Do you count breakfast sausage and bratwurst among your favorite foods? Then you’ll need to add The Wurst of Lucky Peach: A Treasury of Encased Meat, the second cookbook from the cult food magazine Lucky Peach, to your cookbook shelf. This 240-pager includes a a look into the great sausage trails of the world, from the Texas Hill Country to Thailand and beyond, and the ins and outs of making your own sausages, including fresh chorizo. And with provocative essays like “The Case Against Homemade Ketchup” and “The Right Sausage for Your Relationship,” you’ll want to keep it close by, even when you’re not in the kitchen.
Below is a peek at two recipes, danger dogs and hot dog chili, from the new book. If you’re into the recipes you see here, be sure to sign up for The Wurst Book Tour, which celebrates the release of the book. Upcoming dates still include Chicago (May 12), Los Angeles (5/16) and Austin (May 25). Click on each city for details about the events, which will include everything from appearances from special guests to karaoke to lawn games—and plenty of sausage, of course. If you can’t make it to any of the events, be sure to snag a copy of the book instead.
It is known by several names. The Tijuana Bacon Dog. The Bacon-Wrapped. The Street Dog. The Sonoran Hot Dog (with beans, onion, tomato, mayo, salsa, jalapeño, mustard, and a grilled chili on the side). Whatever you call it, it is ever thus: a hot dog swaddled in a slice of bacon and griddled until crispy. On the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles, vendors anoint Danger Dogs with charred onions and peppers. It is not meant for sober consumption. It is meant for emergencies only, when you are already in danger of making other bad decisions and the prudence of eating mystery meat from a converted shopping cart is the least of your concerns. Making it for yourself at home removes much of the danger. But not all of it.
Makes 2 to 4 servings
4 hot dogs
8 slices bacon
+ vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
4 hot dog buns
+ kosher salt
Wrap each hot dog with 2 slices of bacon in a spiral fashion, securing the bacon to the hot dog with toothpicks.
Heat a griddle or large cast iron pan over medium-low heat. Add a thin film of oil, then add the hot dogs, congregating them to one side of the pan and encouraging the rendering bacon fat to pool opposite the dogs.
After a minute or two, add the onion and pepper to the pool of rendered fat and cook them, stirring every few minutes while simultaneously turning the hot dogs a quarter turn every couple of minutes so they render evenly. Do this until everything is a similar dirty golden color, the bacon is crisp, and the onion and pepper are wilted, 12 to 15 minutes.
Insert the dogs into the buns. Sprinkle the onion-pepper mix with a pinch of salt, toss, and divide among the dogs.
Hot Dog Chili
For the first ten years of my life, my parents owned an ice cream store in California. They used to set me up in the back office with a couple chili-cheese dogs from the nearby Wienerschnitzel franchise, and I’d exist happily for most of the day, only poking my head out to score the occasional taste of pralines ’n’ cream. Most of my opinions about food were formed during this time, so, for me, hot dog chili will forever be a bean-free zone. (For a lengthier justification, see “No Beans in the Chili” on page 107.) Kevin Pemoulie of Thirty Acres recalls this type of chili “as a 99-cent add-on to deep-fried hot dogs all over New Jersey.” This recipe is his—it’s ideal for spooning over hot dogs and covering in cheese and onions—and although it comes from clear across the country, I feel a deep kinship to it.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
2 T olive oil
½ large onion, finely chopped (about 1 C)
+ kosher salt and black pepper
1 lb ground beef
¼ C ketchup
2 T Dijon mustard
¼ C Tapatío hot sauce
½ t Worcestershire sauce
1 T pimentón, plus more as needed
½ C water
Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. After a minute, add the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook until the onion has begun to color and wilt, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the beef, jabbing it with a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces. Cook the beef through, but don’t worry too much about browning it—about 10 minutes will do.
Fold in the ketchup. Cook until the ketchup is lightly caramelized and dried out, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the mustard, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, pimentón, and water, and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes—this isn’t a Bolognese braise that needs to ride out for hours.
Season to taste with salt and black pepper, adding more pimentón for smokiness as desired. Hold warm on the back of the stove for a few hours, or store in the fridge for a few days.
Reprinted from The Wurst of Lucky Peach. Copyright © 2016 by Lucky Peach, LLC. Principal photographs copyright © 2016 by Gabriele Stabile. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Tim Lahan. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.