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Game Day Menu: NFL Conference Championship Games Edition

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Game Day Menu: NFL Conference Championship Games Edition
BBQ Pork Chops on the Grill

The NFL Conference Championship Games are this Sunday. Everything comes down to this weekend. There are four teams left battling for the right to play in the Super Bowl on February 3rd. We have the New England Patriots versus the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams versus the New Orleans Saints. There is no tomorrow or next game if you lose on Sunday.

Last Word’s Game Day menu articles have brought you numerous tailgating options this past season. So far your grilling has wowed your guests with delicious menus all season. Your house is the go-to choice for your friends and family to watch football and eat incredible meals. There is no way your faithful guests will be anywhere else for the NFL Conference Championship Games.

NFL Conference Championship Games: The Menu

It’s now time to honor the four teams playing for the Conference Championship games with menu ideas that represent each city or team. For the Patriots we have Grilled Yankee Pot Roast. For the Chiefs we of course have to have BBQ pork chops. The Saints are represented by Game Day Menus’ infamous Jambalaya. And lastly, the Rams menu selection is grilled leg of lamb because in our house, a Rams game means lamb.

All of the menus listed below give you several options for Sunday. Pick one or two of the menu ideas and add in our two incredible side dishes: Hobo Taters and our Legendary Grilled Potato Salad.

AFC Championship Game: Patriots Versus the Chiefs

Grilled Yankee Pot Roast

Ingredients

  • 4-5 pound chuck roast
  • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • 5-6 large carrots, peeled
  • 2 large sweet onions
  • salt, pepper, Lawry’s seasoning salt, and granulated garlic
  • 1 cup of water
  • apple or mesquite wood chips soaked in water
  • your crock pot

We call this grilled Yankee Pot Roast because you will be smoking the chuck roast on your grill before using the crock pot. The additional flavor delivered by smoking the chuck roast is something your guests will notice.

Grill Time

Set up your charcoal grill for indirect grilling, placing 15-20 coals on one side. Light it up and wait until the coals are that perfect grey. Season your chuck roast with all of the spices then place on the opposite side of the grill. Place a handful of soaked chips on the coals and close the lid. Be sure to place the vent over the meat. Add more soaked chips every 20 minutes, grilling for two hours or until the coals are gone. Remember, we’re only smoking the chuck roast, not trying to finish it on the grill. Remove the chuck roast and bring inside.

Crock Time

Take the carrots and cut into two inch long pieces. Cut the potatoes into halves and the onions into quarters. Place the onions, potatoes, and carrots on the bottom of the crock pot then season with your spices. Add in the cup of water and place the chuck roast on top of the veggies. Cook on high for two hours then on low for four. After the six hours, check if the carrots and potatoes are done. Once the veggies are cooked through, serve everything on a large platter for your guests to enjoy.

BBQ Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 6-8 pork chops
  • Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and black pepper
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Kaiser, Pretzel, or Sandwich Rolls (optional)

It is best to use boneless chops unless you’re a fan of bone-in. Pork chops come several ways at the store, so it’s your call. Most grillers prefer to buy a whole or half pork loin and cut their own. This allows the cook to choose how thick the chops will be for their guests.

Grill Time

One word of caution: grilling chops is an art. It is very easy to overcook pork chops. One inch thick chops can take 5-10 minutes to finish. You will want to follow the Grill Master’s rule of thumb: “If you think they need another minute, take them off the grill!” Allow the chops to rest for 5-10 minutes then cut into the thickest one. If it is done, it’s time to sauce the chops.

Return the chops to your grill after slathering on a healthy coating of BBQ sauce. Place the chops away from the coals and cook indirect for 2-3 minutes. This will help caramelize the BBQ sauce and improve the flavor. Serve the chops with the rolls or on their own. Your guests will marvel at the great tasting chops you created.

BBQ chops and Hobo Taters ready to bring to the table. Photo Courtesy of Bryan Oakley.

NFC Championship Game: Saints Versus the Rams

Game Day Jambalaya

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 lb. medium 31-40 count raw shrimp
  • 1 chicken breast, cut up
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lb. smoked or Andouille sausage cut up
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked white or brown rice
  • 32 oz box of chicken broth
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons Frank’s hot sauce
  • Season to taste with Cajun seasoning, Lawry’s, granulated garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper (optional)
Jambalaya simmering in the crock pot. Photo courtesy of Bryan Oakley.

Use a large pot or stock pot. Sauté the seasonings with the red pepper, red onion, and celery in olive oil until they’re almost soft. Add the chicken breast and sausage, then simmer 10-15 minutes or until done. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and water then bring to a boil.

Next, add the rice and hot sauce to the pot, and then simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally while the rice cooks. After 30 minutes, the rice should have plumped up and absorbed most of the liquid. (Brown rice takes longer than white.) If the jambalaya is too thin, add another 1/4 cup of rice and simmer 15-20 minutes. If the jambalaya is too thick, add some water or chicken stock. The shrimp should be added into the pot during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Jambalaya ready to be served. Photo courtesy of Bryan Oakley.

Grilled Leg of Lamb

Ingredients

  • 1 leg of lamb
  • Olive Oil
  • Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Rosemary
  • 1 head of garlic

Take your leg of lamb and rinse it in water, then dry it with paper towels. Open the head of garlic and remove all the cloves. Take each clove and gently smash them with the side of a knife blade. After removing the entire outer coverings, you will have 10-15 cloves of fresh garlic ready to use. Take a sharp knife and cut one inch deep slits into the leg of lamb equal to the number of garlic cloves. Spread these cuts out all over the leg of lamb. Next, take each clove of garlic and push them into the slits so that they’re all deep inside the meat. Give the leg of lamb a rub of olive oil, then season with the Lawry’s, black pepper, and Rosemary.

Grill Time

Take your grill and set up two piles of 25 charcoal briquettes on opposite sides of the grill. You’ll be grilling the leg of lamb indirect in the middle of the grill. Once the charcoal is at that perfect grey stage, place your lamb in the middle of your grill. Close the lid and be sure to leave the vent over one end of the leg.

Check the lamb after an hour to see how the coals are doing. Turn the lid around so that the vent is over the other end of the leg. After another hour, check the thickest part of the leg with a meat thermometer. Your target temperature is 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit. If your lamb is below 160 degrees Fahrenheit, add 10-15 more coals to each side and let them catch and turn grey. Close your grill, leaving the vent over the thickest part of the leg. After 45 minutes, recheck the temperature. If you’re still under 160 degrees, close the grill and allow another 30 minutes. Preparing leg of lamb on the grill can take 2-3.5 hours, so be patient. After reaching the 160-170 degrees range, remove your leg of lamb and let rest for 15-20 minutes. Using a sharp knife, carve the lamb and serve your guests this incredible dish.

The (Off)Sides

Hobo Taters

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 sweet onions
  • salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and Lawry’s seasoning salt
  • half stick of butter
  • olive oil
  • roll of extra wide aluminum foil
  • non-stick cooking spray (optional)

Cut the potatoes and onions into bite-sized pieces. Lay out two long sheets of foil, making a cross. Spray the foil with the non-stick spray (optional), then place the potatoes and onions in the center. Cut off the butter into small pieces and spread them around on top. Drizzle some olive oil then season everything to taste. Take the top sheet of foil and make a tight pouch. Turn this over and then wrap it with the second piece of foil, making a tightly sealed pouch.

Hobo Taters prepped and ready to be wrapped. Photo courtesy of Bryan Oakley.

Grill the pouch directly for an hour then turn over. Grill for another hour and then remove. Allow the pouch to rest for 15 minutes then cut it open to vent. Place the incredible contents in a large serving bowl for your guests to enjoy. Hobo Taters are an easy grilling method for cooking potatoes with onions. The flavors of the spices, olive oil, and the butter meld while simmering on the grill. The results produce a side dish your guests will not forget.

Legendary Grilled Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 8-10 Large Red Potatoes
  • 1 Medium Red Onion, chopped
  • 5-6 Stalks of Celery, chopped
  • 1 Medium Sweet Red Pepper, chopped
  • 3-4 Hard Boiled Eggs, chopped
  • 1 Medium Pickle, chopped (optional)
  • 2-3 cups of Your Favorite Mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of Mustard (optional)
  • Olive Oil
  • Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • Cajun Spice
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Black Pepper

It’s All In The Potatoes

Take your potatoes and cut them into quarters lengthwise. You can cut them into sixths if the they’re really large ones. Put the potatoes into a large bowl and drizzle them with the olive oil. Next up, season all sides with the spices listed above.

Grill Time

Light your grill, placing a mound of 20-25 charcoal briquettes in the center. Once the coals reach that perfect grey, place your potatoes around your grill grate evenly. Grill them for 10 minutes, then turn them over. After another 10 minutes, turn them over again. Do this until the potato slices are cooked through, making sure to grill them evenly on all sides. Remove the slices and allow to cool. 

Building The Masterpiece

Take the cooled potatoes and cut them into bite-sized portions. Place them into a large bowl, then add in the mayonnaise and mustard. Gently stir them until they are completely covered. Next, add in the chopped onion, pepper, celery, pickle, and hard-boiled egg. Gently mix everything together, trying not to break up the potatoes. It’s at this point that you will have to judge the consistency you’re after. If you want your potato salad creamy, add in some more mayo. Allow your potato salad to sit in the fridge at least an hour or two. This will allow all the goodness to sink into every bite. There’s something about the grilling of the potatoes that adds an incredible flavor to the dish.Your guests will notice the difference. 

Second to Last Word on Game Day Menus (This Season)

Our Game Day Menus have delivered you to the last playoff games before the Super Bowl. Hopefully your team is still alive and you will have a house full of people cheering on your team. If not your guests will still get to enjoy another great menu created by their favorite Grill Master. In the near future we will be back with some more ideas for your Super Bowl party. Now get grilling!

Be sure to stay tuned into LWOS: Food and Drink to stay up to date on Game Day Menus!

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