Friday, March 11, 2011

Family Recipe Friday - Michigan Sauce

Almost anyone who has summered on Lake Champlain would know what you meant if you said, "It's Michigan season!" And if you're lucky enough to have had female ancestors or relatives from the region, you've probably enjoyed a lovely homemade version of this summer dish.

What is a Michigan? It's a steamed hot dog, served on a bun with mustard, chopped onions, and a special "Michigan sauce." They are usually served at seasonal food stands by carhops--very quaint! What follows is my adaptation of the Michigan sauce recipe.

Michigan Sauce
  • 1 lb. 90% (or leaner) ground beef
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped (I use a food processor)
  • 1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped (food processor again)
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. onion salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 5-10+ drops hot pepper sauce, depending on your "hotness" preferences (I use Gunslinger Smokin' Hot JalapeƱo Pepper Sauce, which I got in Kansas.)
  • 1/4 c. water
Directions: Mix all ingredients together in a crock pot. Cook on High setting for 30 minutes. Stir. Switch to Low setting and cook for about 3 hours. To serve: Place a steamed hot dog on a New England style bun. Add the sauce (generously), followed by a thin stripe of yellow mustard and additional chopped onions. 

Ironically, I have been a vegetarian for several years, but will make this upon request for my loved ones!


  1. I love the recipe. It sounds very like what I always referred to as "coney dogs". I truly enjoy reading your blog and am pleased to award you the One Lovely Blog Award. Visit my blog at to pick up your award and find the rules. Congratulations!

  2. Thank you both for the warm welcome and kind words!