Another local specialty, one is hard pressed to find real hot dog chili outside of the Pittsburgh area. Go too far away and the only chili you’ll find has beans in it. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just not what I want on my hot dog.
Today I’m sharing a local Coney Island copycat recipe passed on to me from my mother. If you’ve never had it, you’ve got to give it a try. It isn’t Coney Island’s recipe, and of course they’ll never share their secret ingredients. I don’t even think it tastes like Coney Island but it’s one of my favorite recipes.
A little history for you:
New Castle, Pennsylvania is rife with Greek hot dog chili history. Called the Hot Dog Capital of the World, hot dogs and their delectable chili topping were brought to New Castle in the early 1920’s by Greek immigrants. Coney Island lunch opened in 1920 on W. Washington St. Since then other establishments such as Hudson Lunch and P.O. Lunch have come along, also with wonderful chili of their own. I heard a rumor that Hudson Lunch’s secret ingredient was a pinch of Copenhagen in every batch of chili sauce. I doubt that’s true, but it’s fun to think about. No wonder it was so addictive!
I do want to mention that this chili is quite spicy. Cut back or eliminate the red pepper and cayenne pepper if you don’t want it hot.
You will need:
1.5 lbs ground hamburger
2 tbsp. black pepper
3 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tbsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 small can tomato paste
2 tbsp. flour
4 C. water
Brown your ground beef on low heat stirring constantly with a spoon. The reason I recommend this is because it will give you a very fine-grained finish. If you brown the ground beef only stirring occasionally, you will have larger particles and it’s difficult to break these down once they’re cooked.
In a small bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients and add to the cooked meat while still over the flame. Add in tomato paste also and stir well. Add in water a little at a time stirring as you go.
Once the water is added, allow to simmer over low heat for 2 hours, or put in a crock pot and allow to cook uncovered for 4 or 5 hours stirring occasionally.
Enjoy on your hot dog or over fries with cheddar cheese, or anything else you can think of.