Two years ago, I posted a recipe probably given to me by my sister-in-law for hot dog sauce, supposedly similar to that at a Greenville, PA bar and grill. We’ve had the original many times, including recently, and thought this recipe was pretty close, at least in basic ingredients. But if you look at the post comments, you’ll see two recent comments from former Greenville residents that suggest one significant problem with my sauce, a problem I agree with—too much cloves. One generous informant, Mr. McDonald, even provided a recipe from one of his former Greenville neighbors “of the original Majestic restaurant.” Here’s the recipe I have been using, followed by the better one:
My recipe front
My recipe back
I decided to make the better recipe in a slow cooker, instead of hovering around a pot on the stove, and that turned out to be a good choice, although the beef didn’t break down like I thought it might, even after 8 hours, so I pulsed it in a blender for a few seconds for a much better texture. Both cooking methods are below.
After 8 hours
Pulsed in blender
Greenville Hot Dog Sauce
- 3 lbs ground beef
- 2 “handfuls chopped onion” (I used 2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon nutmeg (Mr. McDonald used 2 teaspoons; I used the tablespoon)
- 3 tablespoons paprika (I only had smoked paprika)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 14 oz bottle ketchup
- 6 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt (I added 2 more at the end)
- 1 cup flour (Mr. McDonald says “3/4 c. seems enough”; I used the full cup in the slow cooker)
- Brown beef, drain, and set aside, reserving about 3 tablespoons fat in pot.
- Sweat onions in the reserved fat until translucent.
- Return beef to pot with spices and ketchup.
- Beat together water, salt, and flour until all the flour is combined. Add to sauce mixture. “Simmer 2 hours. The sauce will thicken and the beef will break down. The beef is supposed to be in small particles, like Cincinnati chili. If you simmer the sauce uncovered then the water evaporates down,” if needed.
In slow cooker:
- Brown beef in large skillet, drain, and place in slow cooker. Reserve about 3 tablespoons fat in skillet.
- Sweat onions in the reserved fat until translucent, then transfer to slow cooker.
- Add spices and ketchup to slow cooker.
- Beat together water, salt, and flour until all the flour is combined. Add to slow cooker, stirring until all is combined.
- Cook at HIGH for 4 hours. Stir, then set at LOW for another 3-4 hours. You shouldn’t have any sticking, unless you have an older cooker with the heating element on the bottom, in which case you might want to use an all-day LOW setting.
- If the texture of the ground beef is still chunky at the end of the cooking (like mine was) you can use an immersion blender or a regular blender or food processor to make it more finely textured, which is best for a hot dog sauce. Just don’t turn it into a paste!
*About the amount of flour in the sauce. One cup of flour has 16 tablespoons, enough to thicken 8 cups of liquid to a medium sauce, like white sauce or cheese sauce. Combined here with 6 cups of water, you can see why the first cooking method on the stovetop suggests using less. In the slow cooker, however, there is little to no evaporation and the sauce is not too thick. That said, you have to decide how thick you want the final sauce. We like a kind of loose sauce with fine textured meat, and thought this one was just right
You heard right. I had too many tortillas in the fridge, and we eat just about any other kind of meat in them, so why not hot dogs? These dogs have at least two places to stuff—in between the tortillas and in the hot dogs themselves. If you can find another spot, let me know. What you stuff in and where is part of the fun. I’m making the traditional quesadilla with shredded cheese and chopped green chiles, then wrapping it around a chili dog with my homemade sauce and browning the whole thing on a griddle.
As far as flavors go, my hot dog sauce is spicy with cloves, nutmeg, and paprika, so I had to think about how to fill the quesadilla without any clashing flavors. If you try your own wrap, make sure all the flavors go together. You could even put more cheese in the dog and skip the sauce.
I thought it would be a heavy meal, too filling, but that wasn’t the case at all. It was a nice change from a chili dog in a bun. A little crunch on the outside, then melty cheese, then the savory dog and sauce in the middle.
Chili-Dog Quesadilla Wrap
The recipe time does not include the time to make your own hot dog sauce. I made a half recipe of the sauce the day before and still had to put much of it in the freezer in small containers: https://kitchenportfolio.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/hot-dog-sauce/
Hot dog sauce (recipe link above)
Natural casing weiners
Soft taco sized flour tortillas—I used both white and whole wheat
1 can chopped green chiles, rinsed and drained
Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
Once your sauce is made, this recipe is mostly a matter of construction.
- Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Turn off heat and place hot dogs in the water. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Heat tortillas in the microwave in between paper towels to make them soft and pliable.
- Arrange about 1/4-1/2 cup shredded cheese and chopped chiles on a warm tortilla. Cover with another tortilla and press down.
- Slit a hot dog and place it in the center of the quesadilla. fill with hot dog sauce. A thick sauce works best.
- Roll the quesadilla around the hot dog, bringing one side up over the sauce to begin. Roll as tightly as possible, then seal with a toothpick at an angle, so it doesn’t get in the way of browning.
- Brown the rolled tortilla on a heated, oiled griddle over medium heat. Or you could brush the tortillas with oil. You want to keep turning to melt all the cheese in the quesadilla.
You can serve with more condiments, like more chili sauce or sour cream for dipping, but we didn’t find that to be necessary.
No, it’s not time for a summer picnic. In fact we’re in the midst of a pretty big chill, although I heard we will warm up today into the 30s or 40s. So the blanket of snow is not going anywhere, but I just had a taste for something different, and while hot dogs might seem like summer fare, baking bread on a cold winter day is a great way to keep warm. Maybe it seems like a lot of work to go to—making your own chili sauce and buns—for the lowly hot dog, but we do love a good hot dog around here.
The chili sauce I have told you about before, and today I tweaked it a bit by making it with venison, making a smaller amount, and changing a few ingredients, so I’ll give you those exact steps, but if you want the original, go here: https://kitchenportfolio.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/hot-dog-sauce/
Hot Dog Sauce with Venison
1 lb ground venison, browned
1 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika (mine was smoked)
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons flour mixed with 1/2 cup water for thickening
- Brown the venison over medium heat with a little olive or vegetable oil, if it is very lean. I’d be surprised if it needs to be drained, but if you’re using beef, drain it. Add the onion and garlic, stirring until they begin to soften.
- Add the seasonings, ketchup and water, stirring to combine. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
- Stir in the flour and water mixture and simmer for about another 15-20 minutes, until thickened.
I found a wonderful bun recipe at Simple Bites, picked partly because the images don’t look perfect—I appreciate when people put their stuff out there without it looking like it was professionally photographed and when the food itself looks real. I also picked it because it uses all whole wheat flour, instead of a mix of white and wheat. I made a few changes to the recipe, mostly because I had different ingredients on hand. My whole wheat flour was neither organic nor bread flour—it was just King Arthur® 100% Whole Wheat. I didn’t have any buttermilk, either, so I soured some whole milk with a little vinegar. And I didn’t have any whole cane sugar, so I just used white sugar. Other than that, I followed the recipe and it makes a very nice-handling dough that is easy to shape, without the extra flour suggested in the recipe.
See the original recipe here: Soft Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns
Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns
Preheat oven to 400°
Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons warm water
1 cup soured milk (add 1 tablespoon vinegar to one cup of milk) or buttermilk
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
As needed: 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, for shaping (I really didn’t need any)
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon, melted
- Stir yeast, sugar, and warm water in small bowl and set aside until it foams, about five minutes.
- Combine whole wheat flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the milk and egg, and the yeast mixture.
- On low speed, combine the ingredients and then let sit for 10 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the mixer as needed with a rubber spatula. Turn on mixer to low speed again and add butter, one tablespoon at a time, until it is all absorbed.
- Knead dough on low or a little higher for 5 minutes or until the dough looks smooth and elastic. As noted in the original, you shouldn’t add more flour—it doesn’t need it.
- Cover dough plastic wrap or a pastry cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour. The dough becomes very pliable and easy to shape.
Shape and Bake Rolls
- Remove dough to work surface, using white flour, if needed for handling. Lightly knead into a uniform shape to more easily determine how to cut the dough uniformly.
- Cut the dough with a dough scraper into 8-12 pieces. I made 8 rolls, but the original recipe makes 12.
- Shape the pieces into long rolls of about 4-5 inches and place in two rows in greased pan. The rolls will expand on rising to touch each other and create soft sides.
- Cover the pan with a pastry cloth and set in a warm place for about 45 minutes to rise.
- Brush with the tablespoon of melted butter and bake for 20-25 minutes. Mine seemed to brown much more than the ones pictured in the original recipe, so I removed them at 20 minutes.
Cool on rack and store until ready to eat. I highly recommend this recipe for a soft roll that is made with all whole wheat flour.