by Patriots Daily Kitchen Staff

Don’t look now but Rex Ryan’s prediction for the 2nd best defense is in town. The Pats put up 30 against the “best” last week they should be good for 40 this week right?


Not to leave out the Pats defense, facing Tony Romo they’ll finally start racking up the sacks and interceptions.

What to eat.

Frito Pie, it’s awesome but has nothing to do with Pie. It’s so good there are multiple stories about who invented it and where. There is even an official story from Frito Lay. Whatever story happens to be true, it is a Texas favorite. But to make it first we have to make chili.

Because the Cowboys are in town, we’ll make a Texas style chili. What exactly a Texas style chili contains is a subject of debate. Some will say it should have no beans and no tomatoes. Traditionally it didn’t, of course traditionally beef suet and peppers were ground together, turned into bricks and then boiled to make chili. Yummy!

We’ll leave out the beans, because that is an almost universally accepted rule of Texas style Chili. Also the name Chili con Carne means Chili peppers with meat. We’re including tomatoes.

Texas Style Chili: Serves 8 adults or 2 Ryans
Stew beef (chuck), 1 to 1.5 pounds, 1 inch cubes
Ground beef, 1 to 1.5 pounds
3 dried ancho peppers
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chipotle powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, diced
6 cloves of garlic, diced
Salt to taste
2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons masa harina or other corn meal for thickening

In a dry pan over low heat heat the non powdered spices until you can smell them. One to two minutes. Remove from heat and grind to powder. Add to the powdered spices.

In a large pot, add the olive oil and heat. Add the diced onions and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent. Now add the cubed beef and brown on all sides. Once that is done add the ground beef and also brown. Turn down the heat, add the spices, stir to coat and add the diced tomatoes. Cook covered over low heat, stirring occasionally. The tomatoes will break down and add liquid as they cook. This is easily adaptable to crock pot cooking, cook on low heat for as long as you want.

Frito pie:
Snack size bags of fritos, 4 ounce or so size
shredded cheddar
diced onions
sour cream etc…

Slice the frito bag along the side, push sides out to make a sort of bowl. Top with chili and then the toppings of each person’s choice. Eat.

What to drink.

There aren’t any Texas breweries exporting to New England. We do get Lone Star, the “National Beer of Texas” but that’s owned by the Pabst Brewing Company and made who knows where.

Really it’s just the same as any American Lager, there isn’t a ton of differentiation here because there isn’t much there, there.

Yes, we are going with American Lagers this week. The inspiration came from seeing Rex and Rob Ryan back to back.You know those guys are going to be making awesome beer commercials in a couple of years. Hey, it’s not like we’re recommending you drink Shipyard.

The American Lager style is designed to be light and drinkable. It’s brother the American Light Lager is designed to be even liter than light. Often cold-brewed with Rocky Mountain water or delivered by Clydesdale wagons.
You’ll notice flavor notes of cold and as it warms less cold. American Lagers and Light Lagers also have carbonation.

The taste of cold and the carbonation will produce interesting contrasts with the chili. Chili tastes hot not cold. Chili is not carbonated, providing a second contrast to the lager which is carbonated. Finally beer does not contain cheese, and we put cheese on our chili.

This is not to say the American style Lager and chili have nothing in common. In our preparation we’re using Fritos, and those are made of corn, much like certain American style lagers.

Lone Star runs about 4.7% ABV near the middle of the 4.2 to about 5% range these beers fall into. As noted above, it’s made by Pabst and that link shows just how many of these incredibly similar beers Pabst makes.

Narragansett is the local New England option. It is far superior to any other beer listed here. It’s usually one of the cheapest as well. Just over 5% ABV and best in the 16 ounce pounder cans.

Schlitz is the only one that comes close to Gansett. It is another Pabst product, but it’s listed separately here because of their “Gusto” relaunch of a few years ago. They went back to the recipe from the 1960s. 4.7% ABV like Lone Star.

So that does it, the local option and the 2 best beers available in the style. What more could there be? Really the big options? You don’t know enough about the ones made by companies as big as General Electric. Well all right then, let’s kick off #OccupyBeerTap.

The top selling American Light Lager is Bud Light. It’s like Budweiser with more water. It also has a born on date. Drink within 110 days of the born on date.

Bud Light has a less successful cousin, Busch Light. This tastes like Bud Light but with less beechwood aging. Once relegated to the trailer park section of the Budweiser estate, the recession has greatly helped Busch Light improve his standing. He works cheap, much like a midday host on 98.5.

If a Silver train happens to be whizzing by you may get some Coors Light. Coors Light is the coldest tasting beer in the world. If you notice Coors Light tastes differently this year it is because they lost the NFL sponsorship.

Coors Light also has a less successful cousin, Keystone Light. Keystone doesn’t taste as frost brewed or cold filtered as Coors Light. Keystone makes up for not tasting as cold by not causing bitter beer face when consumed. Also Keith Stone likes it, and he has a mullet, and tv commercials.

Litest of all is Miller Lite. Miller Lite is too lite to be spelled light, so they went with Lite. It may be best to reserve Miller Lite for pairing with low fat chili.

Consumption of these American Light Lagers may result in visits from Swedish bikini teams, funny dogs, talking frogs, referees throwing penalty flags and possibly unemployed coaches yelling at you. So fair warning.

What about the full strength versions? Some of those may not be around much longer so why bother mentioning them. Budweiser has lost 30% of it’s sales in the past 5 years. It’s in serious danger of losing it’s 2nd best selling beer label to Coors Light. Once that happens Miller Lite is knocking on the door for 3rd place.