Shameless Chef

The Shameless Chef: Barbecue Cheeseburger Pizza

So the Super Bowl is coming up, and unless you live outside the borders of the United States, that's a pretty big deal. Even people who don't care anything for football will watch the Super Bowl, and this is the perfect opportunity for you to try out the brand-new Asp baton you got for Christmas on the legs of those who say "I only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, hurrrrrr." Golly gee! You must be ever so interesting to not care a whit for the biggest football game of the year! Sit still, you daring individual, you! *whap whap whap whap whap*

As a hardcore old-school journalist, it is not my job to show partiality toward one team or another, or their fans. So this week I cooked up a little something I perfected during my time at Domino's Pizza, at which I proudly served for three years, despite the fact that they've recently admitted that all the ingredients they used while I worked there were complete crap. It's a crowd-pleaser of a dish that absolutely anyone can bring to a Super Bowl party, regardless of team affiliation, and nosh on as the Colts get their asses flattened.

You will need:

- The pizza crust of your choice. I prefer a thicker, mushier crust, but if thin crust is your thing, go for it, weirdo. - Cheddar cheese, the sharper the better. That's right, no mozzarella. - Ground beef. You'll only need about half a cup worth. - Barbecue sauce. Nope, no tomato sauce, either.

A quick word about the barbecue sauce. The Shameless Chef, it should be obvious, does not get paid to endorse specific products, because let's be honest, who would willingly associate themselves with me? I'm more likely to someday get paid to avoid certain products. However, as a native Texan, one food I do consider myself a connoisseur of is barbecue, and I'll be damned if H-E-B's Specialty Series Carolina barbecue sauce isn't the best store-bought sauce I have ever had. I know everyone will have their own preference, but I really can't recommend it highly enough. Ever been to Joe's BBQ in Alvin? It's the closest thing I've been able to find to the sauce they use there. Yes. It's that good. I'm interested to see if any of you guys agree, or if you have your own favorites. Leave comments!

Okay, so you've got your crust out. For a 12-inch pizza, you'll want to ladel about 1/2 a cup of barbecue sauce onto the pizza and spread it around until you get a pretty even coating.

Next, put down a handful or two of shredded cheddar cheese. It's cool if you can still see sauce poking through at some spots, as this is just the base layer.

Once you've cooked the ground beef - aw, shit. I forgot to cook the ground beef.

Once you've cooked the ground beef, you can apply it to the pizza in whatever fashion you deem fit. I wouldn't go too heavy on it, since if you overdo any topping it can give your pizza a weird consistency. Once you've laid down the ground beef, sprinkle enough cheese on top to cover up any saucy parts poking through.

You'll toss it in the oven and cook it according to the instructions on the back of the pizza crust's packaging. If you're one of those show-offs who can hand-toss a homemade crust, you'll generally want to put it in at 425 degrees for between 8 and 10 minutes. Aww, what's the matter, Mr. Hand-Tossed Fancypants doesn't have his own personal pizza oven with a timed conveyor belt? Guess you're not so special after all, smart guy.

What's that? "Brick oven"? Oh, sure, everyone knows rocks make things taste better. Whatever you say, Holistic Harry.

Anyway, keep an eye on your pizza and take it out when the crust's outermost edge starts turning a golden brown. I like mine a little less cooked than most, and of course some of you maniacs out there like for the underside of your pizza to look like someone used an arc welder on it, so naturally you'll have to modify cooking style / time to your own tastes. But however you choose to prepare it, you'll be welcome at any Super Bowl party.

Enjoy the pizza, and have fun watching the game / commercials. I can't wait to see what zaniness Budweiser is going to unleash on us this year! *whap whap whap whap whap*