Homemade hot dogs aren't as difficult to make as you might think. After all, frankfurters are nothing more than ground meat with seasonings. In just an hour, you can whip up some in your kitchen. The great thing about making your own hot dogs is that you can control what goes into them. Make your dogs all beef, all pork or a combination. Tailor the seasonings to your liking, and don't forget to make time to find the casings. They can usually be found at the butcher shop.
- 3 feet sheep or small (about 1 1/2-inch diameter) hog casings
- 1 lb. lean pork (cubed)
- 3/4 lb. lean beef (cubed)
- 1/4 lb. pork fat (cubed)
- 1/4 cup onion (very finely minced)
- 1 small clove garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp. finely ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp. dried marjoram
- 1/4 tsp. ground mace
- 1/2 tsp. ground mustard seed
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika
- 1tsp. freshly fine ground white pepper
- 1 egg white
- 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 cup milk
Grind the pork, beef and fat cubes separately through the fine blade. Combine and grind again. Mix the seasonings with the meat with your hands. Wet your hands with cold water to prevent the mixture from sticking to them.
Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes, and then grind it again. Stuff the casings and twist them off into 6-inch links. Parboil the links (but don't separate them) in simmering water for 20 minutes. Place the franks in a bowl of ice water and chill. Next, remove, pat dry and refrigerate. You can refrigerate them for a week or freeze them for future use.
Preparing the Casing
Snip off about 4 feet of casing. (If that's more than you need, you can always repack them in salt and use them later.) Rinse the casing under cool running water to remove the salt. Place it in a bowl of cool water and soak it for 30 minutes.
After soaking, run cool water over the casing. Slip one end of the casing over the faucet nozzle and firmly hold it in place. Turn on the cold water, gently at first, and then more forcefully. This will flush out any salt in the casing and help you spot any breaks. Should you find one, simply snip out a small section of the casing.
Put the casing in a bowl of water and add a splash of white vinegar. A tablespoon of vinegar per cup of water is sufficient. The vinegar softens the casing and makes it more transparent, which in turn makes your sausage look nicer. Leave the casing in the water and vinegar solution until you are ready to use it. Rinse it well and drain before stuffing.