A few days back I was reflecting on some of the food that I grew up eating, not so much in my house, but around town. I thought my dad always had a good taste for a few things around town, in particular the tacos from Indiana Beach, the tacos from Lord John, the stromboli in Monticello, and something called the bake. At the time, I really never understood the bake as it is baked ground beef, shaped like a hot dog, and placed in a hot dog bun. I think that confused me as a kid as the only thing that I thought should be placed in a hot dog bun was a hot dog.
Both my son and daughter love hot dogs, and cheese burgers for that matter, so upon reflecting on the things about Kokomo, I immediately thought of the bake. A soft and tender ground beef shaped hot dog, sweetened by vinegar and sugar. Light, fluffy, and moist. A big hit.
- 1 lb of ground beef
- 1/2 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup of fine breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/4 cup of ketchup
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- Onion, diced
- Yellow mustard
To a large bowl, add the ground beef, salt and pepper, breadcrumbs, milk, and water, and mix really well. You will notice that this is really a bit smooth, and a texture that you probably do not work with that often. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Form the meat into hot dog shapes, approximately bun length, and place in your baking pan. This makes about 7-9 bakes. Combine the remaining water, vinegar, and sugar in a small bowl, and drizzle over the meat.
Bake in an over for 75 minutes, covered. Once cooked, remove from the pan to get them out of the fat it was cooking in.
To serve, place a bake in a good hot dog bun, top with diced onion and mustard, or if you are like the rest of my family, eat plain.
Something delicious, different, and from my hometown of Kokomo. Hope you enjoy.