CHEW THIS! Coney Sauce

The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.

Homemade Coney Sauce

Blaise Doubman

Every so often I will post a recipe on my Facebook page and people will go wild. Awhile back, someone asked if I had a recipe for homemade coney sauce for coney dogs. I told them, yes! When I wrote back with my response, several people commented that they would like for me to share that recipe with my column readers and thought it would be a big hit, so here it is! I have always loved coney dogs, or chili dogs some people may call them, so this recipe is a personal favorite of mine! When developing this recipe, I wanted something that could be easily made, doubled or tripled in size if necessary and stored well when it came to leftovers. The first version of this recipe actually had a can of refried beans added. I wanted something to thicken up the sauce and did not want to use your typical flour and water or cornstarch addition, so I added a can of refried beans. The texture was great, but the flavor just was not really what I was looking for. I do now, however, recommend using a can of refried beans to thicken up your chili recipes! Skip the traditional thickening methods and try the beans! 

But, back to the recipe at hand. I decided to take a different route, after the refried bean trick and try simply thickening the sauce up by bringing it to a boil and letting it cook for a while. The trick worked and it was absolutely perfect! Now, when you read this recipe, you may be thinking that the ½ cup of chili powder is a mistake. It is not a mistake! The chili powder really cooks down over the hour of cooking time and gives this sauce a unique taste that you just simply will not find without using the full ½ cup amount of chili powder. If you want to take this sauce even deeper in flavor, substitute the light brown sugar for dark brown sugar. You coney sauce will take on even deeper colors and flavors. This recipe is perfect to make ahead, store in the refrigerator and warm back up and keep warmed, in a slow cooker. My favorite method of serving these is with water boiled hot dogs and steamed hot dog buns. Sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top, or even a little extra onion, for one of my favorite recipes! 

Coney Sauce

If you are out of chili powder you can always substitute or make your own by combining 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1 teaspoon sweet paprika.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/2 cups water

Start by browning the ground beef together with the prepared onion. Drain.

Stir in the white granulated sugar, ketchup, chili powder, light brown sugar, salt and black pepper.

Carefully add in the water. Stir.

Bring this mixture to a boil.

As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Taste for additional seasonings and serve hot.

Ask and Answer: Venetta J from New Castle wondered if you could substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream in recipes. The answer is, yes! You can absolutely make the substitution. Just be sure to substitute equal parts Greek yogurt for the sour cream. I also prefer using the unsweetened Greek yogurt and then tasting before adding any sweetness.


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