Following the massive success of their new Ealing smokehouse site, Meat and Shake are celebrating the NFL’s arrival to the UK by teaming up with BBC NFL and Americarnage presenter Nat Coombs to create the average Joe’s guide to the NFL.
With the first game, New York Jets v Miami Dolphins, having commenced on the 4th October, the guide aims to turn any amateur American into a seasoned yankophile.
Doing what they do best, Meat and Shake have devised a series of NFL-inspired recipes which can be made in the comfort of your own home. Influenced by traditional American smokehouse cooking methods, there are recipes for every game drawing inspiration from players and coaches alike.
Miami Hotdog with Devilled Crab Mayo
Classic Reuben Sandwich
Buffalo T-Rex wings
Florida Key Lime Pie
Kansas City Beef Ribs
Coney ‘Megatron’ Burger
Download the recipes here or see below for full list
Moreover, both Meat and Shake and Nat Coombs agree that even the best smokehouse recipes taste that little bit better when accompanied by a cool beer. Luckily, they have provided flavoursome American substitutes to the standard British lagers:
Dan’s Pale Ale
To avoid being the host with all the gear and no idea, people can tune in to the Americanage podcast to hear Nat Coombs and friends discussing the latest NFL and general American current affairs.
Until then, here are Nat Coomb’s stock phrases to impress your friends with:
“He’s a good pocket-passer but he’s just not mobile enough for the modern game”
“He threw his helmet in anger but it was intercepted”
“The state of Quarterbacks this season, Tim Tebow will definitely get a start”
“You know what the Ravens need? Ray Lewis”
Match 1 – Miami Dolphins vs New York Jets
Miami Hotdog with Devilled Crab Mayo and Mango/Avocado Salsa topping vs Classic Reuben Sandwich
Miami Hotdog with Devilled Crab Mayo and Mango/Avocado Salsa topping
You will need
- Hotdogs of your choice, roughly 10″ long
- Some nice 8″ brioche hotdog rolls, cut down the middle top-to-bottom but not all the way through
- Shredded mozzarella cheese: while block is fine and dandy, fresh is better and should be drained in a sieve an hour before using. With either, pull it into fairly fine strings with clean hands a few minutes before you need it.
- Tomato ketchup in a squeezy bottle
- Devilled Crab Mayo (Recipe)
- Mango and Avocado Salsa (Recipe)
Devilled Crab Mayo
- 454g white crab meat (NB, It’s perfectly fine to add-in a little brown meat, which I do for a much greater flavour and it’s also cheaper. But not everyone goes for the sheer crabbiness of that, so be your own muse!)
- 1/2 small bunch of spring onions, chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons garlic mayo (I am going to leave it open here and just say that if you are a practiced home cook and are confident making your own from scratch then go for it! If not, don’t worry!)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon of your favourite hot sauce, or more if you like
- Salt & pepper to taste (Top tip, white pepper works best!)
Method: Mix it all in a bowl. Cover if preparing overnight and refrigerate until you need it.
Mango and Avocado Salsa
- 1 mango (ripe but not too soft), peeled, pitted and finely diced
- 1 ripe but firm avocado
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 2 jalapeño chili, finely diced (I prefer to omit the seeds, they can be bitter)
- Juice of 2 limes
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
- 4 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Maldon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Method: Mix the honey, lime juice and olive oil together in a small bowl. Mix everything else gently and then drizzle over the wet-stuff before giving it a final mix. If prepping overnight, it may need another turn with the spoon just prior to use. Cover and refrigerate.
To prepare your dogs
You will need an oven or grill pre-heated on a medium setting.
Simply cook the sausages according to the instructions (or even better, do them slowly on a charcoal BBQ!) Once done, they should keep warm (between 65 and 80 deg ˚c) for a little while without a problem if you need them to.
Squeeze some tomato ketchup into the cut of your hotdog-rolls as a lining for the dog.
Put the now genuinely hot hotdog sausage into the bun, and top with mozzarella. Be generous, but don’t go crazy.
Oven or grill briefly, to fully melt the cheese.
Finish with a good dollop all the way along the bun of your crab mayo, and then spoon the salsa over that. I find it best to just have these items in bowls for guests to help themselves. Otherwise by the time you have finished, the cheese may set on your earliest dogs before you can get them to the table and they just aren’t the same without stringy, melting goo.
Classic Reuben Sandwich
- 120g-180g per person of thinly sliced pastrami.
- Lots of Sauerkraut, or polish pickled cabbage. Another viable alternative which will have purists sending me hate-mail within seconds, is kimchee. Honest. Or if you have no alternative, make a very well-seasoned, wet, vinegary coleslaw with sour cream instead of mayo to sit overnight in the fridge and in all cases drain it thoroughly in a sieve before use.
- Swiss cheese in slices, or gruyere will do nicely, at least 2 per sandwich
- Polish white rye bread. I like mine with caraway which is easy to find, but it’s a flavour that divides people so perhaps it’s safer to go for a plain loaf (or several, depending on your guests) It usually comes pre-sliced which is fine.
- Russian Dressing (Recipe)
Flat-top grill, or a large heavy frying pan, or a sandwich toaster. A grill will do if you have no other option.
Couldn’t be easier. Feel free to vary it as much as you like with chopped chives, other fresh herbs, capers, or I even like soft-boiled egg chopped into mine. But as a base recipe for guidance you could use this:
8 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 tablespoons ketchup
4 tablespoons horseradish cream
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
To build the sandwich
Use the Russian Dressing instead of butter on the inside of the bread for your sandwich. Build the Reuben in the following order:
Bread, dressing, sauerkraut, pastrami, sauerkraut, dressing, bread.
You can do this a few minutes in advance in a commercial break if you want, as the cheese will protect the bread from the sauerkraut’s sogging influence as long as it’s only for 15 mins or so.
To serve, you need to toast the sarnie. Butter the outside and toast using whatever method you have available on a medium heat. If you have the option of pressing it while this happens, then go for it. The outside should be golden brown and the cheese melting, but the meat and kraut may still be cool. This only adds to the experience. I can’t call the game, but this is definitely a winner.
Match 2 – Jacksonville Jaguars vs Buffalo Bills
For this game I’m giving you a spicy starter/side/snack that can be done in large amounts and something sweet.
Buffalo T-Rex Wings (named after Rex Ryan) vs Florida Key Lime Pie
Buffalo T-Rex Wings
You will need
- Plenty of wings, 12 or more per person if using chicken. Weigh them.
- The same weight as for wings, of unsalted butter
- The same weight as for wings of sriracha (Thai chili) sauce
- 1/4 weight as for wings, of cider vinegar (white wine vinegar as alternative)
- Tabasco sauce, a large bottle.
- Blue cheese of choice
- 1 large jar good mayo
- Sour cream, equal to mayo
Advance Preparation: Wings and Hot Sauce
Take the wings and without seasoning place them in a deep-sided oven tray that can contain both them and the butter. Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 105 deg˚c for 3 hours.
Once done (they should be very tender) gently remove them from the butter into shallow containers or plates to cool, using a slotted or holed spoon (or with care, tongs).
Retain the butter and if it’s easier, transfer with care with any juices to a tall pot on the stove-top.
Add the sriracha and vinegar then simmer gently while whisking…then start adding tabasco little by little until it’s as hot and sour as you want to go.
At this stage, both the wings and the sauce can be cooled, and then refrigerated for use the next day.
Advance Preparation: Blue Cheese Sauce
Simply mix the sour cream, the mayo, and at first just ¼ (by eye) the amount of crumbled blue cheese. Mix-up well and whisk if possible. If you have a blender or similar, this will be great. Add more blue cheese as you wish, which will dissolve further in the sauce overnight. If you find it is too thick in the morning, olive oil and a dash of vinegar can be beaten-in to loosen it again.
To serve your wings:
Reheat the sauce, but do not allow to boil for more than a few seconds before turning it down. A slow-cooker makes an ideal vessel for this, or a carefully watched pot on the stove.
Decide how you want to reheat your wings. Traditionally they are fried, but you could grill them on a high heat, oven them in a single layer at a time on shallow oven trays (200degC until golden brown) or best of all, BBQ them till just charred.
These should be dipped or drizzled with the hot chili sauce and then served in warm bowls with blue cheese dressing on the side with a spoon, plenty of tissue paper and somewhere for bones to go.
Florida Key Lime Pie
You will need
- 200g gingernuts
- 100g warm/room-temp butter to make base
- 9” round baking tin, quiche tin, or similar
- 2 tbsp finely grated lime zest
- 235ml lime and lemon juice combined (about 4-5 limes and 2 lemons)
- 3-4 kaffir or Thai lime leaves (optional)
- 800g condensed milk (2 tins)
- 6 egg yolks
- 6 unbeaten egg whites
- 2 tsp salt
- 300g sugar
- Pan, metal or pyrex bowl, electric whisk.
Step 1: The Base
Break-up your ginger biscuits into crumbs. I find putting them in a plastic bag first and then hitting them with a rolling-pin or similar object works best. A blender works fine. Then add the butter and combine well until this is sticky.
Press this with clean fingers into the base of your tin, covering the bottom surface evenly to the edges.
Chill this down in the fridge to set while you do the remaining steps.
Step 2: The Filling
Put the lime-zest, lemon and lime juices, 2 tsp of salt (yes, really) and optionally the lime leaves into a pan and bring to the boil.
While this is happening, combine egg yolks and condensed milk (ensure your separated whites have no yolk in them and the container is very clean and grease-free)
Remove the leaves from the hot juice and pour it slowly into the egg and condensed milk mix, whisking or stirring well. It should begin to stiffen!
Take out the set base still in the baking tin from the fridge and pour the lime mixture, taking care to get every drop.
Return this to the fridge and do not go to the next step until it is fully chilled.
Step 3: The meringue topping
If you are not comfortable trying this step, or if it goes wrong for you, just use squirty cream instead! If there’s any left over, I’m sure you’ll find a use for it.
Make a double-boiler: i.e. have a metal or glass bowl sitting on a smaller pan with boiling water in the bottom of the pan (but not high enough to touch the bowl)
In this, put your egg whites and sugar. Stir to prevent it from cooking and until all the sugar is entirely dissolved.
Use the electric beater on full power with the water still boiling for 7 minutes. The meringue should be thick like marshmallow.
Spoon this directly onto the chilled pie, using the spoon to make peaks and spikes.
If you are the kind of home cook who likes toys, then this is the time to get out your blow-torch and gently brush the meringue-top with it.
Now simply cut into slices (in advance perhaps) and serve when you wish. It can also be kept frozen and will still be edibly soft within a few minutes of plating.
Match 3 – Kansas City Chiefs vs Detroit Lions
Kansas City beef ribs vs Coney Megatron Burger( After Calvin Johnson aka The Megatron)
Kansas City beef ribs
You will need
- A “split rack” of beef ribs from a butchers (get them to trim any connective tissue and excess fat) (Note, a split rack serves 2 people, or 1 quarterback)
- Something to bake all your ribs in.
- Enough tomato ketchup or BBQ sauce (depending how smoky you like it) to cover your ribs in the oven
- Worcester sauce
- Oyster Sauce
- Cracked black pepper
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic paste
- Dijon Mustard
- Cola Syrup
First sear your racks in a large pan and a touch of olive oil till golden brown. Allow to cool.
Make a 50:50 paste of garlic puree and mustard, and spread this thinly and evenly over the beef. This will help the dry ingredients stick.
Mix equal amounts of salt, black pepper and smoked paprika together and generously sprinkle over the entire surface of the ribs.
Leave this overnight if possible in the fridge (but it’s not an emergency if you can’t)
Meanwhile mix the following sauce for each rack
500g BBQ sauce
250g Cola syrup
75g Oyster sauce
50g Worcester sauce
To Cook the ribs
Place them in the smallest deep-sided oven trays or vessels that will hold them (can be individually or all together) and smother liberally with the sauce. Drown them!
Put into a 150degC preheated oven for 4-5 hours, until tender.
To serve them, fish them out carefully, cut if you wish and serve with dill pickles, raw red onion rings, chips or whatever else you fancy!
Any sauce you have left-over can be frozen and kept for use with something else (once only) and any left over beef (as if!) makes a great beef-hash for breakfast.
The Megatron Franken-Burger
You will need (for the Coney chilli burger)
- 2kg minced beef, with a reasonable amount of fat (this may cook out, but it is necessary for moisture, texture and flavour)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 teaspoons chilli powder
- 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 teaspoons celery seed (optional)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin (heaping)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
You will need (for sausage patties)
- 2kg seasoned sausage meat of your choice
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
- 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
- ½ chopped medium onion
- A very good pinch dried oregano
- 200g pasatta
- 200g ketchup
- American mustard
- crusty rolls for burger buns
- mozzarella cheese, grated
- American cheese slices
- garlic butter
- rocket leaves
Purists would never flavour a beef burger like this, but it’s ideal for at home or for the BBQ.
For the burgers, simply combine all the ingredients and ensure they are well mixed.
Let the mixture rest a while in the fridge before mixing once more and weighing it out into 170g patties ready to cook
Do exactly the same for the sausagemeat patties (which works well with freshly minced chicken and 20g salt if you prefer)
Combine the sauce ingredients and simmer gently for 10 minutes. This can be reheated later if you prefer.
Be sure the patties are cooked all the way through! Firm to the touch and juices running, clear. Get American cheese onto the beef one, and mozzarella onto the sausage to melt after you turn them.
While that melts, quickly attend to the buns: cut them in half and on both halves spread garlic butter. Toast these briefly.
On the bottom, drizzle a little American mustard and then add the rocket. Then the beef patty with American cheese.
Next the sausage and mozzarella, topped with the Italian sauce and the final bread dome.