We were so excited to make some dogs for our Independence Day celebration. We’d just finished building a new screened-in porch and were eager to spend some time eating a homemade dog on it at the outskirts of our nation’s capital.
We followed Ruhlman’s recipe (the short rib one), kept things very cold and used our new vertical stuffer from Grizzly Industries with hog casings for a nice, plump half-smoke. We gave the stuffer a trial run the week before with some chicken sausage. So, we knew we ready for the dogs.
The weak link was our food processor. Sigh. It barely emulsified the meat, but it got the job done. I have a not-so-secret crush on Giada, so when we needed a food processor and we saw her brand at Target, well, we (I) bought it. Well, it sucks. Combine that with our crappy blender and we’ll be replacing both as soon as we recover from the expense of the above mentioned porch.
Our ace in the hole was the Big Green Egg. Our large is more than 10 years old. It has smoked many a brisket and pork shoulder. Baked many breads, smoked a ton of salmon, and cooked many beer-butt chickens. On this day it was charged with a long, slow smoke of our precious dogs.
The pic above is our beautiful dogs after about a three hour swim in the smoke (hickory), when they finally reached 150 degrees. We immediately plunged them into an ice bath per the instructions and patiently waited till the Fourth to grill them on Independence Day. The meal consisted of the said dogs, a German potato salad and a fennel-orange salad. The accompanying Prosecco made it a festive 4th.
Our dogs had quite the bite and were not overcooked as we used a thermometer to make sure they were cooked just right. The skins were a bit tough. Not sure what happened there. But that didn’t sink our dog. We’ve had a meal of them each week since. They continue to be the best dogs (half-smokes) we’ve had.
Looking forward to doing this again.