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Sep 30

TGR Grillin’ with Chef Jon

Posted by: Nate Lowe at 3:00 pm | Leave a Comment (1)
Category: Tailgatin' Recipes

That is the question in relation to this week’s recipe from Chef Jon. No, I’m not referring to your actual father, nor your baby’s daddy. I’m also not referring to Chef Jon as your daddy. Not only would that be just inappropriate, but you would probably no longer have any interest in his recipes any longer. Instead, I’m referring to Chef’s Daddy Burgers.

“For those who personally know me, I have been making this recipe for at least once a month for the past several years.  It was introduced to me as a child by one of my parents’ friends.  His name was also John, so we called them ‘Big John’s Daddy Burgers.’  It started out pretty much like a meatloaf patty grilled on the BBQ pit.  Slowly over the time I added a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  In college, I realized how great they were with beer and as an excellent remedy for hangovers.

“Just recently, I have discovered the importance of the role of condiments that are served with the burger. My personal preference is to melt Velveeta slices over it with King’s Hawaiian Rolls.  Another suggestion is to try it with your favorite BBQ sauce instead of ketchup, finished with lettuce, tomato, and onion.  This is a definite must try recipe while the weather is nice.  Have fun.”


  • 1 onion, chopped small
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 each green bell pepper, chopped small
  • 2 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup crackers (Ritz), crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1-12 ounce can beer

In a large bowl, add the onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, bell pepper, egg, salt, pepper, crackers, and hot sauce. Mix well. Add the beef and combine with your hands or a wooden spoon until evenly distributed. Form into desired size patties. Place the patties on the grill and cook 5 minutes; turn over. Cook until desired doneness. The beer in this recipe is for pure enjoyment; oh yeah, if the grill starts to flame up on the burgers douse it with a little beer to put the fire out.  This will also create steam and flavor the burgers slightly. Makes 8-10 servings.


Send us a photo of your Daddy Burger and we’ll post it. Happy eatin’! Go Cats!

Sep 23

TGR Grillin’ with Chef Jon

Posted by: Nate Lowe at 3:30 pm | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Tailgatin' Recipes

(courtesy of

In light of last week’s “exotic” recipe, Chef Jon has decided to keep it more realistic for this week. Now I know some of you may be thinking, “How ’bout alligator, since we’re playing Florida and all?” While it would be much easier to purchase than kangaroo, particularly if you’ll be in Florida this weekend, Chef Jon said he’d rather see any “gator eatin'” be done on the field. Personally, I’m glad he did, because this week’s recipe sounds pretty tasty—Cuban Pork Sandwich.

“I first came across this sandwich when two of my college buddies and I decided to travel to Florida one week around spring break. We didn’t have a lot of money, naturally, and we decided that drugs and beer were more important than food. Anywho, along the way we stopped at this roadside shack and had these sandwiches. They served hot boiled peanuts and salt & vinegar chips. Mmm good!”

“I later found out that this sandwich originated in Cuba. Immigrants introduced it to the Miami scene after washing up on shore trying to flee the country from good ole Dick Castro. It was eaten as a midnight snack after a long night of dancing and partying. I’m really hoping everyone in the Bluegrass State can enjoy one of these after a day of drinking and a Wildcat victory on Saturday.”

Here, here, Chef. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Pork Preparation:

  • (1) 2 to 4-pound pork shoulder roast
  • 1 head garlic — about 10 to 15 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Mash garlic, salt, and peppercorns into a paste in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, onion, and oregano. Let mixture sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Heat the olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan until hot. Remove the oil from heat and quickly whisk in the garlic-orange juice mixture until well blended. Let cool before using as a marinade! Pierce pork roast as many times as you can with a sharp knife or fork. Pour garlic mixture (save a little for basting while roasting) over pork, cover and let sit in refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Using a suitable roasting pan or rack, sprinkle remaining marinade over pork and cook uncovered at 325°F. Roast until completely cooked (160°F), about 20 minutes per pound. Baste occasionally. Bring pan juices to a boil and simmer until the juice is reduced by half. Sprinkle some juice onto the pork when you put it in the sandwich.

Ingredients for Sandwich:

  • 3 thin slices of ham (preferably Boar’s Head brand)
  • 3 thin slices roast pork hot or cold
  • 3 thin slices of Swiss cheese
  • 3 or 4 slices of pickles
  • 2 tablespoons spicy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons butter, soften
  • 6” hard crusty bread (French bread)

You should be using fresh, crusty bread, but you can always use a loaf of French bread and cut it in half. Slice the bread open face so that both halves are still barely connected and spread mustard on both halves. Add the ham, and then the roasted pork. Add your Swiss cheese and then a few pickle slices. Spread butter on outside of bread. Place the sandwich in a skillet or on a hot iron until the cheese is melted. Be sure to use a heavy kitchen object like another skillet and place on top of sandwich while cooking. [Note: Never use a panini grill. They simply don’t heat sandwiches evenly, and a real Cuban sandwich doesn’t have little lines grilled into it.]


Send us a photo of your Cuban delight and we’ll post it. Happy eatin’! Go Cats!

Sep 16

TGR Grillin’ with Chef Jon

Posted by: Nate Lowe at 1:00 pm | Leave a Comment (2)
Category: Tailgatin' Recipes

(courtesy of

For this week’s tailgating recipe, Chef Jon has focused again on the opposing team’s mascot. In this case, the Zips. As Fertig noted yesterday, “Zips” is apparently short for zippers, which is some crazy breed between a kangaroo and a jackal.

In light of the kangaroo part of the Zips, Chef Jon has decided to provide us with an exotic recipe—Grilled Kangaroo Tenderloin Skewers with a Apricot Whiskey BBQ Sauce.

“Believe it or not,” he said, “kangaroo meat is very tasty and lean in fat. I’m not sure how well it fits into the American tailgating experience, but I did a little research and found that there is an awful lot of tailgating before rugby and soccer games in Australia, where kangaroo is very popular. I also found out that many Aussie’s enjoy bourbon at sporting events, particularly Maker’s Mark.”

There you go, folks, this recipe may relate more to the Bluegrass State than you think. Unfortunately, Chef Jon said that kangaroo meat is a bit pricey and it may be difficult to find it at your local grocery store or meat market.

“You typically have to online to get kangaroo in the U.S.,” he said. “One place you can try is Exotic Meats USA. If you’re willing to spend a couple hundred bucks, you can get plenty of meat and have it shipped to you within a few days.”

Just in time for the game this Saturday, eh? Enjoy.

Cooking Time – 1 hour 15 minutes

Preparation Time – 10 minutes


  • 1 package of 10” bamboo skewers
  • 1 pound  kangaroo meat, preferably tenderloin or striploin
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

In medium saucepan, heat oil on medium high heat. Add onions and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for one hour to one hour and fifteen minutes, or until mixture has thickened. If desired, puree barbeque sauce in blender until smooth.

While BBQ is cooking, cut kangaroo into 1 inch cubes and place about two ounces of meat on each skewer. You should have approximately eight skewers. Season skewers with a small amount of vegetable oil, salt, and, pepper. Place on the grill. Cook to desired temperature. Right at the last minute brush BBQ on all sides of the skewers, don’t add too soon or the meat will burn.


Be sure to check out Chef Jon’s recipe from last week. Send us a photo of your ‘roo skewers and we’ll post it. Happy eatin’! Go Cats!

Sep 9

TGR Grillin’ with Chef Jon

Posted by: Nate Lowe at 1:30 pm | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Tailgatin' Recipes

Courtesy of

You may have already realized UK’s game against Western Kentucky University this weekend falls on 9/11. It has been nine years now since that tragic day, which left thousands of innocent folks dead and millions more permanently effected by the traumatic events. This includes the emergency services personnel who risked their lives that day for the safety and well-being of others. To commemorate their sacrifices on this historic day, Chef Jon has provided us with his recipe for Firehouse Chili.

This recipe works for practical reasons as well. The forecast for Saturday indicates game time temperatures in the low-to-mid 70s with a possibility of rain. The fall season is just around the corner.

Chef Jon said that chili is one of those dishes in which personal preference has a great deal of significance. He encourages folks to add/subtract any ingredients below for those in which they prefer. Additionally, for those looking for a little adventure, he suggests adding  some diced hot peppers, such as jalapenos or serrano chiles.

“Maybe even cook off some pasta to ladle the chili over,” he noted. “Hell, I even know people who prefer Frito’s in the bottom of the chili bowl.”

So, Chef, how do you eat it? “Personally, I eat my chili with a nice spoonful of sour cream, shredded cheddar, and a peanut butter sandwich just like my mom made it for my brother and me when we were kids.”

Prep Time – 25 minutes

Cook Time – 2 hours, 15 minutes

Total Time – About 3 hours

Yield – Makes 4 quarts


Seasoning Mixture Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons oregano, dried
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

Main Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 1 pound spicy sausage
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 – 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 – 8 ounce jar green chili salsa
  • 1 – 4 ounce can green chili peppers, chopped
  • 1 – 16 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 – 24 ounce can tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1- 16 ounce can pinto beans
  • 1- 16 ounce can red kidney beans
  • 4 -12 ounce bottles or cans of beer (1-12 ounce can is for consumption while gathering ingredients)
  • 1 – tablespoon hot red pepper sauce


In a small bowl, combine the seasoning mixture ingredients together and set aside. In a large stock pot (2 gallon), brown the meats together over medium-high heat. Add the onion and 1⁄2 the seasoning mixture. Stir occasionally until the onions become soft. Drain excess oil from the pan with a strainer and return to the pot. Combine the tomato sauce, salsa, chili peppers, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, beef stock, pinto and kidney beans, beer and red pepper sauce; mix well. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Stir often, for 15 minutes. Add the remaining seasoning mixture; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours. Serve hot in warmed bowls.


Be sure to check out Chef Jon’s recipe from last week. Send us a photo of your chili masterpiece and we’ll post it. Happy eatin’! Go Cats!

Sep 2

TGR Grillin’ With Chef Jon

Posted by: Nate Lowe at 10:00 am | Leave a Comment (2)
Category: Tailgatin' Recipes

Undoubtedly, one of the most important aspects of a good tailgating experience is the food.  We take the food pretty seriously here at TGR.  Like many tailgating circles, we have our amateur cooks who can definitely hold their own at the grill.  Little do you know, however, that we actually have a bonafide professional chef right here amongst us.  Welcome Chef Jon, evrabuddeh!

Every Thursday during this football season, Chef Jon will provide us with a recipe.  This will give you a good 48 hours to prepare for Saturday in case you want to give the recipe a try.  For this first week, Chef Jon has graced us with a fitting recipe for the Kentucky/Louisville game on Saturday—Grilled Yard Bird.

“What better than to do a yard bird on a grill for the Louisville Cardinals game,” he says.  “With just a little preparation, this is a perfect tailgating recipe for the warmer months of the year.”

Prep Time – 15 minutes

Cook Time – 2 hours

Total Time – 2 hours

Yield – Serves 4


  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
  • 1-12 ounce can beer (room temperature)
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
  • Juice of 1 lemon

For Rub:

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest


Combine all rub ingredients in a small mixing bowl.  Set aside.

Remove giblets and the neck from chicken.  Sprinkle all over with rub, including cavity.  Open can of beer and drink half of it.  Place, sliced garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon juice, and pepper flakes in it.  Make sure to pierce two more holes on the top of beer can.  Place chicken on top of can butt end first.

Preheat grill for a medium heat.  Place bird on grill balanced by the beer can.  Grill over indirect medium heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until internal temperature of thigh is 180 degrees.  Juices when cut should run clear. Remove chicken from the grill when finished cooking and let sit (with beer can still intact).  Allow 10 minutes to rest.


If you grill the “bird” or engage in any other grilling activities this weekend, send us a photo and we’ll post it.  Happy eatin’!  Go Cats!