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No-Bean Meat Sauce

By David Bowers
Published: June 1, 2012
In "Hot Dog Road Trip" (June 2012), we shared tips for grilling hot dogs as well as regional variations in meat and toppings for this American classic picnic food.

Variations like Detroit's Coney Dog and Rhode Island's "New York System" Weiner employ some sort of meat chili or sauce as a topping. Apparently a hot dog bun is no place for beans, so many chilis are a simple meat sauce, strongly seasoned. Cooking all the ingredients together without browning the meat first results in the fine-grained texture of the classic meat sauce. Makes about 3 cups.

1    pound hamburger (no leaner than 80% lean)
1    cup water
1    8-ounce can tomato sauce
½   cup ketchup
3    tablespoons yellow mustard
1    tablespoon brown sugar
1    teaspoon cumin
1    teaspoon chili powder
½   teaspoon salt

Put all ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil, crushing the hamburger with a wooden spoon to break it up. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until fine-textured and thick. Taste, and add salt if needed.
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