Opening the grilling season with homemade hotdogs

In the land of Wurst and Bier, I’ve been hankering for some hotdogs for a couple years. We’ve had great success in our attempts at various homemade fresh sausage varieties, but I still wanted a plain old hotdog. I hit upon this recipe but found I was lacking an important ingredient: pink curing salt, sometimes known under the brand name “Instacure.” I’d found 10kg buckets of it via amazon.de, but considering we make sausage in the <10lb batch, and a batch calls for a teaspoon at a time, that seemed like overkill. 1 I found Prague Powder #1 online2 in the USA and I had some shipped to my parents, and they brought it to Mexico for us. Finally I had all the ingredients necessary — or so I thought. Continue reading Opening the grilling season with homemade hotdogs

  1. If we ever run out of the one-pound package I bought, I guess I’d consider the 10kg bucket (it’s not very expensive) provided other local sausage enthusiasts — a LOT of them — will be willing to share it with me. Unlikely! []
  2. after finding nothing in local and chain grocery stores in rural Michigan near hunting season — weird! []

Homemade Kansas City Meat Action

We’ve been in Kansas City for the past week or so and have been enjoying local meat. My mother-in-law does these wonderful things called Country Ribs. A quick check at Wikipedia confirms that these probably don’t technically qualify as “ribs” — but who cares? The hard part for reproducing this at home in Germany would be getting the cut of pork necessary. We don’t know how to ask for it in English (other than “Country Ribs”) let alone in German. So maybe we’ll try it with what’s available.

First she marinates them. With magic.

Then onto the grill for a bit, just until the outsides are done.

Then bring ’em back inside for the final phase: baking. She separates them by thickness and size to make sure they all bake evenly — typically the smaller, thinner ribs are done more quickly. Douse with a local barbecue sauce, and bake them until they’ve reached the right internal temperature for pork. Yum! Goes great with scalloped potatoes.

We also got a chance to visit with pals Brian and Mikey. Brian showed off his mastery of the art of discada: essentially a Mexican wok made from repurposed farm equipment and any meat you can think of. Start with bacon on low heat, and use the grease it offers up to cook the rest of your meats in stages: loose chorizo, ground beef, steak chunks, even sliced vienna sausages are in the mix. Every time you get a meat partially cooked, spread it up on the sides of the disco, where the heat is less intense, and let it continue to cook. Between meat stages, bring it all back together in the center periodically to chat. Somewhere along the way, before the chilis and onions made their appearance, Chef Brian added the better part of a bottle of beer. A final touch, when we could barely stand it anymore, was a liberal dosage of taco seasoning. Insert it directly into your mouth if you can’t help it, or if you can manage the restraint, spoon your discada into taco shells with your choice of the usual subjects (guac, sour cream, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, salsa, whatever).

three guilty pleasures

Two of which are meat-related.

One of which are rhythm-less feet with a heavy conscience.

Let’s start with that one. Sarah was placing a catalog order this evening and got a Wham! song as her hold music. Which reminded me of this:

Meat Point #1:

We bought a KitchenAid mixer a while back and have been experimenting in the meat grinding arena.

Weber baby q100That was great and all, but we really needed a way to grill our ground meat creations. Pan-frying wasn’t cutting it. We bought a small portable gas grill. We tried it out today on one of our town’s several islands in the Danube with great success. There were lots of people out enjoying the weather and grilling their dinner along with plenty of dogs pleased by all the resulting smells. Which brings me to…

Meat Point #2

Thanks Aunt Julie for sending this video our way. We’ve been watching it (and emulating it) for days now and it hasn’t gotten old yet.