Last year when I toured the pastures of Mendenhall Ranch in Mt. Palomar with Matt Rimel, Rimel talked about his plans for the future, which included making hot dogs--grass-fed beef hot dogs -- for his line of Homegrown Meats. Well, the dogs are a reality now and I picked up a sample at his La Jolla Butcher Shop. It doesn't feel like hot dog weather but someday the gloom will lift and we'll be in the mood. And, if you're looking for something tasty and healthier in your bun, these dogs will do it for you.
In fact, the hot dogs are hormone free and contain no added preservatives or MSG, and are gluten free. The beef is seasoned with evaporated cane juice, sea salt, mustard, paprika, celery and cherry powders, and celery seasoning. It's refreshing to read the label and understand what all the ingredients are.
Now, they don't have the snap of a dog with a casing but grill them or put them under the broiler, like I did, and the sweet flavors of the beef really come through with a nice crunch. Everyone has their own favorite hot dog toppings. No ketchup for me, thank you. I like a good, strong mustard, chopped onions, and sauerkraut. Lacking sauerkraut today, I chopped some of the sweet and hot pickles made by SoNo Trading Company. The perfect lunch!
You can find Homegrown Meats grass-fed beef hot dogs at the La Jolla Butcher Shop on Fay St. in La Jolla and at Seaside Market at 2087 San Elijo Ave. in Cardiff. They come in a package of eight.