Monday, December 12, 2016

Texas Burger

 THE GAME: Cowboys vs Giants

I don't believe I've cheered for the Cowboys in a long, long time. 

I do not hate them like so many seem to. I actually liked them in the early 90s when Troy Aikman was an All-Pro. 

Then they won three Super Bowls in four years, L.A. lost both of its football teams, and a large number of kids in my high school decided to act like they'd been Cowboys fans all along. I stopped cheering for them. 

But I have to admit, they have been fun as hell to watch this year. Zeke Elliott and Dak Prescott, working behind that great offensive line, have provided lots of entertainment. 

(One of the main advantages - hell, probably the only advantage - of not having a favorite NFL team is that I can take pleasure in watching any team I want in a given season, and then completely disregard them the next year if they no longer entertain me. Last season, Denver was the team I enjoyed watching the most; I have only seen them play twice this year.) 

However, the Cowboys have not had a tough schedule this season. Several analysts have referred to it as the easiest in the NFL. Last night's game was going to be a tough test, and I wanted a great burger to accompany it. I decided to create an homage to the Lone Star State. 

NOTES ON THE FOOD: 
  • The Salt Lick is a legendary BBQ joint outside of Austin. Unfortunately, I've never been. Despite having been to Texas on seven different occasions, I've never been to Dallas nor Austin. Thankfully, I can still buy their sauce at the store. I coated a USDA Prime beef patty in it and grilled it on my cast iron. 
  • I melted a couple of slices of pepper jack cheese on top, and placed the patty on four chunks of "Texicun Gormay Pickuls," made by a Dallas company. 
  • I picked up a few slices of brisket fresh out of the smoker (literally) at Whole Foods and diced them up. 
  • Williams-Sonoma sells a Texas-style bbq sauce made with Shiner Bock, from the oldest independent brewery in Texas. I tossed the brisket with that and added it to the top of the patty. 
  • And then onion rings and pickled jalapenos, because... well, hell, do I need a reason?

NOTES ON THE GAME: 
  • I've turned off more movies than I can count. These days, I literally end up turning off more movies than I finish watching. But I've never turned off a movie trailer before... until they showed The Fate of the Furious trailer during the pregame show. Oh well. It's still gonna gross more than one billion dollars.  
  • The Giants got a huge break with an interception when Dez Bryant slipped. Can they take advantage? (Spoiler alert: No.)
  • Eli Manning is a lock for the Hall of Fame... if they create a Hall-of-Fame-for-Looking-Perplexed-After-Committing-an-Awful-Turnover. 
  • The Cowboys were up 7-0 at halftime. And it felt like it should have been 24-0. So... I guess that's a break for New York?
  • It's manic watching ODB Jr. He dropped two easy catches and whined to the refs... then ripped off a 61-yard touchdown catch where he outran approximately 19 defenders. (That's probably an exaggeration, but it sure felt like that was the case.) 
  • The final score was 10-7, the teams combined to punt 18 times and go 3-29 on third down. But I still thought it was a great game. It had a playoff feel to it.
  • Dallas is 0-2 against New York and 11-0 against the rest of the league. If these two teams somehow meet again in the playoffs, I'm betting on Dallas. 

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