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Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce

Coney Island Sauce

Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce Recipes

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Previous Jackson, MI residents have written from around the country. Be sure to tell us where you are currently living.

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Horse Heart Coney Sauce?

The d'Nicio's in Oshtemo Township was originally tied to the Parlour (Loud's) in Jackson. Not as good as the one in Jackson was back in the early 1990's, but the one in Jackson isn't either.

Back in 1993 I received the recipe for Todoroff's sauce and the main ingredient was not beef heart, but horse heart. Pretty sure this is true. It seems that the Todoroff's sauce has a flavor that no other sauce has — could be the reason.

Still go back to Jaxon every month, but am living the high life in Kzoo (near Oshtemo Township). Jackson is Jackson — still trying to recover from the 1980's and now from Great Recession. Still being driven into the ground by city leaders and the holier-than-thou's (case in point the Michigan Theater which had been financially solvent while they showed Rocky Horror every week, but we know how corruptive that is, so they were forced to quit showing it. Now for the last 20 years or so they been asking for money to stay afloat) and the New Years Celebration that was moved from midnight to 7:00 in the evening (I'm sorry, was it a school night?).

They even had a 5k run that kicked off at the stroke of midnight, and half the town was out for the fireworks and the run - but anything positive there gets trampled one way of the other. They moved the time to 7:00 and it destroyed the "charm" of being together as the new year rung in. Final straw was when the Y (which I had been a member at for years) decided to charge $5 a day for the after school program for kids (it had been free). None of the single mothers I knew could afford it — just typical Jackson lunacy.

Miss my friends and the food, but that's it.


Original Coney Sauce

I grew up in Jackson, Michigan and I have the recipe for the Original Coney Sauce. The one flavor that is missing in many of the sauces today can not be used by the restaurants today, is the right meat.

Back then, they used "Chili Meat" bought from all the meat wholesalers. The secret is they would grind beef heart and sell it as chili meat. They can't sell organ meat in restaurants any more. You sure can use it personally. I get mine ground at a super market here in Cape Coral Florida.

If you would like my recipe email me and I will send it to you. You will see it is Jackson Coney Island.


I wish I had known they call it chili meat, they sell it at the market. thanks for the tip.

Share your Favorite Coney Dog Recipe

Dinette Coney Sauce

Was looking for a different recipe for coney sauce and came across yours, which I am going to try.

I grew up in northern Kentucky and having a coney on Saturday was always a treat. There was a restuarant called the Dinette and their sauce was to die for. Here's the recipe (it came from a waitress who worked there for 43-years).


(There were no measurement on the spices, so you have to adjust to suit your own taste.)


Cook hamburger in 1 cup of water until done. Make sure hambuger is crumbled up and cooked until it's done. Add remaining ingredients and cook over low heat for one hour. Then....(this is weird)... add 1/2 cup cracker meal. I make my own by rolling saltine crackers until they are find as cornmeal.

Cook 15 more minutes.

This is really, really good! Hope you try it someday.


Caris Red Lion Coney dogs!

What a great site for MI information. I live now in Colorado and miss the coney sauce that I grew up on — the best ever was from a place in Bay City called Caris Red Lion. It was sort of like a small cafeteria style with the best ever hot dogs — never had anything else there, even though they had a large menu.

I found a post with the following recipe which I haven't tried but if anyone remembers the Red Lion they will know how much it is missed.

PS. I have been searching for a source for Lake Perch for 20 years and still haven't found one — care to share?



  1. Brown beef and onions in the cup of water
  2. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil
  3. Reduce to a simmer, uncovered stirring occasionally, until thick - usually about 3 hours

About 1 ½ cups generously sauces up to 8 hot dogs. I split my sauce into zip lock bags, squeeze out the air and freeze. This stuff keeps very well in the freezer up to a year.

~Ruth Van Akker
Indian Hills, CO

Dear Ruth,

Check with your local market. I asked at our local grocery and they ordered it in for me they have carried it every since. It comes from a seafood distributor. I learned from a dear friend; If you don't A-S-K, you don't G-E-T.

Thanks for writing,

Orange Onions?

I was looking for how to prepare the onions that are used on coney island hot dogs, instead of the raw chopped ones; the ones that are in a pot that look a bit orange in color. Did you ever get that recipe?

I am originally from Jackson, Michigan as well, and am now living in Temple, Texas and wanting to know how to prepare coney dog sauce. Your recipe sounds like it is going to be good, so I am going to try it for the 4th of July.

I too had found out beef hearts were what was used in the original recipe, but will probably not go that way because I know beef heart is not exactly good for you. Let me know.

Thank you,
~Carol Bandas

Dear Carol,

I am not a real fan of onions — at all. I eat my coney dogs with Catsup. I know I'm committing a cardinal sin but what can I say, mustard and onions really aren't my thing.

Perhaps, someone will see your post and be able to provide a recipe for you. We had coney dogs tonight for dinner. Yummy!

Beef Heart Makes the Coney!

I grew up in Jackson, Michigan on Coney Dogs! Moved to Florida as an adult and could not find Coney Dogs in Florida. My Mother sent me a recipe from Todoroff's Original Coney Island.



     Brown beef heart until done, mix all spices, let simmer at least 1 hour. Add enough water to keep moist. The longer it cooks the better it is. You may add more garlic or a touch of salt as needed or to your taste.

The beef heart is what makes the flavor soooooooo good!!!!!

~Ed Miller

Dear Ed,

Thanks for sharing Todoroff's recipe. I'll be sure to give this recipe a try and let you know what I think. I have eaten at Todoroff's many times. It's good eating!

Follow-up: I've checked locally with several markets, in an attempt to purchase some beef heart. I'm starting to get discouraged. I have two local stores willing to order beef heart for me — the problem is, I have to order an entire case. I can't imagine what I would with it all. I'll keep checking though...


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Updated March 9, 2010

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