Feed In Face 2019: Luau Tailgate


No man is more important than the food.

No coach is more important than the food.

The Food, The Food, The Food

-Bo Schembechler (probably)

Hawaiian Pork Sliders

Hawaiian Pork Sliders

Pretty good all around day behind the grill. Came in with pre-prepped Hawaiian pork sliders, which were basically a riff on the massive Cubans we did last year for the Western Michigan Pancake Breakfast (obviously for the lunch after pancakes) and at their heart are blatantly stolen from the folks over at MGoBBQ (aka Go Blue BBQ Joe Pichey). I deviated with provolone, Famous Dave’s pickles, and sweet hot mustard. Also charred the onions and put them inside.

After we got set up and settled in to a couple of drinks, we fired up the fryer basket to make fresh chicharrón. They kind of stole the show for the day.

I dream of them becoming a UMTailgate staple, but sourcing skin and the 2-day prep makes that a bit unrealistic. Of course I will try anyway. Recipe is adapted from Sean Brock’s Heritage cookbook. I hear there are easier ways… like this recipe from Food and Wine. So maybe that’s the answer. But go against Sean Brock at your own peril.

Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Pork Belly Burnt Ends

The Chicharrón went fast, and the all day snackers became the pork belly burnt ends. I had made a massive batch of Wicked iQue Rub and dry marinated the cubed belly (that I harvested the skin from for the chicharron) in that for a half day, then smoked it the morning of the tailgate on the rack at 275 for two hours, then covered in tin foil in half sheet pans for another two. At that point we transported all 25 pounds of them to the tailgate, where the pans got uncovered and set on the grill and doused with BBQ sauce. They were perfect and withstood all day cook, getting better as the day went on.

An early dinner included three butterflied pork butts prepared Aaron Franklin’s style, which has an Asian flare to it. I did pretty much everything as written in that recipe, but added sliced pineapple on site while grilling.

Aaron Franklin Pork

Aaron Franklin Pork

Pre-prepped some Kale and spinach by starting with a base of onions and coconut oil, and finishing with coconut milk for that steakhouse creamed spinach vibe.

Also on the side was a massive pile of fried rice, studded with bacon, scallions, and the occasional chunk of pineapple flung over from the grill.


Nobody left hungry and nobody was as satisfied as this guy…


Detroit Theme next week. Greek diner breakfast with THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN OF HASH followed by coney dogs before we head in for kickoff. FEED IN FACE.