The recipe!

   So many people enjoyed a michigan at the Grove over the years, I decided to post my rendition of the traditional sauce recipe.  It is based upon my memory of the original recipe, notes from my sister Valeda’s copy of the recipe and some added touches from time and place.   In a conversation with Ruth Mary Holt I learned that the original King’s Grove Michigan Sauce Recipe was based upon a red chile sauce that Ruth Mary’s mother Agnes Evans had learned from Mexican workers on her family’s ranch in Nebraska.  Agnes introduced the recipe to her good friend Catherine King, and it was adapted to become the original Grove sauce.

 Don King’s Rendition of

King’s Grove Michigan Sauce



Ingredients:                  Cooking oil


                                    1 large onion, peeled, halved and slivered


                                    1 tsp Lawry’s Garlic Salt


                                    1 tsp minced garlic


                                    1 tsp  Chili Powder (I use “The Spice Hunter”  Chili Powder Blend)


                                    1 tsp Tía Rita’s Chipotle Seasoning Blend*


                                    2 lbs. Hamburger


                                    1  28 oz. can tomato sauce (pure sauce not with  

                                      any  ‘Italian ingredients’ like oregano or basil)


                                    1  6 oz. can tomato paste




1.  Add cooking oil to a large frying pan.  A cast iron pan works better than a teflon coated pan.


     Add onions and sautée until lightly cooked but not browned.


     Mix in Garlic Salt, Minced Garlic, Chili Powder, other seasoning with the onions.


     Add in hamburger, dice and cook.


2.  In a  soup pot or crock pot, mix tomato sauce, tomato paste and hamburger mixture.


3.  Simmer for several hours.  Stir often.  Add water for consistency.  Best cooked one day, cooled and reheated for later use.


4.  Traditionally the hot dogs were boiled and rolls steamed, but grill and toast if preferred.


5.  You may serve the michigans with raw onion sprinkled on top.  (michigan with vs. michigan without)  Some people add a line of mustard on top, but that wasn’t a part of the traditional Grove recipe.


            * This is my addition.  You could use a bit more chili powder and some  use a ½ tsp of Crushed Red Pepper for ‘the hot’.  The traditional recipe also used 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp garlic powder instead of the Lawry’s Garlic Salt.


3 responses

1 07 2008
Glenda Rowland

This is a great hot dog!! The sauce is excellent, and would be good on just about anything. Be prepared to eat more than one hot dog.

Thanks for the recipe.


3 03 2009

I grew up eating King’s Grove michigans. I cooked there so sometimes it was my job to make the sauce, and the one listed above is right on. We also used it to make spaghetti sauce by adding a slug of oregano to it. I even used it for pizza. Now, just for fun, I experiment with the original recipe by adding cumin, cilantro, and, maybe, red or green chilis, and hey, I’m still above ground.

5 08 2009
Catherine Yvonne Tavernier

Another version of the King’s Grove Michigan Sauce from Catherine Tavernier:

1 large onion (chopped)
2# ground beef
1# ground turkey
1 large can of tomato paste (put in blender)
2 qt. of home canned tomatoes (put in blender)
2 t. of fine chopped garlic (put in blender)
1 t. of salt (put in blender)
1 T. of crushed dried red pepper (fine) (put in blender)
1 t. of chili power (put in blender)

Brown ground beef, turkey and chopped onion; drain off any fat. Blend the tomato paste, tomatoes, garlic, salt, crushed red pepper, chili power. Combine with the meat mixture, bring to a boil and then simmer on the stove for 6 hours, (stir often). Refrigerate overnight. The next morning, put in a crock pot on low (stir often). Let it cook all day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: