Imagine my joy when I heard that Red Apron Butchery was opening a stall at the H Street Farmer’s Market (H & 6th Sts NE, Saturdays 9A – 12N). In case you haven’t heard, Red Apron , headed by chef Nathan Anda, crafts and purveys house made hot dogs and other charcuterie par excellence.
The hot dogs are a particular favorite in our household. No “mystery meat” here. Just local dry-aged beef and pork fat that’s encased in sheep intestines. Unlike many grocery-store varieties, the hot dogs contain no nitrates or preservatives, but smoked paprika, roasted garlic, and coriander all get added. Pick up some at H Street on Saturday or Dupont Circle on Sunday – you won’t be disappointed!
Now that you’ve added Red Apron hot dogs to your shopping list, toppings are next in line! Of course there is ketchup, mustard and relish, but these deserve better. Consider the following:
- California – guacamole, sprouts and chopped tomatoes
- Chili – homemade chili, chopped red onions, shredded cheddar cheese
- Mexican – salsa, shredded monterely jack cheese, chopped cilantro
- Italian – diced and sauteed onions and red/green peppers
- Greek – diced sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese and chopped pitted Kalamata olives
- Caprese – a combination of diced fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and minced garlic, drizzled with a dash of olive oil
You can wash it down with a beer, of course, but in my view these go much better with one of our sturdy everyday reds. Try them with Cave la Vinsobraise Vinsobres Grenat 2007 ($13). Cuvée Grenat is made from 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah, lighter and earthier than the other two cru reds from the Cave, but it’s got an intriguing richness because of the extra little bit of Grenache. That makes it a great aperitif on its own as well as pairing with red-wine foods, both simple and elegant.