Super Bowl Recipe Showdown: Pittsburgh Roethlis-Burgers vs. Arizona Chili

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This Sunday, Super Bowl XLII pits the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Arizona Cardinals. If you’re planning to host a party for the big game, these two recipes stiff-arm the standard fare.

Roethlis-Burger Sliders

When then-rookie Ben Roethlisberger rose to Steelers stardom in the lead-up to their 2006 Super Bowl XL win against Seattle, several Pittsburgh sandwich shops started serving a “Roethlis-burger” in his honor. The burger, topped with bacon, barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, and cheddar and provolone cheese, sure sounds like a touchdown. We asked Mark Bucher, owner of the BGR Burger Joint in Bethesda, to put his own spin on this ’Burgh burger.

Makes ten sliders.

1 pound bacon
½ cup barbecue sauce
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2½ pounds ground beef
Small dinner rolls
½ cup ranch dressing
½ pound sliced deli provolone cheese, cut in half
One small bag of regular potato chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Lay the bacon strips on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes (they should be extra crispy). Crumble the bacon into bits.
Add the bacon bits, barbecue sauce, pepper, and cheddar cheese to the raw ground beef. Mix and mash until it’s well combined, then form the mixture into small patties (2½ to 3 inches in diameter).
Fry the patties in a skillet to the desired doneness.
Slice the dinner rolls in half and lightly toast on cut sides.
Spread the ranch dressing on the bottom of the toasted roll, place one cooked patty on top, and top with a slice of provolone. As a nod to Pittsburgh’s Primanti Brothers, top the patty with one potato chip before covering it with the top half of the bun.

Sundance Chili

Want to blitz the Roethlis-burger? We couldn’t find a local chef with Arizona ties, so we contacted Jane Butel, the author of Chili Madness. Her Sundance Chili hails straight from Scottsdale and, unlike it’s Texan cousin, comes fully loaded with vegetables.

Makes six servings.

2 tablespoons lard, butter, or bacon drippings
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
½ stalk celery, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
½ cup sliced mushrooms
3 pounds beef, coarse chili grind
2 tablespoons ground hot red chili
1 tablespoon ground mild red chili
½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided in half
3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 16-ounce can whole tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 4-ounce can whole green chiles, seeded and chopped
2 16-ounce cans kidney beans with liquid.

Melt the lard, butter, or drippings in a large, heavy pot set over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Combine the meat with the ground chilies, oregano, half the cumin, and the garlic. Add the meat-and-spice mixture to the pot. Break up any lumps with a fork and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is evenly browned.
Stir in the remaining ingredients except the beans. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 1½ hours. Stir occasionally.
Add the beans and their liquid and simmer uncovered for a half hour longer. Add the remaining cumin. Taste and adjust seasonings.


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