Iron Mike Ditka's very own tailgate hit: pot roast nachos
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 12, 2011
Mike Ditka is somewhere just below only Al Bundy himself on the pantheon of Cold, Hard Football Facts heroes. Sure, Iron Mike never scored four touchdowns for Polk High in the All-City championship game. But his own resume is fairly impressive.
Ditka produced the greatest season ever by a tight end, as a rookie with the Bears in 1961. He was the team's top offensive weapon during its NFL championship season of 1963 and he caught a touchdown for the Cowboys in their first championship victory, a 24-3 win over Miami in Super Bowl V.
He added to the Iron Mike legend as Chicago's coach in the 1980s, fielding a couple of the best defenses in modern NFL history while leading the Bears to their only modern championship: a 46-10 humiliation of the Patriots in Super Bowl XX.
Ditka then endeared himself to food-loving trolls everywhere by opening a kick-ass steakhouse, with locations in Pittsburgh (his hometown) and Chicago. There's also a Ditka's in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.
We wanted to know how to cook like Mike. So we hunted down his executive chef, Tom Kenny. He not only was kind enough to share a recipe, he shared a recipe the restaurant's top-selling dish, Coach's Pot Roast Nachos.
Ditka is no absentee owner, said Kenny. "Coach Ditka is here all the time," said the chef. Ditka even hosts his own radio show from the restaurant and remains a lonely voice of reason on ESPN's Sunday pregame show.
You can prepare pot roast any old way you normally would. But here's how they do it in the Ditka style. The actual nacho recipe itself is below.
Mike Ditka's Pot Roast Nachos
How to prepare pot roast in the Ditka style:
2 lb. boneless beef chuck roast
Salt and pepper
1 large carrot, sliced
2 sticks of celery, sliced
1 Spanish onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 oz. red wine
2 oz. maple syrup
2 Tablespoon Heinz ketchup
2 oz. bourbon
2 cups water
2 sprig of fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Rub meat with salt and pepper and sauté on stovetop (an oven-proof cast-iron Dutch oven is best) over medium-high heat in a thin sheet of olive oil until meat is browned on all sides. Remove meat and add all the vegetables and sauté until onions soften and brown slightly. Return the meat to the pot and add the wine, syrup, ketchup, bourbon and water and herbs. Cover the pot and slow-roast in oven for 4½ hours. Meat should be fork tender. Remove meat and reduce juice over high heat on stove top by one third.
To re-heat the meat before making the nachos:
2 cups Heinz chili sauce
2 cups pot roast juice (see above)
2 cups marsala sauce (see recipe below)
½ a 7-oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, pureed
½ lb. pot roast meat, shredded (to prepare pot roast in the Ditka style, use the recipe above)
Heat all the sauces in a pan over low heat on a stove top. Add meat until warmed through, about 10 minutes.
For the marsala sauce:
1/2 cup diced onions
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
16 oz. marsala wine
16 oz. double-strength chicken stock
2 Tablestoons corn starch
Saute the onions in butter until they soften then add sugar and stir until mixed well. Add the marsala wine and reduce by half. Add the double chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add cornstarch and cook for five minutes, stirring often.
To prepare the nachos:
4 oz. tortilla chips
½ lb. pot roast meat, heated as noted above
2 oz. sour cream
10 oz. blend of cheddar and jack cheese, shredded
2½ oz. sliced jalapenos
2 oz. tomatoes, diced small (no seeds)
1 oz. scallions
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place tortillas in a single layer around a large, round oven-proof dinner plate. Using tongs, spread the saucy meat around the tortilla chips. Squeeze out sour cream in a crisscross pattern over chips and meat. Then spread the cheese over the chips evenly to the rim. Top with jalapeno slices and diced tomatoes. Toast in 500-degree oven until cheese is melted completely (should toast quickly). Garnish with scallions. Serves 2.
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