Bacon seems to be a pretty fashionable ingredient these days, making appearances in many dishes that are considered “outside the box” when compared to your standard breakfast sandwich. Food and Wine has a 20-recipe slideshow dedicated to the pork product that includes pasta dishes, salads, and even a snack mix. Restaurants and bakeries in the area add bacon to dessert items, giving the cured meat an opportunity to shine as a refined ingredient. The craze has led me to the conclusion that everything is better with bacon.
Joe’s uncle, Bill, hosts some pretty amazing parties, but his forte is the holiday gathering at the end of each year. Everything from the decorations to the food and drinks is perfect, and he makes party planning for a group of about 50 look easy. Though every item on the table tastes delicious, I have a crazy love affair with the mini hot dogs wrapped in bacon that always appear at this annual get-together. My infatuation can be embarrassing; the hors d’oeuvre is not meant to be made into a meal, but it’s next to impossible to refrain from standing next to the tray, poking away with toothpicks. I’ve begun making them for other parties, and it seems I’m not alone in my addiction; my godson, Ryan, loves the recipe so much that I no longer have to ponder what dish I’m making for his birthday parties.
Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs
Adapted from Uncle Bill
1 package of hot dogs (10)
20 strips of bacon
½ cup of ketchup
½ cup of dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons of onion powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Fahrenheit. Halve hot dogs lengthwise, and then cut into quarters. Halve bacon strips lengthwise, and then cut into halves. Wrap one bacon piece around one hotdog piece, then place into 9”x13” baking pan. Continue with remaining bacon and hot dog pieces. Place baking sheet in preheated oven, and bake for 30 minutes. As the bacon wrapped hot dogs cook, mix ketchup, brown sugar, and spices in a glass bowl until all ingredients are combined, ensuring there are no lumps from the brown sugar. Once 30 minutes has elapsed, remove baking pan from oven and drain grease. Spread ketchup mixture over the bacon wrapped hot dogs and return to oven for 30 minutes. Let dish cool slightly and serve with toothpicks on the side.
This tiny treat is a hit for many reasons; the size is perfect for parties; the sweet sauce is the perfect complement to the salty meats; and, well, meat wrapped in bacon is a great idea. The success of the dish does rely on draining the grease from the pan after the first half hour in the oven. If not, the sauce will not stick to the meat in the last half hour of cooking. The brown sugar infused topping, which is similar to a barbecue sauce, creates a crunchy crust on the edges of the bacon as it crisps in the heat. I recommend using disposable baking pans as it makes clean up incredibly easy.
I’ve learned from experience that the cute, mini hot dogs are rather expensive and it works just as well to cut regular sized hot dogs into smaller pieces. If you desire a little kick to the dish, try slicing kielbasa or sausage into small pieces and wrapping them in the bacon. Essentially, any “meat wrapped in meat” combination will probably be tasty, but, in my opinion, everything’s better with bacon.