written by Dave Liske, last updated October 21, 2014
edited by Ryan Liske
Two up! A pair of Flint coneys topped with sauce made with this recipe.
To the left is an image of the current version of Simion P. (Sam) Brayan’s circa 1924 Flint Coney Sauce from Abbott’s Meats, Inc. as distributed by Koegel Meats. We don’t have the exact recipe for this sauce, and despite the rumors and folklore, Brayan did not allow any so-called “original recipe” to be published in the Flint Journal nor anywhere else for that matter. As far as we know, he never wrote the recipe down, as people didn’t write down recipes back then, so there was really nothing to publish. In fact, restaurants have always purchased a 25# bag of Flint Coney sauce base from Abbott’s Meat consisting only of beef heart, beef and soy texture, making their own version of this sauce from that base. But we certainly wanted to create a “copycat” recipe as close as possible to what’s in the bag pictured here. Reverse-engineering a recipe takes a lot of work. In most instances you have nowhere to start from. In the case of the original Flint coney sauce there are numerous clues throughout its history.
Putting it all together we finally ended up with a fully-tested recipe.
Authentic Flint Coney Sauce in Abbott’s Style
Tested October 21, 2014
As stated above, this style is marketed by Koegel’s as a “sauce base”. Modifications would certainly be encouraged.
4 lb beef heart, approximate weight
2 lb beef suet or 1/2 cup rendered beef tallow
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup textured vegetable protein or soy flour
2 medium or 1 large white onion, finely chopped
4 Tbsp ground cumin seed
2 Tbsp mild chili powder
2 Tbsp iodized salt
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp sugar
If rendering the beef tallow from beef suet (adapted from The Prarie Homestead):
- Trim any beef off the suet and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
- Chop the suet into large chunks, about 1/2″ square.
- Use either a knife or a food processor to chop the cold suet into smaller pieces similar in size to good browned ground beef (like taco meat).
- Dump the chopped beef suet into a stock pot.
- Set the stock pot on a burner and set the heat to extremely low so the suet won’t burn during rendering.
- Wait for the suet to render into tallow, stirring occasionally. A 5 – 6 quart amount might take 6 hours or more. It is done rendering when there is clear liquid on the bottom with crispy impurities floating at the top.
- Strain the rendered tallow through cheesecloth to remove the impurities before continuing.
If you wish to use pre-rendered beef tallow:
- Purchase a good beef tallow, such as that which is available in jars from FatWorks.
Once you have good, filtered beef tallow available. you can begin making the sauce.
- Trim the hardest fat from the beef heart and discard.
- Grind the beef heart to a fine consistency, probably twice. Set aside.
- Pre-heat the tallow over medium heat, and add the finely chopped onions.
- Allow the onions to slightly brown, just for a minute or so.
- When the onions are browned, add the cumin, salt, chili powder, garlic powder and sugar and simmer for two minutes.
- Remove from the heat.
- Fold the ground raw beef heart and water into the seasoned beef tallow mixture and onion mixture, mixing completely.
- Add the textured vegetable protein or soy flour and blend thoroughly.
[This is the spot where Abbott’s Meats, selling the product uncooked, would bag the mixture, removing as much air as possible, and freezes it immediately. If you want to store the sauce, feel free to do the same.]
- To serve, cook the sauce over medium heat until the beef heart just its red color. Serve over grilled Koegel Viennas, and top with good yellow mustard and finely-chopped white onion.