This and other recipes, along with history and restaurant locations, are available on the Flint Coney Resource Site. You can download a PDF containing both this recipe and the earlier recipe we used at the beachhouse last summer by clicking here. If you print the PDF on two sides of a piece of paper, you can fold it into thirds for easier use and storage.
For years now I’ve been making my own version of the Flint-style coney sauce. During the summer of 2008 over a period of three months the kids and I sold hot dogs with this sauce, making 72 five-quart batches of my own version of the recipe. But while we all enjoy this sauce, both then and now, I’ve always had the urge to create my own version of the original sauce as served at Angelo’s in Flint.
This morning, we finally got the chance.
Back in early September I had purchased a few ingredients so I could attempt to create my own version of a Flint-style coney sauce. The ground chuck came from a grocery butcher, who handed me a package label at 2.01 pounds.
The frozen packages of beef heart and beef kidney were from Lee Williams’ House of Meats in the Toledo area, which is about as close as I can get to fresh without going to a slaughterhouse. The heart was from the Point Place location, and weighed about 4-1/2 pounds. There is a little bit of fat on it but not much. This is easily trimmed down to 1/2 pound portions and, as it’s all muscle, can easily be refrozen.
I had to get the kidneys from the Lee Williams Starr Ave. store. Each kidney is about 3/4 pound and come in packages of two. Cutting these down to 1/2 pound portions for the recipe is rather simple. You still need at least a small food scale to get the weight right. We picked up a Taylor scale with a 16-ounce capacity in at a local store for about five bucks. Using this, we were able to get the meat weights exact.
One of the great points about these meats is that they’re inexpensive. People rarely use them in recipes anymore, so the heart was $1.39/pound and the kidney was $2.19/pound.
Adam ground these lovely hunks of meat in an old-fashioned meat grinder that we’d clamped to the dining room table.
The recipe for an authentic-style Flint coney sauce is rather simple. There is tomato sauce and and water in the other version but not here. So you do need to add extra fats as there are no liquidswith these organ meats. You’ll get a little juice from the ground beef but not much.
The results? The boys loved it. Caleb, who ran the beachhouse with me last year, said it was better than what we’d made last summer. Adam just called it “excellent”. Briahna liked it … but said it was still “creepy” because of the organ meats. Mary said it was good but not as good as the beachhouse version. She also said we probably shouldn’t tell people what’s in it until after they try it.
Authentic-Style Flint Coney Sauce
1/2 lb beef heart
1/2 lb beef kidney
2 lb 80/20 ground chuck
4 Tbs shortening or lard
4 Tbs unsalted butter
2 tsp minced or granulated garlic
2 Tbs ground mustard
5 Tbs mild chili powder
Kosher salt and ground pepper
1 6-quart pot
1 meat grinder
1 8″ x 8″ glass dish
Use the meat grinder to grind the beef heart and beef kidney. Set the pot over low heat and melt the lard and butter in the saucepan. When the fats are melted, add the ground heart, kidney, chuck, the garlic and ground mustard and stir well.
Let the sauce simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t allow the meat to dry out; add a tablespoon each of butter and lard if necessary and lower the heat when necessary. At the end of the 45 minutes, add the chili powder. Also add salt and pepper to taste, then simmer the sauce another 5 minutes before serving.
For best results, serve on grilled Koegel Viennas that have been cooked over low heat (250F) so the natural casing snaps when bitten.
Don’t use garlic powder instead of minced garlic. Throw that powdered stuff away … it’s not the same. However, granulated garlic is an excellent substitute for minced garlic.