I made a promise not too long ago that I wasn’t going to eat any meat unless I was sure that it was from a farm that took better care of their animals. I’ve done loads of research and came up with farms in California and Georgia that had exactly what I was looking for. Unfortunately, I’m not willing to travel from New York City just for a little protein. Through my research, I found out about the Global Animal Partnership and the tremendous work they are doing to “improve the welfare of animals in agriculture.” Adding to my victory, I also learned that my local Whole Foods Market features meats that were raised under this program. Now, getting Stage-5 chicken and beef is as easy as making a quick trip to Whole Foods.
Today I bring to you an alteration to the classic hot dog using sausage that was prepared with meat from GAP’s 5-Step program. This is one good dog made with andouille sausage, whole-grain mustard and local sauerkraut.
GAP runs on a tiered system in which each level builds on the last from Step 1 to Step 5+. According to their website, the steps (generally across the board) are:
Step 1: No cages, no crowding
Step 2: Enriched environment
Step 3: Enhanced outdoor access
Step 4: Pasture centered
Step 5: Animal centered: Bred for outdoors
Step 5+: Animal Centered: Entire life on same farm
In addition, animals are fed a vegetarian diet and raised without antibiotics.
If you have some time on your hands please go to their website and read up on what they are doing. On their standards section of the website you will find links to PDF documents that discuss the rating standards for Chicken, Pig, Beef and a pilot program for Turkey. Recently their rating standards for chicken has been raised.
Todays recipe was inspired by a dog I recently had at a NYC restaurant which used andouille sausage and arugula. I left there thinking it was the best dog I’ve ever had! Today I offer a similar recipe with simple alterations to the ingredients that ups the overall quality of the dog. This dog is done in classic NYC style, topped with sauerkraut and mustard.
2 Wellshire Farms Smoked Andouille Sausage, split down the center
2 organic hot dog buns (available at WF)
2 tbsp Hawthorne Valley plain sauerkraut
2 tsp Hempzel’s Whole Grain Horseradish, Hemp and Honey mustard
2 tbsp spicy mayo (use as much or as little of each pepper as you like, depending on your tolerance for heat)
- 2 tbsp Vegenaise or mayo of your choice
- sriracha sauce
- chili powder
- chili in adobo sauce
1. Grill sausage until it’s warmed through and slightly charred with grill marks. This makes for a crunchier sausage.
2. Warm or grill buns.
3. Spread 1 tbsp of mayo on each bun and begin assembling hot dog with sausage, sauerkraut and mustard. Enjoy!
And speaking of a good dog, this is Rocko. He’s a Stage 5, organic, free-range, no crate (except when he’s naughty because no one wants bad meat), active, backyard roaming, happy little puppy. And he’s spoiled.