Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Michigan Sauce

I am from Upstate NY and in Upstate NY we have Michigans. I am talking about UPstate NY. Not Western or Central NY.... Think NYC- now go UP. Go up some more. That's where I am from.

Anyways, we have michigan's. In Michigan they have chili dogs, not michigan's, isn't that funny? So what is the difference you are probably wondering? Well, take all the extra stuff out of the chili dog and you're basically left with a michigan. Just a deliciously seasoned, very flavorful, fine meat sauce for your hot dog. So in essence, the michigan is a hot dog with meat sauce. But! Quite possibly one of the best way's to eat your hot dog. Even my husband, who has a hard time eating anything out of the very ordinary and boring realm loves these michigan's. Trust me, that is saying something.

Now if you want to take things seriously with your michigan, you must eat it with mustard and chopped white onion. If you don't want to, no sweat, you'll still have one amazing hot dog.

Unlike with baking, any cooking recipe can be adjusted to your own personal tastes. If you want more garlic flavor, add an extra clove. You like heat? Add in cayenne pepper instead of red pepper flakes, or even just up the amount of red pepper flakes. Go ahead and add hot sauce if you want. Try to resist adding onion or anything to this recipe though. Once you do that, it is no longer michigan sauce. The onion belongs chopped up and sprinkled on top, not in the sauce.

Michigan Sauce
Print Recipe

1 Tb oil
1 lb ground beef
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp salt (or sub 1 tsp garlic salt for salt and garlic clove)
1 clove garlic, chopped (preferably made into a paste with the salt, using the back of your knife blade against the cutting board- that way it will melt right into the sauce!)
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp black pepper
about 1/2 cup tomato juice or water (or even more tomato sauce)

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a medium sized saucepan (I used a small Le Creuset pot). Brown the ground beef. Add the tomato sauce and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Add garlic and seasonings. Immediately turn the heat down to low and let the mixture begin to simmer for 3 hours, covered. Make sure to check on sauce to make sure it is not burning on the bottom of the pan, stirring occasionally, and to check to see if more liquid is needed. If the sauce is drying out add tomato juice, water, or even more tomato sauce just to loosen up the mixture. The liquid is needed to help the meat breakdown. The end result shouldn't be soupy, but not dry either. A nice moist consistency is desired.

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