It’s been a long journey through the desert, but kickoff is less than twenty-four hours away and college football will bless us once again. Although TCU made a fine accounting this year, on the backs of four players allegedly involved in a drug ring, Arkansas’ dorm robbery spree looks to have locked up the off-season’s most
prestigious award, the Fulmer Cup. That’s three in a row for the ESS EEE SEE. No word on the winner of the Ellis T. Jones III award for personal achievement yet, but I’m monitoring the situation. That means it’s nearly time for real live non-recorded football and eating the things one eats while watching football. My heart is aflutter. There is the promise of hot wings, of chips and salsa and seven layer dips, of Barbeque, brats and dogs, pizzas, and possibly an adult beverage.
On the subject of adult beverages, I’ve attempted pairing wine or even beer (Well I never!) with my football food, but everything ends up tasting like brown liquor. Save the wine. One hundred and fifty years of sneaking the smaller and smaller flasks into stadiums as security gets tighter and tighter have accustomed fans of the college game to drinking liquids with as much delusion per ounce as can be reasonably tolerated sans chaser. In the south that means bourbon. And that is why in Alabama, we could be down by forty in the fourth quarter, but we are staying in the stands until the end. Bourbon makes us think we still have a chance.
With my bourbon, I prefer the Once a Month Steak Sandwich™. Marinate a flank
steak in soy for ten minutes, flip it, and marinate another ten minutes. Broil for four minutes a side and then rest it for five minutes before slicing it ribbon thin. I can’t stress slicing it thinly enough. Remember that time in college when you got home around two in the morning and found eggs in the fridge and English muffins in the pantry so you walked down to the 24 hr. convenience store on the corner and bought some off brand bacon with an American flag on the package for $2.99? That thin.
While the steak is broiling, get six slices of non convenience store bacon and make grease. You can eat the bacon, throw it away, feed it to the dog, whatever. Keep the grease on at a low heat to keep it from solidifying. Slice a good quality French baguette into six inch pieces and also laterally because sandwich. The roof of my mouth is supple and soft. For that reason I also cut off some crusty bits off the top of the baguette (That’s a mightstainyourshirt.com kitchen tip!). Soak the parts of the bread that will be inside the sandwich in the bacon grease, and lay open faced on a cookie sheet. Add strips of steak to the bottom halves, top with sliced provolone, and warm in an oven at 350° until the cheese melts. Top with slices of Roma tomatoes and mixed spring lettuce tossed tossed in red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. I’m not a fan of most condiments. The vinaigrette keeps it moist and adds flavor. We’ve done it with a sesame oil vinaigrette and thought that was great too. Mayonnaise and mustard can be used if you hate America but don’t go claiming it’s my recipe, comrade.
We call it the Once a Month Steak Sandwich because bacon grease is unhealthy and if you eat it too often you die of a broken heart. The truth is it’s probably not that much worse than just eating bacon every now and then, but I choose not to believe that. I prefer to think that this is the Les Miles of the sandwich world: Dangerous, alluringly reckless, carefree, and grassfed.
I’m not sure which game to watch with this in my belly. I’ve already promised coq au vin for the South Carolina/Vanderbilt game tomorrow night. I don’t feel like Friday’s Tennessee/North Carolina State match up is worthy. I’ve been promised pulled meat BBQ on Saturday when I get to see the nimble, Heisman favorite, fast as lightning Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson mauled by the inexperienced but obscenely talented linebackers on my beloved Crimson Tide. We also have 1500 lbs. of offensive line. Tremble!