What better place to serve a hot dog than a Fourth of July Barbeque? The menu almost writes itself- and the hot dog is the star of the show!
As always, as commited as I am to the Charcutepalooza project, I felt pressed for time as I shopped for the dogs,so I was overjoyed to find that Whole Foods had Korean style short ribs ready for purchase. Cutting out that small bone was a cinch, and I now have 3 lbs of bones in the freezer, ready to become beef stock in the near future.
Once devoid of bones, and duly chilled in the refrigerator, I brought in Sweeny Todd to do the grind.
Actually, my son Ben, with help from his lady, Sage, but we have felt like we were channeling Sweeny for the past three months as we did the grind for chorizo, duck sausage, and now, hot dogs. And, in fact, we were trying to remember, did Sweeny have a preference for high fat content victims? He was making meat pies, not sausage, so it might not have been quite so important....
We did two grinds and realized we were not getting the texture needed, so I stored the meat in the freezer for a bit and then we put it though the Cuisenart in small batches.
Et Voilà ! Emulsification! An amazingly creamy pate', actually, very much like a whipped foie gras.
Earlier in the year, while eager to pack in supplies for the Charcutepalooza challenge, I ordered beef and pork casings, never thinking we would need something smaller, so our hot dogs were hefty dogs made using the pork casings.
And then we we twisted them off at about 6" long. Once again, without a smoker, I improvised on the grill of our gas barbeque, placing a large tray of burning wood briquets next to the tray of hot dogs and closing the lid of the barbeque to create our own little smokehouse. Less than an hour later they registered at 140 degrees and we had our hot dogs!
Almost simultaneously, I pulled our homemade hot dog buns (the recipe, found on line, is the King Arthur Flour Red Hot Poppy Seed Bun recipe) from the oven and, soon after we grilled the "test" dog...
...we were scarfing a dog with a subtle smoky flavor and a not so subtle SNAP like those Chicago Dogs I've heard so much about.
Those buns, by the way, are worth more detail. They were not the light and fluffy air-filled bun we have grown accustomed to, but rather a bun of substance; on first touch, slightly denser than expected, lightly toasted they proved to be the perfect vehicle for our homemade dogs.
Later in the day, we gathered the family for grilled hot dogs, toasted buns, and an assortment of salads (potato, roasted corn and black bean, cucumber and tomato), cole slaw, beans,
and lots of fixings.