Recipe Finder: Coney dog sauce

January 23, 2013|By Julie Rothman, For The Baltimore Sun

Harold Lauer from Spearfish, S.D., was looking for a recipe for the Coney dog sauce that was served at many A&W drive ins in the 1960s.

John Van Meter from Dickeyville sent in a recipe for the sauce that was given to him by his late sister. He said the recipe is attributed to Hank's A&W root beer stand in Wabash, Ind. He sent the recipe to me exactly as it read, but he thought it needed a little tweaking, which I did without much difficulty.

I tested his recipe on a day when my house was full of hungry football-watching boys, and it was a resounding success. I served the sauce over good-quality grilled hot dogs, and I put out bowls of grated cheese and diced onions for everyone to use as toppings. This made for great football food and would be ideal to take tailgating because the sauce can be made in advance and reheated or kept warm in a slow cooker. The recipe makes a large quantity of sauce, and if you run out of hot dogs, it makes for a very tasty, albeit beanless, bowl of chili.


Mary Kilby from Timonium would like to have the recipe for the banana cream pie that was served at the now-closed Toddle House restaurant chain in the 1950s.

Ellen Priebe from Baltimore is looking for the recipe for the chicken chow mein that was served at Jimmy Wu's or the White Rice Inn in Baltimore.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, and The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278 or email If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate piece of paper and be sure to include your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Name and hometown must accompany recipes in order to be published. Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letter and recipes may be edited for clarity.

Coney dog sauce

Makes: 14-20 servings

2 pounds ground chuck, fine grind

2 large onions, finely diced

4 teaspoons chili powder

4 pinches of red pepper flakes (or more to taste)

2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard

1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)

24 to 32 ounces tomato sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Saute ground chuck and onions in a saucepan. Add remaining ingredients once the meat has browned. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens, 30 to 40 minutes. May be served immediately or kept warm in slow cooker until ready to serve.

Serve sauce over hot dogs, "Coney Island-style." Top with shredded cheese and onions if desired.

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