This is the summer of the backyard barbecue, and it deserves a bit of an elevated look this year. A sausage of some kind should always have a place on the grill, and this year, we should have a bit of extra fun with it.
A classic frankfurter holds a place of nostalgia, in this case also acting as a transportation method to eat loads of melty, buttery, Mt Tam. The bacon jam stands up to the earthiness of Tam’s rind, while freshly pickled local cherries give your mouth a burst of bright fruit to cut through the richness creating balance. A traditional mustard pairing was not forgotten, all nestled in a crispy, split-top brioche bun.
The bacon jam and pickled cherry recipes will be more than you need for 8 franks but will last in your refrigerator for weeks, and who doesn’t love some extra summer condiments on hand for a casual dinner party?
Frankfurters with Mt Tam, Bacon Jam & Pickled Cherries
Makes 8 frankfurters
8 German frankfurters (we love Olympia Provisions), or your favorite hot dogs
8 brioche or potato buns
1 wheel of Mt Tam, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (leaving rind on)
8 oz bacon jam (see recipe below)
16 oz pickled cherries (see recipe below)
2-3 tablespoons whole seed mustard or pickled mustard seed
2-3 tablespoons dill, chives, and/or parsley,
3 tablespoons butter, softened to toast buns (optional)
- If using a split top brioche roll, butter the sides and toast until golden in a cast iron directly on the grill (optional)
- Grill franks to your desired doneness, and place in brioche buns
- Assemble immediately (so your cheese begins to melt!) by topping with bacon jam, then Mt Tam and finishing with pickled cherries, mustard seeds & fresh herbs
- If your franks are not quite hot enough to get your cheese as gooey as you'd like, place your assembled bun + jam + Tam back onto a warm grill, watching closely as to not burn your buns! Remove and finish with cherries, mustard seeds & herbs.
- Using any grainy mustard here works perfectly, but if you can’t get your hands on whole seeds you can always make a batch of your own pickled mustard seeds!
Makes 8 oz
1 pound uncooked bacon, finely diced
2 medium onions, finely diced
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Juice and zest of 1 navel orange
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste
- Place bacon in a cold heavy bottom pan, and cook slowly on medium-low heat until fully rendered, about 30 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon, remove bacon from the pan and set aside to be folded back later.
- Drain off some of the bacon fat so that you have a thin layer coating the bottom of the pan.
- On medium low heat, add the dice onions to your pan and cook covered for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Once the onions are gently caramelize, add the thyme and orange zest and allow to bloom – about 1 minute, stirring constantly
- Deglaze with vinegar, orange juice and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil and add brown sugar, stir to combine and reduce heat
- Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally. It will be tempting to continue reducing, but as the jam cools it will thicken quite a bit. Set aside to cool before refrigerating
Note: Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks
Makes 16 oz
1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup water
2 fresh bay leaves
10 whole peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Place pitted cherries in a 16 oz mason jar. If you do not have a cherry pitter, simply slice around the pit – we’ll be cutting these down later anyway!
- In a small saucepan, add red wine vinegar, honey, water, bay leaves, peppercorns and salt. Bring to a boil.
- As soon as the liquid comes to a boil (careful not to reduce!) gently pour over the cherries
- Cover and allow to sit for at least one hour before using
- Cherries will last in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks, as long as cherries are covered in pickle liquid
- Your cherry pickle liquid is basically shrub! Use it in a cocktail or mocktail, or even in a salad dressing
You can find our organic Mt Tam cheese and Olympia Provisions Frankfurters at our Creamery Barn Shop & Cantina in Point Reyes Station. We're open all 4th of July Weekend, Saturday - Monday, 11 am - 4 pm.