Dangerously addictive and in the United States after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border: the Sonoran-style hot dog.
A porky product that rose to prominence while being sold from carts by students at the University of Sonora who were attending baseball games on the school’s campus in Hermosillo, the Sonoran-style hot dog comes topped with a lot more than ketchup, mustard or relish. A Mexican take on the all-American classic, the bacon-wrapped dog is grilled until crisp and stuffed into a savory roll called a bolillo before being topped off with some combination of pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, grilled and raw onions, mayonnaise, mustard and jalapeños.
Brought across the border to Arizona by immigrants, the decadent dogs (which are popular enough to warrant their own food trail) are now sold by at least 200 “doguero” vendors in Tuscon as well as at a plethora of local establishments, most notably the trio of El Güero Canelo eateries, which are quite popular with University of Arizona students who are up late..studying.
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Chef Aaron May, a Food Network personality who has appeared on shows including Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Best Thing I Ever Ate and Guy’s Grocery Games, attended the University of Arizona and was first introduced to the Sonoran-style dog while tailgating before Wildcat games. That’s one of the reasons he’ll be serving up Tucson’s top dogs before the Super Bowl alongside other celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay, Marc Murphy and Michael Symon at The Players Tailgate to Las Vegas.
“Sonoran dogs were a mainstay of college football for me. That’s really where I fell in love with them and embraced them,” May tells InsideHook. “I noticed as I got older and started working with some NFL teams that the Sonoran hot dog was not really a thing in the rest of the country. You’d show up at a Colts game with a Sonoran-style hot dog and people would be like, ‘What is this?’ It might as well have been alien soylent or whatever. People had no idea what it was. Nobody had ever seen anything like it.”
With events like The Players Tailgate, May is hoping to raise awareness about the hot dog at the top of his heap.
“I think hot dogs are one of the best things you can eat,” May says. “When I worked as a cook in New York City and lived on the Lower East Side, I used to go to Katz’s. Everybody goes to Katz’s for pastrami. I’d go to Katz’s for a hot dog. They’re great. Even a NYC dirty-water dog is delicious. Chicago-style dogs are amazing. But the Sonoran dog, there’s just something special about it to me. You get the beans. You get the sauces. You get this bacon-wrapped dog on pillowy bread. A Sonoran dog really has character with all its different textures and flavor components. I think it is unrivaled.”
A super dog for, wait for it, the Super Bowl. “If you’re watching a game, I almost feel like you have to have a hot dog. If you don’t eat a hot dog, you weren’t even really there,” May says. “The hot dog can be a meal. It can be a snack. It can be just an emotional support blanket. I think that hot dogs are perfect for everything.”
Including your Super Bowl party.
Aaron May's Sonoran-style hot dogs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 hot dogs
- 4 slices bacon
- 4 6:1 beef hot dogs
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 cup white onion, diced
- 4 jalapeno peppers
- 4 sweet hot dog buns or boliilo rolls
- 1 cup cooked pinto beans, warm
- ½ cup diced tomato
- 2 tbsp. verde hot sauce (Cutino Sauce Co.)
- 2 tbsp. yellow mustard
- 2 tbsp. Dukes Mayonnaise
Wrap each hot dog in a slice of bacon from end to end diagonally until the whole strip of bacon is rolled around the hot dog.
Heat a heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon-wrapped hot dogs and cook, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until browned on all sides. Remove from and reserve hot.
In the same skillet, heat the vegetable oil and add ¾ cup chopped white onion. Sauté the onion until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and add to a small mixing bowl with remaining raw onion, jalapeno and tomato.
Place one bacon-wrapped hot dog in a bun, then spoon on a generous tablespoon of warm pinto beans and about a tablespoon of the cooked onion mixture.
Top with hot sauce, mustard and mayonnaise. Repeat with the remaining hot dogs and serve hot.
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