What’s Cooking for Football Season?

Auburn's Jordan Hare Stadium
I guess it could be said that my hometown (Mobile, AL) is the epicenter of football.  We have our hometown South Alabama Jaguars starting their second season of NCAA play.  An hour or so away is the University of Southern Mississippi.  Two hours away is New Orleans home of the Super Bowl Champion Saints of the NFL.  Mobile also is roughly four hours from LSU, Alabama and Auburn.   All three are power houses from the nation’s toughest conference, the SEC.

Suffice it to say, we love our football here.  We also love great food so football season is also the height of our party season.  But football parties are not solely the domain of Mobile or the state of Alabama or even the South.  Starting this weekend football fans across the nation will be breaking out their best recipes to impress their guests and more importantly those who dare to wear the colors of the other team.

In the current issue of Southern Tailgater Magazine I have an article entitled Top 10 Tailgating Trends for 2010.  In the course of writing that article I chatted with Carrie Oliver of the Artisan Beef Institute where she offered burgers made from dry aged beef as a coming trend.  Unfortunately the constraints of the article kept me from using all of the information Carrie gave me.  With football season here I thought it a good time to share with you the rest of her expertise on the subject of grilling, trends and artisan beef.

According to Carrie, fancy condiments are out, dry-aged beef burgers are in.  Or as she puts it, “Bland is out, flavor is in.  Because when you use top quality beef that’s been dry-aged before you grind it, the burgers themselves have flavor. You won’t even need to use condiments.”

Carrie has a free tasting guide that you can download from her site.  With it you can learn the ins and outs of the new artisan meat movement.  You can even send in the results of your tasting and she’ll post them for the world to see.  You will also find reviews of the beef, pork, lamb, and poultry from different artisan farms and butchers.  She also has information on artisan lamb, poultry and the South’s favorite, pork.
Oliver is also a founder of MeatCamp™, a one-of-a kind education and tasting series for artisan beef, pork, lamb, poultry and goat that is augmented by a moderated chat series known as #MeatCamp on Twitter.

One Response to What’s Cooking for Football Season?

  • Stuart, thanks for the post and adding back in whatever the magazine edited out! It always amazes me how long the lead times are for print magazines, we spoke back in May, I believe.

    Since then, I've seen a few articles about chefs moving to dry-aged beef, though mostly they seem to be dry-aging commodity beef. Individual farmers and some co-ops raising "naturally raised" (no added hormones, beta-agonists, or preventative antibiotics) and Artisan Beef (those criteria and more) have a real advantage when it comes to ground beef. Almost all of them take the extra step of using butchers who know the traditional way of aging, dry-aging, which adds so much flavor to burgers and of course steaks and roasts, too. As an added bonus, dry-aging also creates an environment generally inhospitable to bacteria.

    Football season and tailgating are great excuses to fire up the grill and do a mini-tasting comparing ground beef patties from 3-4 different farms.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less
Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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