Beyond the Burger: A Super Feast

By Birdland Rob - Posted on 01 February 2012

Meat Stadium




This is the second post of four to get you completely ready for Sunday's Super Bowl. The Lineup:

Tuesday: Reva's Guide to the Ultimate Super Bowl Party

Wednesday: Rob's Super Bowl Menu

Thursday: Phil's Super Bowl XLVI Drinking Game

Friday: Winston's Prop Bet Bonanza

   It’s Super Bowl (a registered trademark of the NFL or something like that, don’t come after me Goodell) time.  So since we’re not tailgaiting, I’ll show you some killer recipes to rock out at your house party.  Everyone does chili and meatballs, so I’m gonna change it up a bit and bring you some easy recipes that will set your party apart. 


Pork Carnitas


            This is the latin version of what we would consider pulled pork, and great for a house party because it’s extremely versatile.  You can throw it on a sandwich, on top of tortilla chips for nachos, or in a taco shell for tacos. 

What you’ll need:

1 3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder (boston butt)

2 large yellow onions

2 green bell peppers

2 jalapenos

Assorted spices – salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, cumin, garlic powder

1 small can (10-12 ounces) tomato sauce

Hot sauce (I prefer Cholula chipotle flavor, but any kind works)

            To start, julienne (cut into long narrow strips) the onions and green peppers.  Fine chop the jalapenos.  Include the seeds if you like your food a little on the spicy side.  For a milder flavor, toss the jalapeno seeds aside.  In a large pot, add a small amount of any kind of cooking oil or butter and sauté the onions and peppers on med-high heat for about 6-8 minutes to soften.  While this is going on, cut your pork shoulder into 4-5 smaller pieces.  The pieces don’t have to be exact uniform in size, but since we’re gonna shred the pork at the end, smaller pieces will speed up the cooking time.  Add the tomato sauce to the onions and peppers, stir well and drop the heat to medium.  The canned tomato sauce is very rich, so it needs to cook for a few minutes to soften the flavor a bit.  Add 1 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp black pepper, 2 tbsp red pepper flakes, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp garlic powder and a few shakes of the hot sauce to the pot and stir thoroughly.  Now, add your cut up pork to the pot (you want to push all the pieces down as far in the pot as possible, in a large pot, all the pieces should fit in one layer with a little finagling).  Add enough water to the pot to just about cover the pork with liquid.  Don’t submerge it completely.  When the liquid comes to a boil, drop to low heat and let it simmer uncovered for about 90 minutes.  If the liquid is boiling rapidly, the heat is too high.  Adjust the heat so the liquid stays hot with the occasional bubble. 

            After the 90 minutes the pork should be extremely tender.  You can test it with a fork or a pair of tongs.  It should virtually fall apart if you try to remove it from the pot.  Put a colander into a large bowl or another pot and strain your pork from the liquid.  Use the pot or bowl to catch the liquid because it will become our sauce for the carnitas.  Let the pork, onions and peppers cool in a large mixing bowl for a few minutes.  You can use tongs or your hands to shred apart the tender pork.  Add the strained cooking liquid to a pot and heat to a boil on high.  Reduce the heat to about med-high so that it still boils just not as rapidly.  Let the liquid reduce to about 1/3 its original volume (should take about 10 minutes).  This will condense the flavor and thicken the liquid.  Add the reduced liquid back to the pork and stir it in thoroughly.  Now you’re ready to enjoy your carnitas however you desire.


Buffalo Chicken Dip

            This is a classic.  A few twitter followers had a request so I’ll bring you my version. 

What you’ll need:

8 oz spreadable whipped cream cheese

1 cup whole milk

1 cup chicken broth


1 Yellow onion

Hot Sauce

1 stick butter

2 large chicken breasts, precooked, fine chopped or shredded

            Fine dice the onion and 2 stalks of celery.  In a large pot, add the stick of butter and sweat the onions and celery for about 10 minutes on med-high heat.  Add the milk and chicken broth and bring to a simmer.  Stir in the cream cheese until thoroughly melted, it should be a smooth, thick texture.  Now add in about ½ cup of hot sauce and the shredded bits of chicken.  If you don’t feel like cooking 2 chicken breasts ahead of time, meat shredded from a precooked rotisserie chicken from most grocery stores is an easy and cheap alternative.   Add the contents of the pot to a small casserole dish (about an inch deep) and bake on 400 degrees, covered with tin foil, for about 20 minutes. 


Mango Habanero Wings


            Plain hot sauce is boring.  No offense, it just it.  Let’s kick up the wings with something a little different.

What You’ll Need:

1 yellow onion

Chopped garlic

2 mangoes, peeled, pitted and coarse chopped

Store bought jerk seasoning


1 Habanero

¼ cup white vinegar

Chicken wings

A Blender

            Start by placing your wings on a large baking tray.  I suggest buying whole chicken wings and cutting into pieces yourself.  It takes a few minutes but usually cuts the cost in half.  Dust the wings lightly with the jerk seasoning and bake on 350 for about 25 minutes.

            In a medium size pan, add a small amount of cooking oil, chopped onion and a tbsp of garlic.  Sweat the onions and garlic on med heat for about 6-8 minutes then add diced mangoes and chopped habanero.  Cook for about 5 more minutes until the mangoes are warmed all the way through.  Add vinegar, 1/4 cup of water and about 2 tbsp of honey and stir well.  Drop the heat to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add the entire mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  If it seems a little thick, add a touch more water and continue to blend. 

            Toss the jerk-seasoned wings in the sauce or serve it on the side for dipping.  Either way, it will add a sweet and spicy kick to normally boring wings.

Beefy Mary Mix

We can’t have a party without something to wash down all this food.  If it’s my kinda party, then you’ll be starting early.  Nothing says early Sunday day-drinking like a good bloody mary, or my “beefy” mary.

 What you’ll need:

½ gallon tomato juice

1 tbsp horseradish

½ tbsp celery salt

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup beef stock or broth

1 tbsp black pepper

2 tbsp steak sauce (preferably A-1)

Montreal steak seasoning


            This one’s simple, combine everything except the steak seasoning, save that for rimming your glass.  If you wanna take a shortcut, you can buy a pre-made bloody mary mix and simply add the beef broth and steak sauce.  Either way, with enough vodka you will enjoy it. 


Red Sangria

            Ladies, I haven’t forgotten you.  For those of you who don’t wanna pig out and crush beers with us guys all day, I’ve got amazing red sangria for you.

What you’ll need:

1 large bottle red wine (nothing fancy but not too dry)

2 cups blackberry brandy

1 quart cranberry juice

2 cups club soda or water

1 cup sugar

1 each chopped lemon and lime

            Combine everything and stir well.  Ideally, let it sit for a few hours refrigerated before serving.  Serve over ice and enjoy, ladies.


            There are a lot of things you can do to take your super bowl party to the next level.  Hopefully, after trying a few of these recipes your party will be the talk of the office all off-season.  Or at least until April when we once again return to whining about how bad the Orioles are.  Remember, cooking (and partying) is all about fun, so have fun with your food!  Send all of your questions and ideas to me on Twitter @RobinBirdland