It’s not the same.

•While it’s possible to grind the hot dogs in a food processor, a better texture is created by using an old-fashioned hand meat grinder. These are available in specialty and antique shops, commercial food equipment dealers, and the cooking section of Cabela’s in Dundee.

•There are versions of this recipe that say to add onions, not to brown the ground beef first, and slow-cook it all day long. Not everyone likes onions, not browning the ground beef first means greasy sauce later, and if you do use a crock pot for this, add the chili powder, salt and pepper later in the cooking process.

Source: Grand Rapids Press , October 15, 2007

Here’s a recipe from a Detroit, Michigan newspaper:

The Cruise Coney (Hot Dog Chili)

1 pound ground chuck
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon dried, minced onion
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (heaping)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Brown ground beef in a skillet, adding onions half way through. Add minced
garlic when meat is nearly done. Add remaining ingredients; stir well to
combine. Simmer over low heat 15 minutes. Makes enough sauce for 12

Source: The Detroit News, August 14, 2008

Frankly, I’m tired of the subject. It seems on this subject, people can always tell you what should not be in the recipe, but they never seem to have a recipe of their own to offer. I’m done. I enjoy the recipes I have and they work quite well for me. If anyone has an “authentic” recipe to offer (whatever that means) have at it.