Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rochester-Style Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce

From The Democrat and Chronicle/Times-Union's Food/Living Section column "Ask-It Basket." Sorry, don't know the date; it isn't on the old clipping we've kept.

1 large onion, chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped fine
1/4 tsp. garlic salt or powder
1 lb. ground beef
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 dashes of Tabasco sauce
1 tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground thyme
1 tsp. marjoram
1 qt. water

Brown beef. Saute onions and celery in small amount of butter or margarine. Add garlic and browned ground beef. Put all ingredients in kettle and simmer for two hours or until desired thickness.

Personal Note: This is my hometown's local specialty, the hot sauce that tops all of the small lakeside greasy-food establishments' Rochester-trademarked burgers and hot dogs and defines them as local chow (in Rochester, the burger is not defined by massive amounts of soft and thick ground beef; the patty is relatively small and more charred, and you heap hot sauce, cheese, caramelized ONIONS, extra hot sauce, relish, ketchup, and whatever the hell else over it and put it on a special bun and voila, local burger). It also goes on the infamous garbage plate (why the hell hasn't this caught on elsewhere? There's surely a market for it in trucker-friendly Memphis as well as Primanti-Brothers-and-greasy-diner-loving Pittsburgh). As I mentioned to Ryan over the summer, the secret is the cloves--my parents and my aunt and uncle tried for years to figure out how to replicate the sauce and then it leaked on this column somehow and they quickly realized the missing X component was cloves. However, don't use too many; a little goes a long way (I made the batch I brought to Joe's party too strong clove-wise and it suffered as a result). It's spicy and savory, and cinnamon-y. Mm, it's good and always makes me think of Bill Gray's and Vic n' Irv's, and Don's Original and Mark's Texas Hots and Nick Tahou's and Gitsi's and Sea Breeze and Tom's off the highway and the summer and mm.

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