”This meal is not only cheap and delicious,
children in their adulthood will fondly remember mum for making this hot dog.”
~ Chopinand, co-author of ChopinandMysaucepan
As a kid growing up in Malaysia, I remember looking forward to Tuesdays of each week. It is on Tuesdays that A & W outlets around Kuala Lumpur would have the Coney Dog day.
The deal was seemingly irresistible at the time. A succulent sausage ladened with meat sauce in a soft hotdog bun topped with diced onions and cheese. In addition the deal comes with a large mug of icy cold A & W rootbeer float with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on top. I look forward to Tuesdays because I could catch up with my school friends at an A & W outlet. I would save up all my pocket money so I could afford all of two Malaysian Ringgit (the equivalent of A$0.60 cents today).
So I decided to relive my childhood memory this week and scouted around the internet for a chilli dog recipe. Many of the recipes make reference to A & W chilli dog or Coney Island chilli dog and most of the recipes were very similar if not almost identical. I thought this must be a good thing since consistency is one of the foremost tenets of every successful fast food franchise.
I tried to follow the recipe as much as possible but I am glad that I made a few adjustments because I am so pleased with the outcome.
I smile as I take the first taste of the scrumptious looking meat sauce that is simmering in the pot.
The taste and flavour are so similar that it immediately took me back in time to those carefree Tuesday afternoons where my friends and I would wild away the time in A & W until the manager came to get us to be on our way.
This is food that kids absolutely love because it’s tasty and satisfies the voracious appetites and hunger pangs of growing teenagers.
The meat sauce is obviously the key because there is nothing much else that could go awry in this simple recipe.
I just took one bite of this Coney dog, closed my eyes and I could visualised my schooldays back in Kuala Lumpur. Those days were carefree, fun and relentless.
To relive my childhood experience to the full effect, I just had to get a bottle of Schweppes’ Sarsaparilla which is the equivalent of a Sarsi or A & W’s famed root beer which is difficult to find in Sydney.
Pour the sarsaparilla into a big glass of crushed iced and you have the effect of A & W’s rootbeer. It’s a refreshing drink after a round of golf on a hot day too.
The taste of Sarsaparilla is not my favourite but it does go well with the Coney Dog maybe because of its familiarity.
A & W Coney Dog
- 8 hotdog buns
- 8 chicken frankfurters, cooked
- 1 large white onion, finely diced
- 1 cup Cheddar cheese, finely grated
- 500gm pork and chicken mince *
- 6 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 6 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon white / brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoon ground cumin or cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 cup water
- Heat the vegetable oil in a pan until smoking then add in the mince and sear until slightly brown.
- Add in tomato puree, sugar, Worchester sauce, cumin, chilli powder, white pepper, water and let simmer for approximately 45 minutes until the meat is soft.
- Add salt to taste and let cool.
- Just before serving heat up frankfurters (steam or poach in boiling water for 10 minutes), microwave hotdog buns.
- Place frankfurter in the warm bun, ladle the meat sauce over the frankfurter and top with diced onions, cheese and serve immediately.
1. Only microwave the hotdog buns for no more than 15 seconds so they are very soft and warm.
2. The Coney Dog “flavour” comes from the cumin, so use this ingredient to balance the flavour of the meat sauce.
3. Simmer the meat sauce until it is very soft, if required, add a little water but not too much or it will gradually dilute the taste of the meat sauce.
4. I used chicken frankfurters because they are softer and easier to reheat and personally, I think they more resemble the original A & W Coney Dog than beef frankfurters.
5. Tomato slices are a good complement on the side if you like simple vegetables to go with the hotdog instead of making a whole salad.
Serves: 8 people
I would choose this hotdog over the usual burger at the pub as it would go down quite well with an icy cold beer as well.
It is also a fantastic alternative to pizzas or a Big Mac because I know exactly what goes into the sauce. I would definitely make a bigger pot of meat sauce the next time because it can easily be freezed in batches.
This meal is not only cheap and delicious, I believe children in their adulthood will fondly remember mum for making this hot dog for them when they were little.
So dear readers, what is your favourite fast food and would you try to prepare it at home?