So this is where we are at with my from scratch Capital Region Style mini-Hot Dog with Meat Sauce Project-
Step 1: 3" Capital Region Style Hot Dog...... Check.
Step 2: Little Hot Dog Buns....... Check.
Step 3: Meat Sauce.... Check.
Yeah, so I made my meat sauce today. About 2.5 lbs. of ground sirloin, 3 medium onions, 2 tblspns. paprika, bit of chili powder/coriander/cumin/cayenne/thyme/cinnamon, garlic, salt/pepper, some brown sugar, and a new addition this time. A bit unorthodox, but what the hell, I used a hearty scoop of doubanjiang and a splash of black vinegar. I think this will add a little heat and flavor without making the meat sauce taste too "Asian."
For technique, I like to fry the beef and onions together (in butter and oil) then dump in all the spices to cook a bit, throw in water to cover and let simmer for an hour or two. Guess what else? This time I threw a couple tablespoons of tomato paste in there (this is very un-traditional and not something I would usually stand for, but I am being experimental), not enough to add any discernable tomato-y flavors, mostly just for body and color.
I am taking some departures from my usual recipe here, but I still think I ended up with a good result. I may have overdone the cinnamon a bit, the correct amount of cinnamon is the most elusive element of a Capital Region style hot dog meat sauce, I always screw it up. But I still really like this batch.
Tomorrow we shall assemble the final product and deal with the mustard situation. I have made missteps with every part of this process, but I still predict a decent end result. We shall see.