I have nothing to compare this to, but a far off memory of the sauce our high school band boosters used during football games back in Ohio. I loved their sauce and I loved Grandpa's sauce, too.
But let me pile on to what others have said before me. This is a sweet sauce with a little zing. If that sounds "gross" to you, don't make this recipe. This is NOT a chili dog sauce. Looking for a chili taste? Find a chili-based recipe. And don't ever trust one that has ketchup as an ingredient! LOL
I think of this as a fancy high-grade, meat-infused, sweet ketchup hotdog sauce. I, too, made a half batch. Because my slow cooker was too big for 1 lb of meat, I put it in a small covered casserole and baked it for 4-5 hours on 200.
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I have nothing to compare this to, but a far off memory of the sauce our high school band...