I’ve begun my great hog dog chili sauce tests using the recipes in Haute Dog by Russell Van Kraayenburg. I made his basic, classic chili sauce — the recipe is repeated below.

In a word, it’s hot. Blazingly hot. No, it is nothing like Roakes in Portland. But I did learn one thing: Roakes must use tomato sauce and not tomato paste.

The classic recipe below, using paste, has a deep red tint and, in addition to the heat, a dash of sweetness. Nothing like Roakes.

I had a second test: Russell’s Coney Island Sauce which follows the classic recipe below with these changes:

  • Do not put in the cumin and cayenne [less heat]
  • Add 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard with the other spices
  • Substitute tomato sauce for tomato paste

This second Coney Island sauce is a tad milder, but still hot. And still not Roakes. Both these sauces are “meaty” as you see in the picture. I have to figure out how to get a more “liquid” sauce, with no meaty chunks. How to do that, say without overloading with tomato flavor from additional sauce, is the challenge.

More experiments to come. I do recommend either of these excellent recipes for your Memorial Day barbequing.


Classic Hot Dog Chili

Yield: 1 quart of sauce [can be frozen]


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large white onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili power
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 8 ounces tomato paste


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the salt, black pepper, chili powder, cumin cayenne, and beef. Cook until beef is browned and no trace of pink remains.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add beef stock and tomato paste. Stir until evenly combined. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Source: Haute Dog by Russell Van Kraayenburg

Photo Information Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/40th second at ISO-1250