Coney Island Hot Dogs

A Coney Island Hot Dog (or Coney Dog or Coney) is a hot dog in a bun topped with a savory meat sauce. Often featured as part of a menu of dishes of Greek Origin and classic American diners; the Coney Island reference is largely a phenomenon related to immigration from Greece and the Macedonian region to the United States in the early 20th century.

In 1913 the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce in New York had banned the use of the term “hot dog” on restaurant signs on Coney Island, an action prompted by concerns about visitors taking the term literally and assuming there was dog meat in the sausage. Because of this action by the Chamber of Commerce, immigrants passing through the area didn’t know the sausage in a bun by the American moniker “hot dog.” Instead, the handheld food would have been known to immigrants as a “coney island.”

Don’t you just love a little background? I sure do. The Coney Island should not be confused with a Chili Dog; since Chili contains beans and the Coney Island is strictly a ground-meat topping. While the dish does vary from region to region – some include mounds of pickles; others onions while still other parts of the country smother their Coney Island in a mound of melted cheese – the roots of the Coney Island remains the same.

Coney Island Hot Dogs
1/2 pound ground beef
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
6 hot dogs (Nathan’s)
6 hot dog buns

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat, stirring often, until beef is browned. Drain excess grease.

Add Tomato Sauce and seasonings to the meat-onion mixture. Lay dogs on top of the seasoned meat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until hot dogs are heated through.

Place dogs on buns, topped with the meat sauce.

Garnish as desired – onions, pickles, cheese or whatever suites your fancy.

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