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 delicious hot dogs 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 and tailor the seasonings to your liking. Don't forget to make time to find the casings; they can usually be found at the butcher shop.
This recipe comes from Home Sausage Making by Charles G. Reavis (Storey Books). The resulting frankfurters can be boiled, pan-fried, broiled, or grilled.
- 1/4 cup onion (very finely minced)
- 1 small clove garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard seed
- 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 egg white
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon white pepper (freshly ground)
- 1 pound lean pork (cubed)
- 3/4 pound lean beef (cubed)
- 1/4 pound pork fat (cubed)
- 4 feet sheep casings (or small hog casings, about 1 1/2-inch diameter)
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, the hot dogs are broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.
Make the Filling
Gather the ingredients.
One at a time, grind the pork, beef, and fat cubes through the fine blade of a meat grinder. Combine the three and grind them together.
In a large bowl, combine the puréed seasonings with the meat and mix with your hands. Wet your hands with cold water to prevent the mixture from sticking.
Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes and then grind it again. Prepare the casings.
Prepare and Stuff the Casing
Meanwhile, rinse the casing well 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 the hot dog 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.
Using a sausage stuffer, fill the casings with the meat mixture 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. Remove, pat dry, and refrigerate. You can refrigerate them for up to 1 week or freeze them for future use.