The Case for Sheep Casings

Celebrate — it’s national hot dog day! Herewith, a story on what happens at Doser Old Town Social when they get down to making their own Chicago-style dogs.
With a three-inch English butcher’s diagram of a pig tattooed on his left arm, Executive Chef Jared Van Camp has received plenty of acclaim for his sustainable “snout to tail” preparation techniques — with good reason. Widely known for serving up some of the best meats in Chicago, Van Camp makes his dogs from scratch.

“But,” he says, “it took us months to get the recipe just right. Although Chicago is known for some of the best hot dogs in the world, this tasty, all-American snack sometimes get a bad rap … which is why we wanted to try this on our own–but just because you are doing something in house, does not necessarily mean it will taste good. So we started with the basic rule: You have to use good ingredients to make a good product.” Truer words!

Here’s Jared’s method for making righteous Chicago style sausages … but we recommend taking the short cut and ordering from him directly!

  1. Butcher the hog using whole animals from local farmers. The original hot dogs used beef & pork because beef can absorb significantly more water than pork or veal, and we do the same. Specifically, we use Heritage Breed Pork & local beef.
  2. Break down the lean cuts and fat cuts. Salt meat & fat to prevent oxidation during emulsification
  3. Cure those cuts over night
  4. Grind and emulsify
  5. Make it into a batter
  6. Stuff batter into all-natural sheep casing (for the snap!)
  7. Let them sit over night to form a pellicle (a coating of protein which allows smoke to adhere to the surface during the smoking process)
  8. Smoke them for about an hour
  9. Shower them with spray gun
  10. Grill them
  11. Serve them with house made condiments!

Happy noshing!