Sunday, September 3, 2023

Beer Braised Hot Dogs

All beef hot dogs, braised in beer with red onion and seasonings. pictured here with my homemade Skillet Hot Dog Chili Sauce and french fries.

Beer Braised Hot Dogs

Anybody remember Lums Restaurants? 

I certainly do, and when they shut down sometime in the mid to late 70s here from my recollection, it was a little sad. You see, it used to be a regular after school pit stop for a lot of us, including me!

Although we lived far enough away from school that we had buses to and from school, for whatever reasons, I used to walk home from school a lot in those days.

Maybe it was that cute boy that lived up the street who walked with me, maybe it was the adventures on the way home, I don't know. I do know that those buses were hot, crowded, smelly and unpleasant, thanks to no air conditioning back then. Being out and about in the fresh air was soooo much better!

We didn't have air conditioning in the classrooms either back then, until air-conditioned trailers filled in after Hurricane Camille.

My lord, those times seem so ancient now!
Just a quick reminder.... as always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step-by-step pictures below. 
Lums was air conditioned though and like many places back then, they tolerated well-behaved but broke kids, so it became one of several stops we made on those hot days, sometimes for a burger or hot dog, french fries, a cold ice-filled soda or sometimes, just to cool off.

Lums had a pretty wide range of affordable menu items for kids as a sit-down casual restaurant, though they became most famous for two things really - their hot dogs steamed in beer and Lums burgers, later known as Ollie burgers.

Lum's hotdogs were apparently made with one of the first all-beef hotdogs, rather than the more familiar pork combinations these days and they were "steamed in beer."

I liked the concept of that idea, and while I have no idea how Lum's prepared their hot dogs, I wanted to give beer braised hot dogs a try.

First, I tried steaming them over a beer bath but found that didn't really add any flavor.

Next, I went with cooking the hot dogs in the beer along with a little stock, followed by hot dogs in beer with red onion.

Then, I added some of the seasonings I found around the net allegedly associated with Lum's hot dogs - though honestly, I can't say whether that's true or not. 

After these multiple attempts, I landed on this one and y'all... they turned out excellent!

So for all of you fellow hot dog lovers out there, I hope you'll give these Beer Braised Hot Dogs a try!

I'm using Nathan's brand,100% beef, skinless hot dogs today, though I'm sure that any hot dog will do. Skinless just means that after cooking the hot dogs at the factory, the casing has been removed and I think that helps for the beer braise to penetrate better without the need to puncture or slice into the hot dogs.

Pour the beer into the bottom of lidded skillet. I used a local blonde pale ale.

Add the beef stock and stir in the seasonings and onion. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to medium low, add hot dogs and cover. 

Let simmer 20 minutes or longer before serving. You can remove the hotdogs, let drain and char them on a preheated grill before serving also, if desired.

If you have a steamer add-on and want to steam the hot dog buns, bring the beer mixture back up to a boil, transfer the hot dogs to the steamer basket, top each with a bun, cover and let them steam for 30 seconds to a minute, or until softened as desired.

Use tongs to gently remove bun with hot dog and flip over to a serving plate or tray.

Dress as desired. My number one favorites are ketchup, mustard, pickle relish and raw onion. My grands like mayonnaise on their hot dogs, something I didn't grow up with!

My next favorite way is with a little hot dog sauce, raw onion and cheese. Some folks love sauerkraut.

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Posted by on September 3, 2023
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