Pressure Cooker Coney Island Chili

 Detroit Style Coney Island Chili (This time without thumb bits)


This is it, the recipe in which I sacrificed a bit of my thumb to bring you (ok, the thumb is almost entirely back to normal at this point).

I am not claiming that this recipe is going to please everyone, as Detroiters tend to be very opinionated about their coney island chili, but having grown up in the Detroit area, I feel I am at least slightly qualified to say that this is a fairly reasonable facsimile (although I haven’t lived there in many years).


As I understand it, the real thing contains beef hearts, which I am not opposed to but would rather not deal with at home, and that is if I were able to find any in the local stores (but I do hold high hopes for a butcher shop that was supposed to open here in Santa Monica in May, but is still fighting its way through the maze of red tape that anyone trying to open a business in Santa Monica has to contend with).


And Once again, I was missing a couple ingredients in my first photo, so with no further ado, may I introduce to you: apple cider vinegar and celery seed!

I am told that there is also a Flint style chili that contains ground up hot dogs as well as ground beef, but that sounds like overkill to me.


So, I am just sticking to the Detroit area and ground beef but no hearts (it is quite fitting as I have often been called heartless, so now my chili matches my personality).

I know that the photo doesn’t exactly look healthy, but I made this for one of my “Junk Food Fridays”. I am trying to avoid most baked goods right now, so I served this over hot dogs on oven-fried potatoes (sliced with a knife this time).


I have found that using onion and garlic powder instead of fresh adds to the authenticity, but I usually have fresh diced onions on top of the hot dogs.

This is a recipe that you don’t want to try to “healthify” by using extra lean beef or ground turkey. The fat is part of what makes it taste like “the real thing”.

Before serving stir, mashing a little with the spoon, or you could get an even more authentic texture by using an immersion blender. I just used a spoon.

Pressure Cooker Coney Island Chili
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-8
This version of Detroit-sytle Coney Island Chili will help to quell those cravings when you are away from the real thing.
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 2 lbs. ground beef (85/15 or 80/20 works best)
  • 2 cups chicken or beef broth (I used chicken because that's what I had on hand)
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In 1 tablespoon oil, saute ground beef over medium heat (you don't want to brown it, just cook it enough to break it up a little bit.
  2. Pour in chicken or beef stock
  3. Stir until beef is mixed into stock
  4. Add tomato paste, Dijon Mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Chile Powder, Allspice, Cumin, Celery Seed, Vinegar and Salt & Pepper
  5. Stir, turn heat to high and place top on pressure cooker
  6. When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain pressure and set timer for ten minutes
  7. When timer sounds remove pressure cooker from heat and let sit for five minutes, then use quick release method
  8. Stir with wooden spoon or immersion blender until it reaches a semi-smooth consistency.
  9. Spoon over hot dogs (the traditional way is on natural-casing hot dogs, topped with diced onions and yellow mustard
  10. Makes enough for 8 hot dogs


Pressure Cooker Convert Safety Tip

Remember Kids, Treat Your Kitchen Implements With Respect!


I was seconds away from my big “Eureka!” moment. After numerous attempts to create a reasonable facsimile of Detroit-style Coney Island Sauce (Hot Dog Chili for the uninitiated), I could feel it, this was the one!

But in a matter of seconds, things went from a “Eureka” moment to a “Oh, $%^&#” moment.

Before putting the chili under pressure (for  a mere 7 minutes), I wanted to get the oven fries that I had planned for accompaniment going. So, I pulled out my trusty mandoline slicer in order to quickly slice those babies. That’s where things took a turn for the worse.

Yes, as I have answered to many queries over the past week or so, my mandoline has a guard. But, with potatoes, you can’t use the guard until they get down low enough to hold without tipping over. And yes, as I also have answered more than once over the past week, I could have cut the potatoes in half first, which perhaps I will consider in the future.

Anyway, as I was almost finished slicing, I apparently got a bit careless, thereby ending up with a beautiful mound of uniformly sliced potatoes topped by a small chunk of my left thumb.

Searching the apartment for bandages, I came up empty-handed, so bundled what was left of my thumb with paper towels, held in place with packing tape. (Note to self: get a damn first-aid kit).

While the bleeding didn’t seem to be showing any sign of stopping, I pressed on, not only finishing dinner preparations, but also eating.

At that point, with the bleeding subsiding somewhat, I decided to walk down to the local CVS and purchase some proper bandages.

When I got home, I removed the makeshift bandages, and once again it started bleeding. The S.O. convinced me to go to the ER. I thought I probably should listen to her this time. I say this time, because a couple years ago I got hit by a car while riding my bicycle home from work, and responded to her pleas to get it checked out with “I’m fine, that would just be a waste of time.” Then an hour or so later, I looked in the mirror and discovered that my pupils were two distinctly different sizes. At that point I realized that I most likely had a concussion, but didn’t say anything so as not to admit that I was wrong. But from then on I decided that anytime anything happened that she felt was serious enough to merit a visit to the local emergency room, that I should probably listen.

The S.O. doesn’t drive, and I thought better of riding my Vespa to the hospital with a bleeding thumb. Besides, the hospital is just 6 blocks from home, so we walked it.

Unable to give me stitches because of the nature of the cut (it was basically flat, so nothing to sew together), they used something called “gelfoam” to seal the cut and stop the bleeding. So, for the past week or so, my cooking has been minimal since I soon discovered that a bulky bandage on the thumb of your dominant hand can really get in the way when trying to cook.

So the moral of the story is, take care when using all kitchen utensils, from your treasured pressure cooker, to the various knives, slicers, peelers, blenders and processors. It only takes a second of carelessness to have to put up with a couple weeks of a big, bandaged thumb.

And by the way, the Coney Sauce was excellent (the recipe will be coming soon)!