The hot wiener or New York System wiener, also commonly hot weiner, is a staple of the food culture of Rhode Island. It is typically made from a small, thin frankfurter made of veal and pork, thus giving it a different taste from a traditional hot dog made of beef. Once placed in a steamed bun, the wiener is topped with a meat sauce seasoned with a myriad of spices like cumin, paprika, chili powder and allspice, which is itself covered in finely chopped onions, celery salt and yellow mustard.
Wieners with all of the standard toppings are ordered "all the way."
Lightly brown half of the chopped onion in butter. Add hamburger and stir until the hamburger loosens into small pieces. Add rest of spices. Simmer on very low heat for at least 2 hours.
Now it's time to build the weiner. The sequence is important!
1.) Put cooked weiner in bun.
2.) Put mustard on weiner.
3.) Put sauce on mustard.
4.) Put raw chopped onions on mustard.
5.) Sprinkle celery salt on top of onions.
Hint: Throw your weiner buns in a microwave for five seconds to approximate that wonderful steam table sponginess.
NOTE: The most authentic weiner is that made by Little Rhody Brand Frankfurts of Johnston, Rhode Island, the company that supplies weiners to all of the New York System-style restaurants in the state. If these aren't available to you, experiment with whatever you can find in your local grocery store, but steer away from jumbo-sized franks and anything smoked or filled with cheese!