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Football Food
by Eddy Robey

As Hearty as a Bowl Game

It is the season when most of the male population watches football. Yes, ladies, I know that some of you are watching as well, and I apologize for any political incorrectness. Today, however, I am going to try to help you plan something tailored to rather stereotypic male appetites. There are several maxims to be observed in planning a football menu.

1. Don't think about whether the food is fattening. The last thing a man with a sports fantasy needs to hear is that he is overweight. No matter how prettily they are arranged, raw veggies and nonfat dips are not guy food. Worry about cholesterol during the rest of the week.

2. If the fellows can't figure out what it is, they won't want it. Save mystery ingredients for another time.

3. Ask what he wants to drink, and buy it. No clever substitutions. If he wants a soft drink with sugar in it, don't tell him the store only had the diet version. Ditto with the beer.

4. Don't use anything which has the potential to cause guilt. If you don't wan that tablecloth stained, use a disposable one. If a spill on the upholstery would break your heart, use a throw cover. Big boys like to be able to make a mess without thinking about whether anyone cares.

5. Do not plan to serve anything which must be consumed on a schedule. If that yummy Canapé recipe should be eaten right out of the oven, make something else. The game, not the food, is the main event.

With all the above in mind, it is still a nice thing to make one special dish. The best bet is some sort of Stew which can be kept warm in a crock-pot, until they want to have some. Everything in it should be cut bite-sized, so that the only piece of cutlery needed is a spoon. Here is one such recipe. You will notice that there are no potatoes in it. That is because they crumble to mush, if kept warm for a long time.

Both of the following recipes contain Beer. When I first wrote them, I was besieged with joking E-mail from those who thought that the Beer in my Stew recipe was for the cook to drink. Although that might be a pleasant way to pass time in the kitchen, I do intend for the 6 pack to go into the pot, not the cook. As most of you are aware, my Grand mere was from Strasbourg, the stew is just one more example of my Gallic taste for spirits with food. The French name for the stew is Boeuf Carbonnade.

Easy Beef Stew Ingredients

4 pounds lean Beef Stew Meat, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 pound small Button Mushrooms
2 (1 pound) bags frozen Pearl Onions
2/3 cup Flour
3 tablespoons Cooking Oil
1 tablespoon granulated Mock-Beef Bouillon
4 Bay Leaves
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons Marjoram
1 teaspoon Thyme
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 6-pack dark Beer


Put the Stew Meat in a plastic bag with the Flour, and shake to coat thoroughly. Put the floured meat on a plate next to the stove. Put the Cooking Oil in a large Dutch Oven over a medium-high heat. When the Oil is hot, add the Meat to the Oil. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the Meat is browned on all sides. Thorough browning is the most important step toward a flavorful gravy.

When the meat is browned, add all the other ingredients. Bring the mixture to a point just below boiling, cover with a close fitting lid, and place in the oven at 325 degrees. Bake for 2 1/2 hours. Serve. This may be kept warm for a long period of time. It may be made the day before, and will freeze well.

Beer is for Cooking, Have Another Recipe

For those of you who would like to know another way to make something yummy from Beer, here is an easy recipe for Beer Bread, which would be a wonderful addition to the menu. It has only 3 ingredients, does not require any special equipment, and will make the house smell heavenly while it bakes. This may be prepared in either loaf or muffin pans. It looks very nice when done in little individual loaves, such as the ones you often see in restaurants. Enjoy.

Beer Bread Ingredients

3 cups Self-Rising Flour
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 (12 ounce) bottle Dark Beer


In a mixing bowl, combine the Self-Rising Flour and Brown Sugar. Add the Dark Beer, and stir until the ingredients are moistened but the batter is not smooth. The little lumps are just fine. Place in baking tins of any shape, which have been greased and floured.

Bake in an oven which has been preheated to 350 degrees. Bake 45 minutes to an hour for a loaf, or about 20 minutes for muffins. The bread is done when it is golden brown, and pulls lightly away from the sides of the pan.

Copyright 2002 Eddy Robey

 Eddy Robey M.A.
  Author of  It's Not Just Chicken Soup. Like all Jewish mothers, I feed everyone in sight, and have been at work in the kitchen for over 25 years. Correspondence should be addressed to <> and will be read as soon as the dishes are done. You can find many of my recipes online at Gantseh Megillah  Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would enjoy it, as long as you include my copyright.

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