Monday, January 11, 2010


Okay, if the title of this post has you scratching your head, I'm right there with you. As I was channel surfing last week, I heard mention of this "delicacy." I thought no more about it until this weekend as I sat deliberating over the week's menu. When I asked DSO if he had any requests for dinner, did I hear seafood Newburg or steak Diane? Crockpot chili or shrimp with broccoli rabe? I did not. What he did ask for--no beg for--was hot dogs. I kid you not. When we first started dating and would speak on the telephone at length, I would frequently ask him what he was making for dinner. His answer was usually, "hot dogs and spaghetti" or "hot dogs and beans" or "hot dogs and cole slaw." The man likes his dogs. Since I'm assuming most of my readers know how to prepare hot dogs--should they ever eat them--I decided to go online and see what this Michigan hot dog was all about. Imagine my surprise when I found the following entry here. I won't quote the whole entry, but I found it interesting that:

"A Michigan hot dog or, 'Michigan,' is a steamed hot dog on a steamed bun topped with a meaty sauce, generally referred to as 'Michigan Sauce.' The sauce may or may not be tomato-based, depending on where the Michigan is purchased. Michigans can be served with or without chopped onions. If served with onions, the onions can either be buried under the sauce or sprinkled on top of the sauce.

Michigans are a particular favorite in the North Country of New York State, and have been so for many decades. In fact, one of the earliest known advertisements for Michigans appeared in the Friday, May 27, 1927, Plattsburgh Republican.

Oddly enough, “Michigan hot dogs” are never referred to by that name in Michigan itself, nor anywhere else in the Midwest. A similar food item, the “Coney Dog” or “Coney Island dog”, is a hot dog topped with onions and either chili or a meatless chili called coney sauce. Conversely, the “Coney Island” is not called as such on Coney Island, or anywhere else in New York State; it’s called either a “Michigan” or a “Red Hot.” Finally, in southeast Michigan, a “Coney Island” is also the local slang term for a greasy spoon."

If you're interested, the post goes on to give the origins of the Michigan as well as several recipes for the sauce. The sauce I decided to make was from


1 1/2 lbs. ground beef

1 reg. onion

1 tbsp. chili powder

Level tsp. crushed red pepper

1 tbsp. curry powder

1 tsp. prepared mustard

3 tbsp. catsup

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste

6-8 oz. water

Saute onion in oil, add ground beef until brown, return to heat - add remaining ingredients, let simmer at least 1 hour adding water if necessary to keep mixture moist.

If you're going to eat hot dogs, eat good ones. I like Boar's Head and they make a lite dog that has just 90 calories and tastes just like the original. While spicy isn't my thing and I generally eat my hot dogs unadorned or with a bit of sauerkraut, for reporting purposes I tried some of the sauce on my hot dog. It was tangy and far better than I had expected. I would omit the crushed red pepper if I make this again. DSO was in pig heaven, carrying on about how delicious this was, asking if we could have it again soon.

I think this would be a great appetizer for your Superbowl party. You could cut each dog in two or three pieces and serve it as finger food. A chacun son gout (to each, his own).


  1. Perfect timing! I just took a cooking class on comfort foods in the Heartland, and this hot dog was part of the discussion we had!

  2. Perfect for superbowl parties coming up soon! I love chili dogs, or anything like them. I've never seen the boar's head hot dogs. I'll have to search them out. Sometimes I like the morningstar veggie dogs. I think people forget to make some of these old classic foods. I love the picture, they look delicious!

  3. Yum! I haven't had a hotdog in forever, sounds great with this chili sauce!

  4. I must admit to the occasional craving for a hot dog (I would eat them more often except for all the bad press!). When I do indulge, it's generally with just mustard. However, the spices and flavors in this Michigan topping look really tasty -- and I like spice/heat!

  5. I adore hot dogs! Love them and love when people top them with fun stuff and boy does this qualify! Comfort food, great for the game, for cheerng up kids and chasing away winter blues.

  6. I never heard of a Michigan hot dog and I am not sure I like the combination of the sauce with the hot dog. If I am going to eat one, it is going to be with mustard.

    On the other hand, this has me curious and I may just make it some day.

  7. I made Tyler's dogs once and they were very similar, more ketchup and mustard I think.
    Very tasty indeed. It's good to be bad!

  8. I have never tried a hotdog with chilli on it! How do you eat it without making a hell of a mess?

  9. I have never heard of these but they look wonderful! We love Boar's Head too....mostly their cheese. I didn't know they made hot dogs :) Gonna have to check for those.

  10. Oh i so muc love learning about the foods of the world and never heard of this combi with hot dogs but wanna cook this one soon....we dont buy beef very often and the next time we go shopping for meats ...this one is in...
    well our sea foods and chicken is bought close by but red meats a little further so we plan a little before driving there....

  11. I like Nathan's hot dogs, they seem to have a great flavor profile. Will have to try the Boar's Head though, our Lowe's grocery sells that brand of deli meat, but I cannot remember seeing their hot dogs. Will have to check next time!


  12. Interesting--I thought they seemed like the ones my Mom made and she called them Coney Island Dogs. Funny how the names change so much. They look delicious no matter what the are called!

  13. There's even more distinction than that between "Coney Dogs" in Michigan, and "Michigan dogs" elsewhere. There's a rivalry between Flint and Detroit on which dogs are tastier! Flint is by far the best in my view (dryer meat). Thanks for the recipe, and if you have any fans from Flint, encourage them to go to

  14. Arlene... I'm with DSO ~ you can't do better than a good hotdog, now & then. I love the google piece about how "Michigan" got its name. It's not all about the state sometimes.

    Just goes to show... one man's Coney Island, is another man's Michigan! Or down south we like to call 'em "Camp Fire Puppies"...

  15. Wow that does sound really good! I will have to try this recipe on a weekend. Yum!

  16. Ay Querida, my honey would kill for a Michigan Dog right about now. He too loves his hot dogs. What is it about men and dogs? ;)

    Anyway, I love this sauce and will copy it for the weekend. Thanks amiga.

  17. Wow, I've never heard of a chili sauce for hot dogs that had curry powder in it, much less a whopping tablespoon. Doesn't the curry overwhelm the chili sauce? I love a good chili dog but haven't yet found a good chili sauce. This is a very interesting take on what I know as chili sauce for hot dogs.


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