The news is constantly filled with warnings about meat. From pink slime to nitrates to heart disease, it makes me feel tht even looking at a sausage is going to kill me. I wanted to get a better handle on what the real scoop was so I did a little digging about the evil nitrates that are used in meat processing to extend their shelf life. It turns out that yes, they do react to form carcinogens and can be quite bad for you. But, much of this is a result of high heat cooking.
Bacon is that meat that gets most of the heat, literally and figuratively. It is cooked at high temperatures and this yields nitrosamines which has been linked to cancer. The nitrates used in preservation are not bad by themselves and are present in many vegetables and are considered antioxidants.
This meant that a BBQ’d sausage is not the way to go, nor is frying. Frankfurters and hot dogs are precooked which means there is really no need to use high heat on them and the goal should only be to bring them to a good temperature for eating. After a little research into the was you can heat franks I realized the best method would be to steam it. It keeps the flavor and moisture in the sausage and head it up without using especially high temperatures.
Now I could eat my frankfurter without feeling guilty and turn my focus to building something delicious. The frankfurter had be the best I could find because I do not like the taste of most supermarket brands. Sunnyview Farms produces a range of sausages using their own meats <check the facts> and they taste the way you would expect. The bun had to be soft, supple, and white – almost so soft that it sticks to the top of your mouth.
Growing up in a Ukrainian household means being exposed to sauerkraut. I hated the smell and moaned and complained when my mom would make her “sauerkraut soup”. I am still not a fan of the smell, but I realized that I had not actually eaten saurkraut for longer than I could remember. With so many people professing how good it was on a hotdog I had to take the plunge and return to my Ukrainian roots. On recommendations from Nigel Slater I slathered a little mustard on a supple white bun, add my steamed frank, and laid down a thick layer of warm sauerkraut.
It was divine and took me right back to being a kid eating a hotdog in the backyard. I love the combination of tangy mustard and salty sausage. The acidity of the kraut is similar to that of the mustard but less pungent and with a little freshness remaining from the cabbage.
Sausage Sandwich with Sauerkraut – Recipe
Sausages – any kind you like but I definitely love a great frankfurter
Sauerkraut – go to a farmers market and get some properly made stuff, not the mass produced stuff
Some good mustard – I like something on the simpler side, not dijon
Great hotdog buns
Some good beer
- Steam your sausages for several minutes until they are hot all the way through
- While you heat the sausages, toast the buns.
- Spread mustard on the bottom of the bun, top with sausage and then the kraut.
Enjoy! (with beer)
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