You might consider yourself a tough guy, but if you can’t put out a killer spread on Packer game day you’re not tough enough. Here are the top five Packer game day recipes.
Every Sunday I get together with the same group of guys and we put out a feast whenever possible. These next five recipes are far and away our favorites and offer a little taste of Wisconsin.
1. BC and Al’s Wisconsin Bluegill Chowder
Now I know everyone can’t get out in the below zero weather at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings before the game. But, for us die-hards, there is no substitute for setting up the shack and jigging for our Packer meal. Feel free to substitute any whitefish, but seriously, if you can hit the ice and bring ‘em in fresh, it’s the proper way to do it.
4 ounces meaty salt pork, rind removed and cut into 1/3-inch dice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions (14 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch dice
6 to 8 sprigs fresh summer savory or thyme, leaves removed and chopped (1 tablespoon)
2 dried bay leaves
2 pounds Baby Reds
5 cups Chicken Stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds fresh bluegill. Always best if caught ice fishing that morning.
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (or up to 2 cups if desired)
If you want to garnish the chowder use 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives.
Heat a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over low heat and add the diced salt pork. Once it has rendered a few tablespoons of fat, increase the heat to medium and cook until the pork is a crisp golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cracklings to a small ovenproof dish, leaving the fat in the pot, and reserve until later.
Add the butter, onions, savory or thyme, and bay leaves to the pot and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for about 8 minutes, until the onions and softened but not browned.
Add the potatoes and stock. If the stock doesn’t cover the potatoes, add just enough water to cover them. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, cover, and cook the potatoes vigorously for about 10 minutes, until they are soft on the outside but still firm in the center.
If the stock hasn’t thickened lightly, smash a few of the potato slices against the side of the pot and cook for a minute or two longer to release their starch. Reduce the heat to low and season heavily with salt and pepper (you want to almost overseason the chowder at this point to avoid having to stir it much once the fish is added).
Add the fish fillets and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat and allow the chowder to sit for 10 minutes (the fish will finish cooking during this time).
Gently stir in the cream and taste for salt and pepper. If you are not serving the chowder within the hour, let it cool a bit, then refrigerate; cover the chowder after it has chilled completely. Otherwise, let it sit for up to an hour at room temperature, allowing the flavors to meld.
When ready to serve, reheat the chowder over low heat; DONT let it boil. Warm the cracklings in a low oven (200 °F) for a few minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to mound the chunks of fish, the onions, and potatoes in the center of large soup plates or shallow bowls, and ladle the creamy broth around. Scatter the cracklings over the individual servings and finish each with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and minced chives.
Simply add the whole fillets to the chowder, cook it a few minutes longer, and remove it from the heat, without stirring it again. When you reheat the chowder, the fillets will break into lovely big chunks of tender white fish.
Have this once and you’ll never go back.
2. Jambalaya Packer Man Style
We love to hit the Jambalaya from time to time. Cooking jambalaya is an art, a past time and a big hit on game day.
Remember, Jambalaya is best cooked in a CAST IRON pot. If you are really a die-hard get outside in the snow and cook it over a birch wood fire. It's very good and easy inside, but the wood fire puts it over the top.
This recipe is for a small 10 quart pot which will feed 8 of your buddies. You can double or triple it for bigger sizes.
4 - Big yellow onions chopped fine
8 - Cups water.
4 - Cups rice
3 - Banana peppers - chopped
3 - Crushed garlic cloves
2 - Bundles green onions. - chopped
2 - Pounds of hot pork sausage links - chopped
10 - Whole Pork-Chops
2 - Rings of Kielbasa
Salt, pepper, red pepper, onion powder, and anything else you want to throw in there.
Jambalaya cooking instructions:
Brown your sausage and chops and put them on the side. Cook down your yellow onions and garlic constantly stirring (add a little water if necessary so it doesn't get dry in the bottom of the pot). Don't burn them or the whole recipe is screwed.
Once you've sautéed this mix and reduced it, then add your meat and water (add enough water to cover everything). Season to taste and cook everything until your meat is good and tender.
About 15 minutes before you're going to add your rice put in the peppers and green onions. Add rice and bring to simmer for 15 around minutes or until the rice looks to be getting cooked. Take a big spoon and turn the rice over once (you only want to bring the bottom to the top). Leave over low heat until your water is all out and the rice is tender.
Success you have Jambalaya.
It’s all about having huge and hearty chunks of meat Packer fans. No sincere Packer fan is going to dice everything up. This is all about being big and bad – just like the Pack.
3. Wisconsin Brats – The right way.
If there is one thing I can’t stand it’s an amateur who doesn’t know how to cook Bratwurst. There is nothing more sacrilegious than taking your Brats out the package and tossing them straight on the grill.
It’s just plain embarrassing.
Here is how a Packer fan does it.
10 Brats (hit your local meat market)
2-12 ounce bottles or cans of beer (preferably a Wisconsin brew)
2 Large onions
Charcoal briquettes (about 30) or lump charcoal
10 Brat buns
Condiments (Mustard Brown or yellow, chopped onion)
There are three steps to this method - simmering, grilling, and holding.
Mound the charcoal briquettes in a pyramid (stack ‘em up nice and neat). Start the charcoal. I use an electric starter, avoiding the use of fluid.
When the coals are partially white, spread in a single layer. Allow the charcoal to burn until coals are covered with white-ash glowing embers (about 20-30 minutes). If you aren’t patient with the charcoal you will regret it.
On a kettle grill, the heat is just right when you can hold your hand palm-down, 2 inches above the grate, for 4-5 seconds. If you can still see a red glow, it's too early to start cooking.
As you wait for the charcoal to get ready, put 2 beers in a pot. Throw in a chopped onion and the brats. If you need more liquid to cover the brats, add water. Bring the beer to a simmer (Don't let it boil - ever! When steam begins to rise from the top of the liquid, it's just right. Boiling will cause the brats to burst. Simmer the brats for 20 minutes. Throw out the beer/onion mixture.
When coals are ready, place the brats on the grill 7-9 inches above the coals.
Use tongs to turn the brats often until golden brown on all sides, about 10-15 minutes if you have pre-simmered them. Cover grill between turns. Some of us like the brats burnt as hell, don’t be afraid to put some black on them if that’s your style.
Treat the brats with care. Don't puncture them or squeeze them too hard. If you see a flare-up developing, quickly move brats away from the flames if you can, immediately close grill cover and close vents for a minute or so. Some folks control flare-ups with a spray bottle of water. I find that a spray bottle is unnecessary, if you are prepared to move quickly and use proper technique. Proper equipment helps as well. Use a Weber kettle charcoal grill. The vents can be adjusted to provide the optimum fire for cooking brats.
Serve brats on brat buns, dressed with a bit of the sauce and your favorite condiments. Accompany with classic Wisconsin side dishes.
For a crowd, you can double or triple the recipe easily.
In Wisconsin, nearly everyone drinks beer while grilling brats.
It is part of the process so just do it.
4. Venison Back Straps
Now I’ll be honest here. I totally reserve this one for preparation on the ice. There is no better meal to eat on a frozen lake than this one. Although you can make it at home, I strongly recommend using this one outside, on the frozen water, while listening to Larry call the game.
Ten below zero – that’s nothing baby.
2- Strips of Bacon
1 - Tenderloin from an adult deer, approaching 2 pounds.
Salt and pepper
Butter – a lot of it.
Cast Iron Skillet
It doesn’t get much easier.
Trim any muscle lining from the tenderloin. Cut the tenderloin into medallions.
Then, season liberally with a steak seasoning and salt and pepper.
Cover the whole thing with your cut up bacon and then fire up your portable cook stove.
Throw gobs of butter into your well seasoned iron skillet. Toss in the Venison and let it simmer.
This is a no fork recipe. It is also ultra manly if eaten straight out of the skillet with your hunting knife.
This part of the deer is also known as "back strap". For this recipe, it helps if someone in the family hunts. Just remember when field dressing the deer to remove the two back straps before sending the remainder to the processor.
5. Fried Falcon (It is the weekend of the Atlanta game you know)
I would strongly advise against using real Falcon.
1 - Family pack of chicken wings (18pc)
2 - Vidalia onion or yellow onion
1 - 16oz. Bottle of Buttermilk or regular milk (Buttermilk is better)
1 - Bag of Seasoned Chicken Breading (Normal flour will work if needed.)
2 - Aluminum Trays
Vegetable Cooking Oil
Rinse chicken wings and season with favorite ingredients (don’t use salt if using a seasoned breading).
Peel and cut both onions into rings. Mix chicken and 1 onion together in bowl. Then, place the other onion in a separate zip lock bag.
After seasoning, evenly place chicken and onions into Zip-Lock bags, before sealing bags sprinkle Italian Dressing on chicken. Place chicken in refrigerator overnight.
Heat the vegetable oil in the deep fryer. While oil is heating up, pour buttermilk into separate tray and pour the chicken breading into the other tray.
Empty the first bag of chicken into buttermilk tray, coat chicken and onions with buttermilk then transfer to the chicken breading tray. Coat chicken evenly with breading and transfer to cooking oil.
Then, repeat with the second bag of chicken.
Once the oil is hot, put the separate onion into the oil. Now, let it cook for about 2 min. Then add the breaded chicken.
Cook chicken until golden brown and drain excess grease. This should take about fifteen minutes.
(This one will whoop your Grandma’s ass)
Well, there you have it, the top five Packer game day recipes. I hope you get some mileage and some pounds of these.
Don’t be a douche and make your wife do it either.
Put on your man face and do it yourself - Packer style.
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