From top to bottom, Marty Embry’s Coney Sauce with ground Koegel Viennas, Marty Embry’s Coney Sauce with beef heart and beef kidney, and Angelo’s original Flint Coney Sauce, all served on Koegel Viennas.
Have you ever gotten obsessed with something that you can’t let it go, no matter how hard you try? For me, being able to make authentic Flint Coneys has been like that for some time. Marty Embry is no help in this whatsoever, as he in no way shape or form assists in keeping my obsession in check.
Nay, the doode is a freakin’ enabler.
Last week I did a matchup between Marty’s version of the Flint Coney using his Coney Sauce Spice and the actual original sauce from Angelo’s Coney Island in Flint. While Marty’s version was good and rather dead-on in the spicing, something else was apparently missing. The Angelo’s sauce obviously had organ meats in it, likely beef heart and beef kidney. I’d made a sauce this way before and the taste is rather obvious. So this week I decided to add exactly that.
But there was one other issue, another hurdle to cross. Mary doesn’t like organ meats so she doesn’t like Angelo’s sauce. However, she really likes my Beachhouse version which has ground-up hot dogs in it.
So there it was, the challenge. Heat up some more of the Angelo’s sauce, figure out a good addition of organ meats for another batch with Marty’s spices, and also create a third with the ground-up hot dogs for Mary. Build Coneys with each and compare them side-by-side.
The results, after the jump …
Adding 6 ounces of organ meats to Marty’s recipe, another tablespoon of his spice, and replacing the oil with unsalted butter, Adam and I were able to pretty-much nail the taste and texture of the Angelo’s sauce. It got to the point where we were going back-and-forth with plastic spoons trying to figure out if there was an actual difference.
The color difference in the bottom two sauces in the photo is probably from one thing: Angelo’s keeping the sauce hot before I bought it. Throughout a lengthy keep-warm, a sauce such as this will do exactly that. If I had gotten the sauce right after they’d made it, it would have likely had a lighter color.
The top sauce in the photo, made with three ground Koegel Viennas included in the meat mixture, had a much richer flavor. This is likely from the spices used in the Viennas themselves. While almost similar in taste and texture to the Angelo’s sauce, using a cheaper hot dog in the grind, even a Koegel Skinless Frankfurter, would likely do the trick in reigning in the added richness.
Adam and I liked the version with the heart and kidney, while Mary and Ryan liked the ground hot dog version. When it comes to the taste of heart and, even moreso, the stronger-flavored kidney, it really is a matter of taste.
So there it is. This is indeed what I’m settling on. If I were to open another restaurant and serve coneys, I would make the sauce using Marty’s spices and one of these two methods.
Now, where’s that spoon. There are leftovers in the fridge …
Flint Coneys a’la Marty Embry
2 packages (16 hot dogs) Koegel Viennas (or similar with natural casing)
1 lb 85/15 ground beef
4 ounces beef heart and 2 ounces beef kidney (fat removed) OR 3 hot dogs
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1-1/2 cup warm water
5 Tbsp Marty Embry’s Coney Sauce Spice
Grind the organ meat or three hot dogs and combine with the ground beef. Add the water to the meat mix and combine by hand until the mixture is like a thick melted milkshake. Melt the butter in a pot over medium-low heat and sauté the onion until it’s transluscent. Add the meat mixture to the onion and stir thoroughly. Allow to simmer over medium-low heat for 20 – 25 minutes until the meat is fully cooked. Add the Coney Sauce Spice and mix thoroughly, allowing to simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat and serve two tablespoons of sauce over grilled Koegel Viennas or similar hot dogs in a steamed bun, topped with chopped onion and a squiggle of mustard.