***UPDATE***** ******UPDATE****** 21st Sept 2013***********UPDATE*****
SMOKE DAWGS @ HANGFIRE BBQ
On a dreary Wednesday in September Hang Fire launched their Smoke Dawgs. If you watch enough food related television you’ll probably know that there are places all over the world making ‘gourmet hot dogs’. Hot dogs are something I grew up with- the pappy finger roll, the sausage ( we never had real franks, mum preferred an actual sausage, I’m not sure why, probably because she couldn’t get her head around meat coming in a tin…), sweet fried onion and ketchup. I loved them. What’s different now? Well, now I know bread can be delicious, sausages can have meat in them and that condiments can blow your mind. Just like in a great burger, a great dog needs its constituent parts to be great. A good dog just needs you to be hungry for it.
Hang fire thought about each part of their smoke dawg creations, found the best local producers and have produced some delicious, traditional hot dogs, they don’t any need truffle oil…
Charcuterie Limited, an artisanal charcuterie company based in West Wales provide the franks. Illtyd Dunsford is the chap behind this little gem of a business. They were spicy and smoky, they had that ‘snap’ that you get when biting into a proper frankfurter. The meat comes from pedigree welsh herds and is a mixture of pork and beef. I was reliably informed that the resulting perfect smoking of the sausage has been months in the making. They are smoked slowly over apple and cherry wood chips by the Hang Fire girls- that is a labour of love and you can certainly taste it.
One Mile Bakery provide the buns. Mega important job. Sometimes the best burger and hot dogs are let down by poor bread. I love to see a brioche bun and was very excited to note that was exactly what was going to be surrounding my sausage. The bun was the right combination of chewy and flavoursome. It carried out its job of sausage vehicle and protector perfectly. Elisabeth Mahoney runs this fab place out of a town house in Pontcanna. They deliver home- made bread and preserves to anyone living within a one mile radius of the house. I miss out on this and will continue to do so unless she “pops up” in Penylan. Gutted.
Finally, inner city pickle make another appearance, this time with the condiments, the crowning glory and in my opinion an absolute necessity for the perfect ‘dawg’.
Little gluttons that we are we went for two dogs each.
I went really trad with a sabrett and the original Chicago dog. My friend Ffion went with a Coney with cheese and Kate stayed loyal with The Hang Fire Smoke Dawg, which is topped with their unbelievably good pulled pork and Kansas City sauce. They are served with crisps which are also produced in Wales by jonesogymru.com.
In my head i’ve always had a personally perfect chilli topping for a hot dog. I’d never made it or eaten it, but it’s different to a normal chilli, more sloppy joe-esque and that’s what Hang Fire produced to top their Coney dog. On another note it’s quite amusing watching someone trying to get their chops around the first bite of the Coney with cheese…
I managed to snaffle a bite of everything on the table and I grinned through it all.
It’s hard to go wrong when the component parts of these hot dogs are made by people who love what they are doing, that have passion which results in them bringing us products that reflect this love. The collaboration really is what local food should be all about. Sam and Shauna at Hang Fire brought some incredible products together to give us a smoke dawg. All the research they did on their trip has resulted in the union of all the right things, in the right amounts on each dog. Their smoke pitt bringing a little bit of South Carolina to Splott. We get to eat it just down the road at the Canadian, though it is so busy you really do need to get down there early, the turnover is fast but the product is finite.
There are so many small business that surround us. Just a little bit of research and you can find someone producing something that reminds us that although supermarkets are convenient, we miss out on so much if we don’t visit our local markets. I’ve got a Howies t- shirt which tells me to shop local – if you’ve got a bit of time I’d encourage you all to do just that (after you’ve pencilled in Wednesday 16th October at the Canadian – for your own taste of America). YUM.
Hang fire @The Canadian, Pearl St,, CF24 1PN Cardiff
and Porters, Sunday’s thru August and Septmeber 2013