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Living in LA, you have to pick a "Home of the French Dip" allegiance, Team Phillipe's or Team Cole's.

Week Five.  Welcome to the dog days of the NFL season.  Maybe it’s because we’re getting into the bye weeks, maybe it’s the start of the hockey and basketball season, and maybe it’s because we’re enjoying post-season baseball (Kidding! Baseball never ends! Pitchers and catchers report in 177 days! Only 21 days after the World Series!), but for some reason I always struggle with October football.  September sets up the storylines for the season, November and Decemeber are the buildup to the playoffs.  October is the grunt work.  The foundation.  The grinding out game after game after game after exciting match-ups Cleveland-Buffalo and Philadelphia-Oakland and San Francisco-Houston and ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

The good news is this is time of the year when the outside of the game stories become more interesting, because they could possibly influence how players play the game.  Braylon Edwards gets into a fight outside of a Cleveland night club with a friend of Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James and is promptly traded to the Jets.  Crabtree finally ends his hold out.  Some old guy plays against his former team.  (Larry Foote.) And of course the big story percolating just under the surface, the possibility of a player lockout in 2011.

Everyone’s favorite pro Twitter Chad Ochocinco sat in a NFL Players Association meeting earlier this week, and judging by his Tweets, the union is telling its players to start saving their pennies now.  While this is not new news, his reaction caused a little bit of stir with ESPN’s Adam Schefter and New York Times’ Judy Battista.

Schefter weighed in -

Battista -

What’s my point and what the hell does this have to do with the Friday Football Foodie?

Both Battista and Schefter are complete dips.  Having worked with large staffs – both union and non-union -  for more than a decade in a few different fields, I can say with great certainty that many people have no idea what the terms of their employment are.  Does not matter if it is the janitor, the kid in the mailroom, a senior manager, or even a Vice President of Titles That Have No Weight, people do not know when their next payday is, how their extended benefits function, if they get Columbus Day off (and they will ask that question every year, even after being with a company for twelve years), how accrued time off works, how to approach their boss for a raise, and even what their current salary is.  Really.

Chad has been playing ball for the Cincinnati Bengals for going on eight years now, the only NFL team he has worked for since college.  While I am sure he has an understanding of the free agency market and player trades, it isn’t beyond reason for him to think the league would always take care of its players.  Teams – and by extension the league – act very paternalistic towards players when they’re playing.  Anyone in a long-term position can be lulled into thinking their job is always safe, and with the added camaraderie of being a part of one of the world’s most glorified sporting leagues, being locked out almost seems unthinkable.  Almost.

(Battista’s comment was especially galling to me since the newspaper world is unionized, and later in the day she Tweeted about tough days in the media world with the closure of Gourmet magazine.  By her standard for NFL players, anyone left at Conde Nast should have seen the layoffs coming years ago and left for safer ground.  I wonder if she has ever asked how much vacation time she has left in a year.  Schefter, as far as I can tell, has less of filter than Chad Ochocinco does.)

Okay, well that was a lot of words that could have been summed up as, “Hey, don’t judge.”

On to this week’s Friday Football Foodie! French Dip and Blood Orange Bourbon!

You will need…

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Meat and beer? Doesn't get more football-y than that!

1 (2 pound) boneless beef roast (This is good for 4-6 people.  If have more people, you can buy a 4 lbs roast.)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 beef bouillon cube or 1 can of beef broth.  (I prefer the low-salt broth.)
1 bay leaf
3 – 5 whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Submarine sandwich style buns
1 cup dark beer (optional, but highly recommended)
Onion, or onion powder (optional)
Provolone or blue cheese (optional)

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Use some sort of rump roast for French Dip. Top round or eye round. Avoid bottom round and tri-tip. I prefer eye round since it is the leanest cut of beef on the cow, and since it's going to be sitting in juices for six to eight hours, fat does not matter.

Remove any visible fat from the outside of your roast.

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In a measuring cup, mix together your soy sauce, herbs, and beef stock together. Be sure to keep your bay leaf in once piece so you can remove it later.

Now, I used a slow cooker for my roast.  If you do not have a slow cooker you can also use a big stock pot, but you must must MUST keep it over the lowest heat you can on the stove top.

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Meaty! I don't make beef at home very often (for the same reasons I don't let my husband buy Oreos when we go grocery shopping) so getting the roast started created quite a bit of excitement with both Bry and the dog.

Place your meat in the pot and add your marinade.

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See how that bottle of beer is capped with a wine saver? Since I started the roast at 9 AM, I didn't want waste the remaining beer in the bottle. (9 AM being too early for porter, but just fine for brunch cocktails.) Surprisingly, the wine stopper worked.

Add the beer.

DO NOT LET ANYONE LIFT UP THE LID TO TAKE A SMELL. Because twenty smells later and you've lost all the heat in your pot.

Set to “low” and let cook for six to eight hours depending on the size of your roast.

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Onion, in two forms. That is what I will call my MOMA exhibit.

So you can do what I did and just add a teaspoon of onion powder to your marinade.  Or if you like, you can cut up an onion and put it in the marinade.  Or you can leave out the onion, but caramelize the onion later to put on your sandwich.  (But guess what? Week Five means I am – as is everyone else – over making wildcat references this season.)

Steelers played the late game last Sunday so I had my roast in the pot by 9 AM so we could be ready to make sandwiches around 4:30 before kickoff, because I was not going to jinx the team by being late with food again. So really roast through the morning and afternoon games.  Or if you live on the east coast, it should be in the pot by Berman’s first throw to whatever sad remote feed they have Sal Paolantonio on.

Then you wait. And wait.

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If you want to make a side dish, this is one of my old standbys. Cut up a bunch of new potatoes, purple and red too if you can get them. Unfortunately, the market was out so plain baby potatoes had to do.

About an hour before your meat is done, if you want an easy side (okay, not as easy as opening a bag of frozen tater tots) put in a 350 degree oven cut up new potatoes with a little bit of olive oil, whatever dried savory herbs you have on hand, and some salt and pepper.  Roast for 45 – 60 minutes.

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Cheese! The bombing of the moon was not to look for water but to see if the moon was actually made of cheese!

Some people will want cheese, some will not.  Toast the cheese on a couple of buns for those who do.  You know who would want cheese?  Naked Casey Hampton.

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Dinner time games! Yet again Pacific Standard Time is the much better time zone for football!

Once your meat is done, (you should be able to pull it apart easily) serve with a small bowl of the jus from your pot.   Dip dip dip dip away!

Blood Orange Bourbon

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Powdered sugar people, nothing more.

I made the mistake of mentioning this cocktail on my Twitter feed (Hooray! More talk about Twitter!) last week and was talked into sharing the recipe early by several people who just could not wait.  So act like it’s new to you, TSW Twitter fans.

The original recipe for this cocktail calls for plain blood orange juice.  Since that is often difficult to find, we went for the sparkling blood orange juice they carry at my local market.

3 Tbls (Shot and a half) of blood orange juice
2 Tbls (1 shot) of bourbon
1 tsp of powdered sugar (Yes, powdered sugar. Everyone thought I had lost my mind when I didn’t say “simple syrup” here.)

Mix well in glass with ice. Drink. This is a nice cocktail for either a brunch game or an evening game aperitif.

French Dip adapted from All Recipes.com

Blood Orange Bourbon from the Better Homes and Garden’s Cookbook, Bridal Edition


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2 Responses to Friday Football Foodie – French Dip & Blood Orange Bourbon

  1. IJustMadeThatUp says:

    Please let it be known that while I may have been as excited as the dog for the roast tenderloin, I did manage not to drool on the kitchen floor nearly as much. Nearly.

  2. Janalee says:

    I do love a good beef dip I’m going to have to try this one. Wait don’t I say that about all of your recipes?

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