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Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce

This sauce is what makes a "Coney Dog" it's own a thing in Fall River, Massachusetts. It's similar to a chili, with a little bit of sweetness from the tomato paste and a bit of tang from the spicy mustard.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
  • Yield: About 3 cups


  • 1 1/2 pounds finely ground beef, 80/20 blend (* see Note)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth or water
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons spicy mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Heat a nonstick skillet or wide saucepan over medium high heat. Add the beef and onion and cook, stirring to break up any large pieces of meat, until the onion is soft. Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the paste browns in spots and the garlic is tender. Add the spices, tomato sauce, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and flavorful, 30 to 40 minutes. If the sauce gets too thick, thin it by adding a bit of water. Taste and adjust the seasoning by adding salt and pepper if necessary.

  • *Note:  If you are unable to source finely ground beef, you can process the sauce (or some of it) in a food processor after cooking to help break the meat into smaller pieces. This is what we had to do to achieve the fine-ground consistency that folks remembered this sauce having.

Recipe Details