Spicy Meat Hot Sauce

This Meat Hot Sauce recipe is a regional upstate New York treat! This is the same hot sauce that you’ll find on a Nick Tahou’s garbage plate. It’s easy to make, spicy and delicious- the perfect Father’s Day surprise and freezes perfectly to pull out for a picnic!

A close up view of spicy Meat Hot Sauce

Many of you may not know this but a few weeks back my Uncle Richard passed away. I took the end of last week of to be a part of calling hours and the service.

Unfortunately, he had been in poor health for quite some time and getting around had gotten extremely difficult for him, particularly in the long winter. While I’m glad that he is no long in pain and discomfort, that doesn’t make losing him any easier and it won’t make us miss him less in the years to come.

Uncle Richard was my father’s big brother (dad also has a younger sister). He was in the Navy stationed on the USS Intrepid and received two medals during his service. This is a huge source of pride for our family and especially for him. We hold the brave men and women who serve out country in the absolute highest regard. They are heroes.

A spoonful of spicy Meat Hot Sauce.

In addition to this, Uncle Richard was an excellent cook. It was one of his favorite ways to share his love. I can remember him bringing us pot roast dinners and preparing an extra special red sauce full of fresh seafood just for me, because he knew that seafood was my absolute favorite!

When he lived out west, he would spend every Christmas cooking for people in need, sometimes an upwards of 500 people at a time. It wasn’t a thing he made a big deal about, that wasn’t his style. It was just a simple thing that he did and loved to do.

Spicy Meat Hot Sauce tastes great on a burger or hot dog.

Anyone who knew him will tell you that he had a bit of an abrasive side. This is a trait that I inherited. We all have our things. But he put his family and many dear friends first and was always unwavering in his love for all of us, especially my girls.

He will be sorely missed, but I like to think that he is up in heaven finally reunited with my Grandma Rose and Grandpa Gene (who he missed terribly after they passed). I imagine that he, my Grandma Rose, Aunt Jeanne and Aunt Lee are cooking up the ultimate Italian feast to end all Italian feasts.

As a close family friend family member said, “the heavens are rejoicing because celestial red sauce has never been better!” I’m paraphrasing that but I’m working on getting the exact quote and as soon as I have the full quote I’ll update this!

Rest in Peace, Uncle. We love you.


In light of these recent events, it felt fitting to share this recipe. It’s my understanding that this is Grandma Rose’s hot sauce recipe. But I was introduced to this by Uncle Richard, and will always associate it with him.

Around these parts, Meat Hot Sauce is a thing. You don’t need to drive far to find a dirty spoon Hots and Hamburg’s joint in any given neighborhood. Each of these has their own unique version of meat hot sauce, which they all state is the best. They also have their own version of the Garbage Plate, which is a Rochester phenomenon, which I’ll be sharing more about next week.

An overhead photo of spicy Meat Hot Sauce

Uncle Richard once told me that this is the original meat hot sauce recipe from Nick Tahou’s, the very place that pioneered the elusive Garbage Plate. Is that 100% accurate? I don’t know.

What I do know is it’s a damn tasty hot sauce and a main stay at all of our summer picnic dinners. Throw a generous spoonful of this on your burger or hot dog and you’re off to the races!

A jar of spicy Meat Hot Sauce

When I made this recently, my mom warned me that it would smell up my house. I have to say, this would drive some people nuts, but I wasn’t even slightly sad about it. My house smelled absolutely delicious and spicy. Not only hot spicy, but the cinnamon in the recipe added such a delicious scent and and even more fantastic flavor!

This is an excellent surprise to make for any spicy-food-loving dad on Father’s Day and it freezes up beautifully! You you could easily make a batch and freeze the leftovers in smaller amounts to pull out whenever you are enjoying your hots and hammies this summer!

Another close up view of spicy meat hot sauce.

Other great picnic food includes:

Tuna Macaroni Salad

Peas and Shrimp Salad

Roasted Beets Salad with Feta and Dill

Greek Couscous Salad

Mexican Bean Salad

Tomato Salad

German Potato Salad

Vicky’s Tabouli

Green Bean Salad

Meat Hot Sauce

5 minPrep Time

3 hr, 10 Cook Time

3 hr, 15 Total Time

Yields 1 giant pot

Author:

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. 80/20 ground beef (you want this fat for more flavor!)
  • 1 cup minced dried onions (I'm told this amounts to two 2.37 oz. containers, but I have a giant container of these so I just measured mine out)
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (my mom tells me that this originally had 1 Tbsp. listed as the amount but it was coming out way too spicy- so taste it once it's ready and add more if you feel it needs more, but use a light hand!)
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, brown the ground beef over medium high heat, using your spoon to break it up.
  2. Add the next 6 ingredients and stir well to combine.
  3. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium low.
  4. Simmer for 3 hours, stirring periodically.
  5. If the sauce starts to seem dry, add more water.
  6. After 3 hours, taste it. Add salt if necessary.
Cuisine: Condiment, picnic, summer, meat | Recipe Type: Condiment, dinner, lunch

Notes

Use a light hand if you're adding additional cayenne pepper- you can always add more but you can't take it away- taste it as you go. This should be a little juicy, so if it gets too dry add more water and continue reducing it to build flavor. Some brands of minced onions already have salt in them and some don't. Once you're done reducing it, taste the hot sauce and if it needs salt, add some.

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This Meat Hot Sauce recipe is a regional upstate New York treat! This is the same hot sauce that you'll find on a Nick Tahou's garbage plate. It's easy to make, spicy and delicious- the perfect Father's Day surprise and freezes perfectly to pull out for a picnic!
This Meat Hot Sauce recipe is a regional upstate New York treat! This is the same hot sauce that you'll find on a Nick Tahou's garbage plate. It's easy to make, spicy and delicious- the perfect Father's Day surprise and freezes perfectly to pull out for a picnic!

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