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Naum Aksenov
Naum Aksenov

Mcsweeney Michigan Sauce Recipe

This recipe makes a fairly large batch. You can freeze Michigan sauce in small portions to enjoy later. A typical serving of Michigan sauce is roughly 1/4 cup, so I freeze 4 servings (1 cup) in a freezer-safe plastic storage container.

Mcsweeney Michigan Sauce Recipe


I make this sauce in a dutch oven (you can use a large pot too). Put all ingredients in the dutch oven, cover and cook on low-medium heat for 1-2 hours. Do not brown the meat, just put in the pot with all the other ingredients. Stir sauce every 15 minutes while cooking. This recipe makes a lot of sauce. I normally cut it in half. Enjoy!

No one really knows where the recipe came from or why the delicacy is called a Michigan. There are many tales about Coney Island hot dogs meeting sauce made by a woman from Nashville. The Nashville woman married someone from Detroit and then they moved to Plattsburgh, New York, and starting selling the hot dogs and called them Michigans.

The recipe makes quite a lot of sauce. I freeze some of it in ice cube trays and, when the cubes are frozen, I pop them out and put them in the freezer in a freezer bag. Then, when I want a Michigan, I just grab two cubes and put them in the microwave for a little while!

Several people claim to have invented the Michigan, but it was Garth and Eula Otis who started it all, according to Greater Adirondack Ghost and Tour Company. While living in Michigan, Mrs. Otis learned to make a special hot dog meat sauce known in Detroit as a Coney dog. Over time, she developed her own recipe and when the couple moved to Plattsburgh, New York in the early 1920s, they opened the Michigan Hot Dog Stand.

There are almost as many varieties of Michigan sauce as there are stories about its origin. One theory is that the original Michigan sauce was created by George Todoroff in Jackson, Michigan. In 1914, Mr. Todoroff took his recipe to Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York and opened his first restaurant.

Most connoisseurs agree there are four key elements to a michigan: a steamed roll, a boiled hot dog, mustard, chopped onions on top of, or "buried" beneath, the sauce. And of course, the sauce, which is the most important part.

Even within the town of Plattsburgh, there is a lot of speculation about how the Michigan hot dog was first invented and where it got its name. The most frequently mentioned theory, according to Serious Eats, is that the original sauce recipe traveled to Plattsburgh via a Detroit woman who moved to the area. This lore would explain the namesake of the hot dog and why it appears so similar to a Detroit Coney dog. Although as the Town of Plattsburgh's website says, while it is known the recipe showed up in the 1920s, the exact origin is unknown. Many residents have their own stories and theories about the real history.


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