How to Make Coney Chilli with Seth Troxler's Smokey Tails


With Seth Troxler’s Acid Future rooftop rave and BBQ coming to Tobacco Dock in a couple of weeks, we caught up with the executive chef of Smokey Tails, Jona Ahearne, to see what we can expect away from the music.

Tell us a bit about what we can find on the menu

I love everything on our menu - we do BBQ with a twist. Mixing the sweet, sticky unctuous meats with fresh, zingy acidic salads to cut through and give balance. Where possible we always use local and seasonal produce. We move around a lot so there’s always scope for invention - ideas for news salads, sides or sauces often start at the fruit and veg suppliers shop front!

coney island

And what will we be learning today?

It's a fairly recent addition to the menu is our Coney sauce. It’s originally a poor man’s chilli sauce in my mind. A mixture of chuck steak, ox heart, good quality stock and spices. There’s a heavy flour content too that thickens the sauce, actually making it more akin to a meat soup than a chilli.

Where did you come up with this addition?

We did a research trip to the mid-west and ate a lot of Coney sauce. There’s 362 mostly independent restaurants or take outs devoted to it as a principle menu item. Detroit had a well-documented rough last 60 or so years so I guess it became ingrained for that reason too – it’s also delicious when done right!

It’s served with dogs, loose (on its own) or on fries. Seth grew up with it, we ate at loads of his favourite haunts, one of which being Lafeyette Coney. We tried to make our sauce as true to Lafeyette as possible with a couple of twists. Seth loves it, when he’s in town we spend much of our time together in the kitchen playing around and perfecting recipes. I remember the day we nailed this after many attempts and the look on his face, “it’s the one”.


You can try this awesome recipe yourself at Seth Troxler’s Acid Future on Saturday 8th August.



Smokey Tails' Coney Sauce

3 Tablespoons of Vegatable Oil

550g Chuck Mince

450g Minced Ox Heart

600ml Venison Stock

1 Minced Red Onion

150g Plain Flour

1 Tablespoon of Caster Sugar

2.5 Tablespoons of Kasmiri Chill Powder

2.5 Tablespoons of Cumin

2.5 Tablespoons of Black Pepper

2 Tablespoons of Paprika

2 Tablespoons of Tumeric

1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon

Tomato Puree

Tomato Ketchup

Worcester Sauce



1. Heat the oil and slowly cook off the onion without colouring.

2. Add more oil and lightly brown the meat. Ensure all the meat is broken up so it's cooked evenly.

3. Pour the meat into a sieve and strain the meat juices - do this in huge batches so be sure to leave sitting pressed for 15 minutes to get all that lovely fatty flavoursome juice.

4. Heat the meat juices in a pan and whisk in the flour to make a roux. Whisk for a few minutes until it's smooth and begins to thin, then gradually add the stock.

5. Once all the stock is added, add the meat, then the dry spices and sugar.

6. Stir in a good squirt of ketchup/tomato puree and add a decent dash of Worcester sauce.

7. Allow to thicken for 45 minutes or so stirring regularly.

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