Grilled hot ties with chow-chow
No summer barbecue is complete without spicy, grilled red hot links. These sausages are packed with coarsely ground beef and spices with fat that melts to create the juiciest and tastiest inside. Serve them on toasted buns with a tangy and sweet chow chow relish made with pickled vegetables and hot spices.
This recipe makes about 4 cups of chow chow. You will probably have about 1 cup left. Use it on sandwiches, grilled meats, seafood or vegetables, stuffed eggs or anywhere you would use pickles or relish.
Activity time:2 hours; Total time: 6 hours (including 4 hours of marinade for the chow-chow)
Get Ahead: The flavor of chow chow improves with a night’s rest.
Storage Notes: The chow-chow can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.
Make the chow chow: In a food processor, combine the tomato, onion, green and red peppers, serrano and celery and mix until finely chopped.
Add cabbage and salt and pulse 4 to 5 times, or until cabbage is finely chopped. Add to a non-reactive, glass-like bowl, stir to combine, then cover with plastic wrap or a large plate and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and overnight. Strain the mixture through a colander over a bowl and reserve the excess liquid.
In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the mustard seeds, celery seeds, allspice, turmeric and mustard powder, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2. minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl.
In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the vinegar with 1/2 cup of the reserved vegetable liquid and bring to a boil. Stir in the sugar and toasted spices until the sugar dissolves, bring to a boil and cook until the mixture reduces slightly, about 3 minutes.
Add the vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes back to a boil, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat as needed to maintain a simmer and cook, uncovered, until mixture reduces by about a third, about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and let chow chow cool to the touch, about 15 minutes, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Grilling the sausages: If you are using a gas grill with two burner zones, preheat one zone to medium heat about 15 minutes before grilling. Leave the other zone disabled.
If you are using a charcoal grill, fill a fireplace starter with charcoal, turn it on and when the coals are hot, throw them into your grill. Add more charcoal. When all the coals have turned gray but are still very hot, about 15 minutes your grill should be moderately hot. (Use a grill thermometer or test the heat by holding your hand palm down about 5 inches from the grill. If you can hold it there for 4 to 5 seconds, the heat should be medium, or about 350 degrees. Then , spread the embers to one side, leaving the other side empty. Replace the cooking grid. Cover the grill.
Brush or lightly rub the hot links with the oil, place over indirect heat on the grill, cover and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a hot link indicates 150 degrees.
When finished cooking, move the links to the direct heat side and sear until an instant read thermometer registers 160 degrees, 1 to 2 minutes. Watch them carefully by turning them over so that they do not burn. The grease can drip into the coals causing flare-ups; be careful. Remove the links from the grill and let them sit for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, brush the buns lightly with butter and place cut side down on the grill, directly over the coals, until toasted, a few seconds to 1 minute. Watch the buns carefully so that they do not burn.
Add a link to each hot bun, dress with the chow chow and serve.
Adapted from blogger Meiko Temple of meikoandthedish.com.
Tested by Aaron Hutcherson and Ann Maloney.
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