Do the (hot) dog on it with lashings of mustard and fries

Hot dogs with homemade mustard and squash fries make for a lip-smacking supper

 

I was recently on a long train journey where the American students opposite me were discussing the snack menu left on their seats. The bacon fries piqued their interest as they waited with bated breath, as we all do, for the trolley service to rattle down the carriage and deliver the goods. They had an incredibly long and detailed debate over the definition of crisps, fries and chips. My kind of chat. They were immensely disappointed once they realised what bacon fries were. Despite all that I’m calling these matchsticks of butternut fries instead of chips. They’re a lovely alternative to the regular potato chip and have that sweet roast butternut taste.

At the farmers market my two boys love to order hotdogs from Woodside Farm or sausages on a stick from Annie’s Roasts. I’m much happier with them having a savoury good quality sausage rather than succumbing to a cupcake or crepe. My eldest says each week that he’ll try the mustard but then loses the courage. He loves the idea of a classic hotdog with mustard but doesn’t want to risk ruining his weekly ritual by changing it.

So we’ve made mustard at home to demystify it and they love it. Whole grain mustard seeds are available in most large supermarkets. You may have to go to a health store for the black mustard seeds. Simply soak the whole seeds in cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, honey and a pinch of salt. Leave overnight then blitz till creamy the next day or hold back a few tablespoons to stir through for whole grain mustard. It’s tastes so delicious and fresh. You could also stir through some herbs like tarragon, chives or parsley. It keeps for months and makes a lovely gift.

Fingal Ferguson of Gubbeen smokehouse makes perfect smoked hot-dog style sausages with a mixture of pork and beef meat if you’re looking for the traditional hot-dog flavour. This recipe is easy as the onions and sausages can be cooked in the oven on the same tray leading to less fuss and more flavour.

HOT DOGS WITH HOMEMADE MUSTARD AND SQUASH FRIES: SERVES 6

Ingredients

For the mustard:

50g brown mustard seeds

50g yellow mustard seeds

150ml apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp. water

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. honey

12 good quality sausages

3 onions, thinly sliced

2 tbsp. butter

6 soft wholemeal bread rolls

1 butternut squash

1/2 tsp. smoked sweet paprika

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tbsp. olive oil

Sea salt

Method

Make the mustard the day before, at least. Place the mustard seeds in a small bowl with the vinegar and water. Cover and leave to soak overnight. 

Next day stir in the remaining ingredients. You can blitz half to make it creamy and stir through the remaining wholegrain mustard. This is best after about four weeks when left to age but can be used right away. 

Preheat the oven to 180C. 

Dot the butter evenly on the tray. Scatter over the sliced onion and then top with the sausages. Roast for 45 minutes, turning the sausages and onion to cook evenly at the half way mark. 

Peel the butternut squash and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into uniform matchsticks. Not too thin as they will burn but you do want them to caramelise a bit. 

Coat the squash fries in the olive oil, a good pinch of sea salt, the paprika and oregano. Spread evenly on a tray and cook in the oven for 45 minutes, again turning the fries half way through. 

Warm the buns before serving with the sausages, onion, mustard and fries. 

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