But just in time, when we need a day to drag us up on top again, along comes Super Bowl Sunday, the one other day of the year hard-core football fans (and the ad watchers) rate almost as high as Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Fourth of July.
This year, though, four things come together that could possibly make the day even better than usual.
The first is a new dark beer, Budweiser's Black Crown, and it's now available for the first time ever. Next, especially for all of the ad watchers, this beer will make it's national advertising debut in the coveted A1 spot of Super Bowl commercials.
The third and fourth, where we're heading, are the following two recipes, created just for this new brew, and especially for the 2013 Super Bowl.
Black Crown baby back ribs
2 slabs baby back pork ribs
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 bottles (12 ounces each) Black Crown beer
Dry rub -- any homemade or bottled favorite
Prepare fire in a covered grill, with the hot coals under only half. The other side will be the cool side.
Rub the ribs with the olive oil and season generously on both sides with the dry rub. Place the ribs over the hot coals and sear on one side until browned. Turn ribs over and sear the other side. Move ribs to the cooler side of the grill with the meaty side down and baste both ribs with one bottle of the beer. Close the lid and cook for about 10 minutes.
Turn the ribs over and baste both slabs with the other bottle of beer. Close the lid and cook for 10 more minutes.
Turn the ribs over one more time, close the lid and grill for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the ribs are tender and start to pull away from bones. Cut and serve.
Makes 2 slabs.
Black Crown chile con carne kabobs
1/2 cup Black Crown beer
1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon malt vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 fresh jalapeno, cut in small dice
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cumin
2 pounds sirloin steak or strip steak, cut in 2-inch cubes
1 red onion, cut in 2-inch squares
1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch squares
1 green pepper, cut into 2-inch squares
1 pack medium mushrooms, stems removed
For the marinade, in a bowl, combine the beer, liquid smoke, vinegar, oil, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, pepper flakes and cumin, mixing thoroughly.
Place steak in a large resealable plastic bag, pour marinade over the steak and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
To assemble, alternately skewer the steak, peppers, onions and mushrooms. These can be broiled in the oven or cooked on an outside grill. Cook for about 10 to 12 minutes for a nice medium rare.
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