Almost every year since I moved out of my parents’ home, I’ve done something for the Super Bowl. The first couple of years, when my knowledge of the kitchen was basically “where is the kitchen in my house?,” the food ranged from takeout pizza & wings to ‘homemade thing that hopefully doesn’t make you sick.’ To date, there have been no deaths!
Fortunately, I’ve stepped my game up since 2009.
This year, to the shock of no one, the Philadelphia Eagles were not in the Super Bowl. So I stepped outside of the Delaware Valley for this year’s menu a great deal, pitting two proteins against each, both served in the same way for the purposes of seeing which was the MVP.
- The Denver Broncos were represented by a staple of Colorado – the buffalo
- The Carolina Panthers, represented by two staples of Southern cuisine – BBQ and pork.
It doesn’t matter how you serve either. On chips. In a taco shell. With a spoon. Some kind of pizza pie. Right on the tablecloth. Paper plate for your lesser friends. Fine china for people whose approval you’ve longer for since birth. In my case, they were served atop crispy fried wontons.
Truth be told, I fried up 50 wonton wrappers, then put them in the oven for storage and to keep them from the dogs. But then later, for whatever reason, I turned on the oven and burned every last one of them. So we had tacos. The pictures you’re seeing are a lie. I took them with leftovers a whole week later.
Denver Broncos: Barbacoa Buffalo-Blue Nachos
My friend Shanny Banany introduced me to Chipotle’s barbacoa beef when she made it from a copycat recipe for for her daughter’s 1st birthday party. I don’t remember what else she made because this is literally all I ate. I think there was a cake. I don’t know.
I checked a few local butchers for various cuts of buffalo, but came up empty handed. So my options were to use ground buffalo or find and kill one on my own. Suburban Philadelphia is not exactly the Oregon Trail, so ground buffalo would have to do.
- 1 lb ground buffalo
- 4 tsp minced garlic
- 4 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground gloves
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 3 chipotle chiles in adobo
Process all of the ingredients (apart from the buffalo) into a paste, then work it the paste through the meat by hand. Once mixed, put the spiced buffalo meat into a crockpot over low for about 4 hours. Then walk away. Fire up the Playstation. Drink a beer. I did both of these things!
Once the meat is cooked, it’s just a question of topping it off. For my tastes, the baraboa buffalo was topped with green onions aka scallions and some buttermilk blue (or bleu?) cheese crumbles.
Carolina Panthers: BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos
Carolina is best represented by BBQ, so this was a no brainer. According to me and me alone, as I have never been to any of the Carolina’s, the trick to delicious, all around BBQ is two fold: good spice and good sauce. The rub I used has a kick to it, so I used a smooth, sweeter BBQ sauce to balance the scales.
- 1-2 lb. pork shoulder / pork butt
- canola oil
- 1/4 cup ancho chili powder
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp dry mustard
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
Load up your crock pot with BBQ sauce, vinegar and stock to get started. Then rub the canola oil all over the pork. Next up, mix or grind all of the spices to make a spice rub and rub that all over the pork. Toss the pork right in your crock pot, and cook on low for about 4 hours or until cooked and ready to shred.
Top off the pork with your favorite kind of cheese (we used smoked cheddar) and finish with some pickled jalapenos.
Alternate Methods of Cooking
The beauty of both of these dishes is that you can make them whenever and simply keep your crock pots on warm until ready to serve.
If you don’t have two crock pots, you can always do this on a stove top in a pot or pan with a lid over low heat; or right inside the oven at a low temperature as well. Or you can just go buy a second crock pot because my dual-recipe post calls for two of them. Your spouse or significant other will understand.
Firstly, we had four total people eating this food, including myself. I’m a big fan of spice and heat, but even I both were a little on the spicy side. So if that worries you, cut the chili pepper or something. No one is going to make fun of you.
Both were big hits on Super Bowl Sunday, but I didn’t take votes because The Food Chain isn’t a democracy. I choose the winner. I am the decider. And much like the winner of the game, this year’s winner was the Denver Bronco-based dish of Barbacoa Buffalo-Blue Nachos.
Make them both, try for yourself and let me know what you think. Just don’t burn your wontons like an ass.