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Aug 19, 2007 01:42 PM

Your Best Michigan Sauce Recipe

I am very tempted to post this on the Tri-State board because very few people will know what I am talking about. It is very specific to Clinton Cty. NY, and I have heard tell of a converted bus in Burlington serving up the much craved Michigan too. I know in Montreal there was a Pogo's Michigans but it seems to be gone.

So if you went to school up there, family was based (Air Force) up there, vacationed in the area, still live up there, what is your favorite recipe? I am in the no tomato camp and the cheapest ground beef you can get. I know there are some who say it has to have tomato sauce. So bring it on. Your best and favorite.

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  1. I have a recipe here somewhere. If I find, I'll post it. Until then, the bus in Burlington is Beansie's and there is a seasonal stand in Colchester called Brigante's (about 5 minutes from Costco) that has very good Michigans (I stopped there on Friday). You can find a Michigan style dog in the Albany area but many have tomato in the sauce. I agree that a high fat content as well as a fine grind are important along with a long and slow cooking process. Hopefully I can find the recipe as it is pretty authentic.

    9 Replies
    1. re: TonyO

      My brother and S-I-L live in Colchester. He is with UVM. I will have to ask him about the bus. Also a friend who has a home in Burlington but always on a trek across the lake has to stop at Gus'. I use one that usualy tastes right. The really hard thing in the mid-west is getting the proper bun. My DH may get the expensive King Arthur New England roll pan this Christmas.

      1. re: Candy

        Candy, I see "DH" a lot hear and can't figure out what it means ? I know it is going to be simple but beyond Designated Hound I can't figure it out !

        1. re: TonyO

          did you ever find charlie's red hots recipe?

          1. re: njreggio

            Yeah, and of course I can't find it ! I'll make a couple phone calls and post as soon as a get another copy.

            1. re: TonyO

              I don't have the actual receipe...but I know that Charlies "secret ingrediant" is canned deviled ham. Delish! I miss that place.

          2. This is very common in Quebec, especially at road side "casse croutes" (snack bars). Almost every one serves a "Hot Dog Michigan" (that's what they call it, even in French), and some even offer a "Hamburger Michigan" (which is like the world's sloppiest chili burger). Sorry to say, all the sauces have tomato in them. Of course, that's the way I like them! When you serve them with a poutine (fries with cheese curds and gravy), it's a fast food heaven you'll never experience in McD's or Burger King.

            1 Reply
            1. re: KevinB

              The michigan sauce on poutine sounds decadent and heavenly. If I could only get cheese curds in Indiana!

            2. I'm from michigan and never, in my whole life, have I heard of a michigan sauce...can you please explain what is in it/what it sauces?

              17 Replies
              1. re: sixelagogo

                Me too--is it possibly what we in Michigan would call a coney dog?

                1. re: coney with everything

                  It is similar to a coney but the sauce is much denser and more compact. The frank is served on a New England roll, the type that is split on top and is used for lobster rolls and clam rolls. Why a Michigan? There are a number of theories but no definitive answer. Most are ordered 'buried" meaning chopped onions in the bottom of the roll then the frank and topped with sauce and a squiggle of yellow mustard.

                  The sauce I learned was a lb of ground beef in a pot with 1 C. water. 3-4 Tbs. commercial chili powder, maybe a little extra garlic powder, if you want it spicer add some crushed red pepper, a tiny biy of sugar to round things and 1 tsp. cider vinegar. Cook slowly breaking up the meat until the water has evaporated and the sauce is almost dry. You will need to season with salt to your own taste.

                  1. re: Candy

                    I go to Michigan regularly but have never heard of this either. Please expand and tell me where to eat this and what to order.

                    1. re: itryalot

                      As stated in the OP this is indigenous to Clinton County NY if you want to be more specific Plattsburgh, NY. I don't want to repeat myself so please read through the full thread.

                      1. re: Candy

                        I did read that; maybe I'm missing something, but then why is it Michigan sauce?

                        1. re: itryalot

                          It says above that nobody seems to be able to give a definitive answer to your question.

                          1. re: Nancy Berry

                            And a couple of places like Clare and Carl's called them Texas Red Hots. They are all pretty much the same from vendor to vendor. Undortunately the bun has changed. Bouyea bakery used to supply all of the vendors with the bun. It was a split top type but delivered fresh and uncut. The buns needed to age a day beofre being cut and steamed. It was a bigger and heavier version of the NE split top bun. The family sold out to bigger concerns who decided the specific bun was not profitable for them so now instead of the heftier bun but that held more onions sauce and dog we have been lefft with a corporate decision. I still give the former owner ( old BF) grief over selling out.

                            1. re: Candy

                              In northern New Jersey you can find Texas Weiners[sic]. Like these "Michigans" they have absolutely nothing to do with Texas and are unknown there.

                              There seems to be a trend towards naming things after places that have nothing to do with them.

                              1. re: rockhopper

                                Trend, nothing new, French Fries.

                              2. re: Candy

                                I hear you, I grew up on Clare and Carls, Nitzi's, Orange Julup, Gus's, McSweeny's, Frenches in Keeseville and Goodmans diner in Keeseville and All michigans were fabulous with Bouyea's buns. Shame on the corporate people for disturbing the way of life. (Just kidding) anyway. I was away from home for over 30 years and visited in 2000 and was craving a michigan and went to Clare and Carls and my jaw dropped to the ground when it was deliverd to my car. I thought that I was at a budget cutting convention. I asked my car-hop Why? She then explained that a new Sheriff was in the bakery town and changed some rules and Regs. Oh well, for what its worth. Michigans in the North Country are the best. You can't find one in Washington State, unless I make it myself.

                                1. re: grobare

                                  Like Chicken in a Basket and Bouyea's bread, Nitzi's is long gone but I hope I have a resemblance of the recipe that we once called "Michigan Red Hots" They weren't hot by any means but they were a part of my youth as was "Frosty's Dairy Bar" where you could get an enormous banana split or whatever served in a trough and when you finished it you would get a pin that said "I was a pig at Frosty's"

                                  1. re: BorninPlattsburgh

                                    didn't grow up in Plattsburgh but came there in 1959 as a freshman at Plattsburgh State and I could swear that it was the Altamont not far from the dorm where you ate an enormous sundae and could wear a pin saying you were a pig at the altamont...

                                    1. re: bigapple134

                                      We are obviously the same age and when I got the "I was a pig" pin it was some years earlier. They may well have changed hands (and names) by 1959.

                                    2. re: BorninPlattsburgh

                                      i remember Frosty dairy quenn in champlain you could get muchigans there yum yum yum

                        2. re: Candy

                          Reminds me of a Maid-Rite, but on top of a hot dog instead of just on a bun. Mmmmm....Maid-Rites.

                          1. re: Candy

                            Actually sounds pretty edible as hot dog condiments go- when I saw the thread title, it made me think of the boloney gravy I heard wild tales of when my sister moved to Wisconsin.

                      2. I spent five years up in p'burgh for college and haven't thought of these in a while. I never attempted to make them myself, but I may have to give it a go.


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: CeeBee

                          They are addictive. When we hit town it is usually a first stop.

                        2. Had the best dog sauce ever growing up in Schenectady at a place called Newest Lunch on Albany St.. Have been trying to duplicate it but not there yet, perhaps this will be the place for it. Anyone heard of or got a recipe please give it a post. Good Eating all.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: jdp

                            I know the Schenectady Meatsauce featured at Newest Lunch. In fact, it's served thru-out the city.


                            There is some kind of secret spice...a cinn-a-zing or some thing? Redwood Diner in Rotterdam is my first stop when back. We never called them Michigans are they considered to be Michigans?

                            1. re: netmover

                              Clair and Carl's and Nitzies called them red hots but "Toot 'n' Tell'em refered to them as MICHI

                              1. re: netmover

                                that "cinn-a-zing" your referring to, and by the way what an excellent description of the taste, is "nutmeg" a staple spice in greek cooking

                                1. re: iloveredhots

                                  Actually it's cinnamon and is basically the same recipe as Pastitso but probably made with beef and not lamb.

                                  1. re: BorninPlattsburgh

                                    Allspice berry is probably more accurate. Known for being used in pumpkin pie it is surprisingly tasty in michigan sauce. Adds a little something.

                                2. re: netmover

                                  CD has a clone for Albany St Hot Dogs sauce. I have enjoyed them for 60 years along with Mikes on Erie Blvd, two different types but both a cult following. You can buy Broadway Lunch (ON BrOADWAY) sauce to go , which is similar to Alb St, almost as good but not quite. Albant St appears to have changed hands recently-sauce almost as good as before -a little less flavor.

                                3. re: jdp

                                  I love Newest Lunch and Redwood meat sauce. Grew up with it. I also would like to get the recipe for the meat sauce. If anyone knows what the recipe is, please share. Jo Ann