Our Favorite Football Fare, Reinvented

Frito Pie | Porter Road Butcher

Out of everything that Nashville has to offer—excellent food, great shopping, four seasons, friendly people, a Parthenon that rivals Greece’s, and of course endless sources of music—outstanding athletics are one department in which our city unfortunately falls short.

Listen, we don’t need to go naming names here; we all know who is bad and who is not quite as bad. Even new-to-towners know not to expect much when they buy their first Titans jersey and head down to—wait, what’s the stadium called this year??—to root on the navy and baby blue.

But if there’s one thing sports fans and sports fakes alike can agree upon, it’s the joy that comes from gorging oneself on stadium food. The Nashville Sounds proved this point with the grand opening of their plush new stadium filled with *cough* delicious hot dogs, fully-loaded nachos, Nashville hot chicken, and tiny spheres of ice cream served in a miniature baseball helmet. But have any of us actually watched a game or kept track of the Sounds’ record this season? We’ll let you do your own research on that topic…

The reality of the matter however, is that not all of us can afford to go to a Titan’s game. Not all of us want to deal with bringing the kids and then listening to them whine the entire time about having to pee or when can they get their Papa John’s personal pan pizza. So when you’re watching the game from home, does that mean you’re left with something as commonplace as a frozen Digiorno pie and a bowl of Chex Mix? Most certainly not.

We have compiled a list of our favorite stadium eats and given them a twist to make eating more fun and, most importantly, more delicious. Because sometimes you need something to settle (fill?) your stomach after swallowing a hard loss.

Our Favorite Football Stadium Fare, Reinvented

Frito Pie | Porter Road Butcher

Peanuts reinvented: [PUPPY CHOW]
Peanuts are an old time classic when it comes to stadium fare. They’re salty, they’re savory, they’re nostalgic, and the best part about them? They’re fun. Oh, and did we say messy? Eating peanuts at a sporting event gives you the opportunity to blatantly disregard any social norms of cleanliness and instead sprinkle spit-soaked shells wherever your lips can propel them. But in the comfort of your own home? Oh, honey please. Ain’t nobody got time to clean up that mess. Puppy chow provides the same sensation of this-is-so-good-I-just-can’t-stop-eating, but eliminates any unnecessary calls to Stanley Steamer.

1 box Rice Chex cereal
½ cup butter, unsalted
1 cup Good Spread peanut butter
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-2 cups powdered sugar

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.
  2.  Add chocolate chips and, stirring consistently, mix into melted butter until melted and fully incorporate.
  3. Stir in peanut butter. Remove from heat.
  4. In an extra large bowl, mix cereal with chocolate-peanut butter mixture until cereal is fully coated.
  5. Using two paper grocery bags, “double bag” the bags, by putting one inside of the other; this helps prevent a huge mess. Pour 1/3 of the powdered sugar into the bottom of the bag. Add half of the chocolate-coated cereal. Pour another third powdered sugar on top of the cereal. Pour in the rest of the coated cereal, and then top it off with the remaining powdered sugar. Roll down the top of the bag to create a seal and then vigorously shake the bag to adhere sugar to the coated cereal. If the cereal isn’t dusted enough, add more sugar and shake again. Note: its best to shake the bag outside to avoid powdered sugar leaks dirtying up your kitchen!
  6. Carefully open the bag and check to see if cereal is fully coated. If not, add a little more sugar and shake again until desired look and texture is reached.

 

Cheese Nachos reinvented: [FRITO PIE]

Nachos are good. Or well, they can be. Nachos at a football stadium have the tendency to include: 1) stale, round, dyed-yellow tortilla chips, 2) limp, seedless, army-green jalapeños, and 3) the ever-frightening corner puddle of semi-hot plastic cheese whiz. And while nachos in restaurants (for example, Drifter’s, Tavern, and Broadway Brewhouse) can ignite cravings that last a lifetime, the mess that they incite is not a welcome one while employing your denim-clad thighs as your tabletop. Frito pies, on the other hand, are moveable and portable. They require a utensil. And they still require the salty, meaty, cheesy goodness that your cravings are calling for.

1 lb. chorizo
1 small onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (we like red or orange)
1 8oz. can tomatoes, crushed
6 “Fun Size” bags of Fritos
1 8oz. bag shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 bunch fresh cilantro

  1. Remove chorizo from casings. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, brown chorizo, breaking it up with a wooden spatula and stirring occasionally. Remove from pan, reserving 2 tablespoons of chorizo grease. Transfer browned meat onto a plate lined with a paper towel.
  2. Add onion to pan and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes, then add bell pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in tomatoes and stir.
  3. Return chorizo to pan and mix with tomato mixture. Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until thickened and warmed through.
  4. Cut one of the sides off of the small bag (the non-perforated edge) of Fritos allowing for the widest opening, which will make “plating” and eating much easier. Top chips with a layer of chorizo mix, sprinkle with cheese, add a dollop of sour cream, and garnish with cilantro. And please, use a fork or spoon.

 

Soft Pretzels and Hot Dogs reinvented: [PRETZEL DOGS]

We like pretzels and all, but when it all boils down (pun intended) they’re bread with salt—and okay, if you have a brain on your shoulders, some mustard too. Sometimes its nice to have a little bit extra in there like, oh I don’t know, some protein to make things more filling and subsequently fulfilling? That’s why we thought we would just go ahead and make the ultimate, two-in-one, all-time-favorite football stadium food mega-eat: PRB hot dogs in a pretzel bun. Because you know what goes great with pretzels? Mustard. And you know what goes great with a hot dog? Mustard. And you know what the two most commonly sought-after foods are at a stadium? 1) Hot Dogs and 2) Pretzels. You’re welcome.

Porter Road Butcher Hot Dogs
Pretzel Rolls
Yella Mustard

  1. This recipe is so simple, we don’t even need to write directions. Pretzel bread can be a fun project, but it can also be a big hassle…so let’s just cut to the chase and buy some rolls, for goodness sake!
  2. Sister Schubert makes a good pretzel roll, available at Kroger, but we suggest looking through that freezer section and seeing if you can’t find something amazing. We dare you.

Chicken Confit, AKA Chicken ConFAT

Confitnoun – /kon-FEE/ – a method of food preservation in which meat is slowly cooked at a low temperature in it’s own fat.

Once exclusively a mysterious noun that has in recent years morphed into a popular verb, confit’ing is an effective preservation technique—derived by our refrigerator-less French ancestors—that relies on fat to protect the delicious prize inside. A liquid viscous enough to solidify at room temperature and provide a protective seal to block oxygen, fat prevents bacteria from proliferating in the meat and also renders what could otherwise be a regular ol’ chicken thigh ultra-tender and delicious.

To some, the term confit can illicit confusion. From its definition, this cooking method seems quite similar to the all-time-favorite cooking technique of deep-frying, in which meats are similarly cooked in liquid fat, but confit’ing employs one very important difference: temperature. Deep-fried chicken is cooked at scorching temperatures (like, in the mid-300’s to mid-400’s) for a short period of time, whereas confit employs low heat (we’re talkin’ 170° F) and lengthy time periods (we confit our chicken for 12 hours).

Think of it this way: confit is to deep-frying, as smoking is to grilling. The latter is fast and hot, while the former is slow and lowww.

Chicken from Porter Road Butcher

Before the days of refrigeration, meats that had been confit’ed we preserved by being packed into containers and covered in—what else?—more fat. Said fat would eventually solidify as its temperature lowered, thus shielding the meat from oxygen and subsequently, preventing contamination. Stored in a cool and dark room (or basement), this fat-sealed meat would keep for a number of weeks and best of all, continue to tenderize.

Today, confit meat can be stored in the refrigerator (whether submerged in its fat or not) and can last up to a number of months.

As a means of further aiding in bacterial prevention, generally meats that are confit’ed are cured prior to their long, luxurious bath in a warm vat of fat. Traditionally, “cure” is made of roughly equal parts salt and sugar, a mixture that is rubbed on the outside of the meat before it sits for a period of time (2-3 days). So not only does this salt-n-sugar scrub additionally protect the meat from a bacterial infection, but it also aids your taste buds by bringing a flavor dance party to your tongue. Can we go ahead and give a big high-five for confit?

Clearly, aside from the shelf-life benefits, there are taste-bud bonuses that come along with confit’ing foods, as well. While the meat sits in said bath of fat, the connective tissues and muscle fibers have the opportunity to slowly break down (kind of like braising), which leads to incredibly tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat, that is juicy, moist, and has a lovely coating of fatty flavor. Plus, because of the low, low temperature at which the meat is cooked, there isn’t enough heat available to produce steam, which means the meat retains much of its moisture and flavors, making it the utmost delicious. Huzzah!

So what gives? What are you supposed to do with the chicken [or goose or duck] once it’s done marinating in this warm fat-bath?

You eat it. Duh…

Confit Chicken Salad Sandwich from Porter Road ButcherThere are lots of options for utilizing and enjoying confit chicken (we’re going to stick with chicken in this scenario since we sell chicken at PRB regularly and do not regularly sell duck or goose), and as a basic rule of thumb, you can treat it the same way you would roast chicken: it can do almost anything.

Confit chicken is tender, juicy, flavorful, and in some cases (like here at PRB) tastes kind of like bacon, since our preferred submerging-fat-of-choice tends to be of the bacon variety. Because, bacon-flavored chicken. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

Give your confit chicken a quick zip in a hot pan or simply bring it to room temp and there’s no limit to what you can do: mix it with olive oil, tomatoes, and plenty of fresh herbs to bring your summer pasta salad to life; layer it into your white lasagna to ensure everything stays moist and full of flavor; use it alongside kielbasa and pork shoulder in an almost-classic cassoulet; whip up you’re your best-yet chicken salad by mixing it with walnuts, celery, dried cranberries, and plenty of mayo; or toss it with some peas, carrots, and gravy and turn it into a comforting chicken pot pie.

Both Porter Road Butcher locations have plenty of chicken confit ready for the taking and ready for the making. All you have to do is figure out down which culinary road you’d like to travel! (And pssst – we’re happy to give suggestions!)

Cooking Now, for Later: Chris’s Braised Brisket

“I hate figuring out what to make for dinner.”

It’s a common complaint amongst most people who breathe. Although the act of sitting down to dinner affords one the opportunity to feel relaxed and at ease, it’s all the mess of things that comes before the act of sitting and eating that really sends our blood pressure into the stratosphere.

Figuring out dinner is more than just choosing a recipe. It’s considering the appetites and taste buds of all those participating. It’s coming up with a menu. It’s composing a grocery list. It’s fighting the 5:00 traffic to the grocery store only to discover that they are out of parsley and the arugula looks wilty. It’s getting home and realizing you forgot something. It’s improvising. It’s timing everything so that food hits the table before whining and animosity fill the air. It’s a balancing act that requires foresight, grace, creativity, and patience. And after a long day at work, it can be considered the hardest part of the day.

Sure, thought is an ironclad necessity when it comes to making dinner, but there are ways to make the thought process a little bit easier. Our favorite? Stretching one ingredient through a slew of different meals.

Chris’s Braised Brisket is the ideal candidate. Throw it in the oven on Monday morning, eat it for dinner that night, and come Tuesday [and Thursday], you’ll have leftovers a plenty and minimal cook-time necessary to make something amazing.

Braised Brisket makes Great Tacos | Porter Road ButcherMondayMeat n’ Three: pulled brisket, mashed potatoes, and your favorite summer sides (we love simply sliced tomatoes with a dash of salt, or pan-roasted sweet corn).

Tuesday#TacoTuesday: simple, easy, and fun. Let the kids build their own masterpieces or throw together a pan of nachos and let everyone dig in.

ThursdayBrisket Sandwiches: drizzle some spicy-sweet barbecue sauce on top, and serve it with a side of vinegar-based co’ slaw. And a beer. Or whatever.

Conveniently braised brisket is an ideal recipe for those of us that are constantly on-the-go or work nine-to-five jobs; there’s tons of oven time (aka waiting time), which means the active investment you put into cooking is extremely low. The return on that investment however is huge. There’s a giant amount of meat to gain—as well as saved time later in the week—which means less planning, shopping, stressing, and hating devising a dinner plan.

Chris dubbed this recipe “a cheating version” for slow-cooking brisket because of how stupid-easy it truly is, but what’s wrong with cheating every now and again? Sometimes it feels good to be bad

Chris’s [easy] Braised Beef Brisket

Method recommended for 5+ lbs. of meat

Salt & pepper or PRB BBQ rub*
1 qt. PRB beef stock
1 bottle of BBQ sauce**

  1. Preheat oven, grill, or smoker to 250o
  2. Season brisket liberally with either salt and pepper or PRB BBQ rub. Massage seasoning into meat.
  3. Place seasoned brisket on a roasting rack on top of a sheet pan. Put sheet pan on center rack of oven to roast for 3 hours. If using grill or smoker, place seasoned brisket directly on grate and roast for 3 hours.
  4. Remove brisket from oven, grill, or smoker.
  5. Transfer brisket into a 9 x 13 casserole dish (like a Pyrex). Cover with equal parts selected BBQ sauce and beef stock. Cover pan with aluminum foil and return to oven, on center rack, for 3 more hours at 250o
  6. Remove brisket from oven and let rest at least 45 minutes in braising liquid.
  7. Once brisket is cool enough to handle, slice, shred, or prepare as desired. Use throughout the week to make a variety of easy, delicious meals!

*PRB’s BBQ seasoning will give the meat some sweetness and the sugars will become caramelized, creating a nice crispy crust when you roast the brisket in the oven. You could even ask our butchers to season and vacuum seal the brisket so as to lock in those flavors and adhere the rub to the meat. For something simpler, go with a liberal salt & pepper rub.

**Choosing the right BBQ sauce is simply a matter of taste. Chris likes a little added sweetness with beef, so he goes with the Bluegrass Blueberry BBQ sauce. For a smokier flavor, try the Single Barrel Sauce Co.’s Smokey Green Tomato BBQ Sauce, and for something traditional, stick to Outta The Park’s Original sauce.

Braised Brisket Tacos | Porter Road Butcher

 

Brisket Tacos | Porter Road Butcher

Let us Eggsplain…

Porter Road Butcher’s local egg farm, Willow Farm, is slowing down production and will not be able to fulfill their weekly orders as they normally do. With the excessive heat, their birds are having trouble meeting production needs. Here’s why:

Willow Farm is a locally owned farm located in Summertown, Tennessee that provides Porter Road Butcher and many other Nashville businesses with local, delicious, farm-fresh eggs.

Owners Marsha and Jerry Hobgood have a passion for raising happy hens and delivering the most flavorful, fresh, high-quality eggs to the greater Nashville area. Their eggs are known for their richly colored, thick, syrupy yolks; firm yet fluffy whites; and beautifully thick brown shells.

Willow Farm’s hens are 100% free range, meaning they are given access to as much fresh air, sunshine, grass, bugs, and seeds as their little hearts desire. But sometimes all of that time in the sun can have a negative effect—particularly in the oppressive heat of the late summer. During these blistering August temps, the birds get overheated and begin molting, which is a period of approximately 21-28 days during which they naturally lose their feathers, and subsequently stop producing eggs for that time. On top of that, older birds simply can’t handle the same levels of production, and younger pullets (baby hens) are not quite ready.

Thus, the lack in availability.

Marsha assured PRB that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the health of the birds, but rather that Mother Nature simply has other plans for them. Willow Farms should be resuming their regular production within the next four weeks.

Willow Farm Eggs | Porter Road Butcher

#MyPRB | Kate Moore, owner GetFit615

#MyPRB is everything that I stand for: local business, local product, real food.  – Kate Moore, owner and trainer | GetFit615

Kate Moore | Vegetarian-turned -meat-eater a la PRBGoing on five years as a vegetarian and almost nine months as a fitness instructor/business owner—who teaches upwards of 22 classes per week—it was in January of 2015 when Kate Moore decided to incorporate meat back into her diet as a way to fuel both her career and her lifestyle. She said, “When I started GetFit615 I could feel that I wasn’t getting enough nutrients from the food I was eating [as a vegetarian]. I was always hungry and tired.”

The first step in making the switch? Figuring out where to begin.

“I just wanted to make sure I knew what I was eating… [When I was growing up] my best friend’s family owned a cattle farm, and I used to work for them. It was a very humane situation and we would wake up in the morning and feed the cattle and talk to them and herd them around. And then when the animals were ready, they were shipped off [to be processed] and then the family ate that meat. That’s the proper progression of how that life is supposed to happen, right?”

But as Kate pointed out, that’s not how it happens with the majority of our nation’s beef production. Often times grocery store beef comes from animals that live on unsanitary, disease-ridden concrete lots instead of breezy, sunny pastures; they are fed hormones to unnaturally make them grow bigger, faster; and instead of eating grass as they were intended—cattle are one of the only animals that have stomachs that were actually designed to break down grass—they are given corn.

Fortunately, our entire nation doesn’t follow those kinds of “farming” practices, and small farmers do exist who still do raise their animals the way Kate remembers from her friend’s farm in Virginia.

“The main reason I stopped eating meat was because I realized that not every place has that [kind of humane, healthy, happy meat]. But so when I decided to eat meat again, I was like holy sh*t, what do I do? Where do I get it?”

At the start of the new year, Kate also moved into a new house with new roommates and quickly realized that her new housemates’ diets mainly consisted of “food from a bag.” So she enrolled her entire house in the Whole 30 program and took it upon herself to supply the team with food—this time (her second time on the program) meat included—to help change their attitudes about eating.

Kate is not a fan of restriction. She doesn’t believe in depriving herself of this or torturing herself by never ever eating that. She believes in eating real, whole food that makes her feel good. And for the record, she also believes in treating herself when the feeling strikes.

Which is why she likes Whole 30. Although many people treat the program as a diet—and yes, the rules can be pretty restrictive—the main focus of Whole 30 is to reprogram how you think about eating. The idea is to eat whole foods—real foods; foods that come from the earth; foods that fill you up and keep you full—for a 30-day period. And as a person who teaches 20-30 fitness classes each week, it became clearly evident that eating meat was necessary.

Upon taking a trip to Whole Foods, the commercialized Mecca of organic-ism and health, Kate felt lost. She said, “I had never been to the meat section before and it was just immediately [overwhelming] with all of the packages and options… They also have this scale of how to rate your meat, from 1 – 5…and I was like ‘I can’t buy any of this stuff.’ Because in my opinion, the only option is five: I want grass fed, no hormones, no antibiotics and all that stuff. And they didn’t have a lot of it.”

Fortunately, Kate’s fitness studio lives in the same building as Chris’s wife Kelly’s yoga studio, and there the connection to PRB was made. Her conversation with Chris went a little something like this:

Kate: Chris, what am I supposed to eat? I am freaking out because I’m never going to eat that kind of [commercialized] meat. What are my other options?”

Chris: Porter Road Butcher.

Kate: How is it different from Whole Foods?

Chris: No matter what product you choose get from us, you’re never going to get something like that [commercialized mystery meat]. It’s always considered a “five.”

“So I know that I can trust Porter Road,” said Kate, “They’ve done all of the work for me and I don’t have to worry. I trust this product, and I trust that you guys have done your due diligence, and I know that my due diligence has been finding this place that does their due diligence!”

KateX3

Isn’t it nice to to feel confident about what it is you are putting into your body? We sure think so. And our bodies do too. Our bodies notice; they react; they feel the difference.

“The first time I noticed a difference in my body was in upward facing dog pose [in yoga]. Not that it wasn’t an awesome pose before, but it was always just kind of like meh. And then a week or so into Whole 30 [the second time, when I was eating meat] my back popped like 100 times from the top to the bottom and it was like all of the sudden there was this movement in my joints…And it still feels that way. All of my stuff pops and it feels so good! It’s almost like something with my synovial fluid or who knows what it was, but that I wasn’t getting the right fats or lubrication before.”

Matter of fact, the omega-3’s that come from eating things like salmon (duh), and grass-fed beef (did you know that one?) actually do help in lubricating joints and improving movement.

You go, Kate; you hit the nail right on the head.

Aside from her body physically feeling better and more mobile however, there’s another good feeling that comes from shopping at Porter Road: “It’s like Cheers,” Kate said, “It’s the place where everybody knows your name.”

Kate says that, aside from physically feeling better, her favorite part about being a regular customer at PRB is how much she has learned. From roasting a whole chicken, to learning how to use leftover bones for stock, to simply learning what braising is and why it makes tougher meat so amazing, Kate now feels like she has a better grasp on how to cook meat overall.

“It’s cool because I’ll come into the shop and be like, ‘What do y’all have today?’ and they’ll show me something I’ve never seen before or even heard of. And I’m just like ‘Okay, so how do I cook it?’”

Not only do our butchers write down cooking instructions, but they will also go so far as to mixing up a bag of spices for Kate to employ, or offering a variety of suggestions as to how she can stretch her meals even further.

And it’s those kinds of things that make a difference. “Surprisingly, it’s a lot less intimidating to walk into Porter Road Butcher—this ‘whole animal butcher shop’—than it is to go into a big grocery store or something because it’s more personal. There’s a relationship. It’s easier. And it’s something I trust,” said Kate, “That’s why #MyPRB is everything that I stand for: local business, local product, real food.”