These bacon, onion, and cheese hot dogs will be the talk of all the barbecues this summer. Caramelized onion, melted cheese, and pickled cucumber take the everyday hot dog to another level.
PREP TIME: 10 mins
COOK TIME: 45–50 mins
3 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices of good-quality smoked bacon
4 good-quality thick hot dogs, or other smoked sausages
4 tbsp mild sweet mustard
1⁄2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
4 large hot dog buns
4 tbsp finely chopped pickled cucumbers (see refrigerator pickles, p249), to serve
1. Heat the oil in a medium, heavy-based frying pan over low heat. Add the onions and cook for 15 minutes, until softened but not browned. Add the sugar, vinegar, 2 tbsp water, and season well. Continue to cook for 15 minutes, or until the onions are sweet and sticky. Set aside.
2. Preheat the broiler on its highest setting. Run the blade of a large knife along the surface of each bacon slice to stretch out the bacon if it is thickly cut; this will help it wrap easily around the sausage. Thinly cut bacon can be used as it is. Prick each sausage a couple of times with a fork, then wrap a slice of bacon around each one, in a spiral fashion, so that the meat is covered with the bacon.
3. Place the wrapped sausages, join-side down, on a baking sheet and broil for 10–15 minutes, turning only after the top is crispy and brown. When they are crispy all over, remove from the broiler. Spread 1 tbsp of the mustard on top of each sausage. Arrange them together on the baking sheet, so that they are touching each other and sprinkle all over with the cheese, being sure to mound it up along each sausage. Return them to the broiler and cook briefly until the cheese is melted.
4. To serve, spread a quarter of the caramelized red onions into each hot dog bun, top with a bacon and cheese sausage, and sprinkle 1 tbsp of the pickled cucumbers along the top.