Two American Favorites: NFL Tailgating and Smoked Sausage

by Uncle John

Well, it’s that time again. Time to start getting ready for those trips out to Raymond James Stadium for some Bucs game tailgating! You’re not surprised that we’re Bucs fans, are you? Of course we’re fans; big fans for our home team! How could we not be when the ball they play with is called a pig skin?

What do you think we can expect from our team this season? We “grilled” the team here at Uncle John’s to find out. For starters, Dirk Koetter is out, Bruce Arians is in. Makes sense after last season, there’s no denying. Other changes we see in our favor are the addition of some top draft picks, including Devin White, Sean Bunting, and Jamel Dean. Last season, with a record of 5-11, was a tough one, but this is a new year and we’re hoping the team comes together to surprise us all. Whether our team is on the road or playing on our home field, we can look forward to some terrific tailgating opportunities throughout the season.

OK, we admit that we may not be experts on the game of football, or how the Bucs will do this year, but we do know a thing or two about tailgating. And we definitely know about a tailgate favorite, Uncle Johns Pride country smoked sausage. After all, what better way to enjoy a great game, the gorgeous Tampa weather, and good company, than with some delicious Uncle John’s Pride smoked sausage, seared on the grill, charred to just the right amount? Grill some Uncle John’s along with some peppers and onions and you’ve got the granddaddy of all tailgate sandwiches, the Uncle John’s smoked sausage sandwich. What’s the best sausage for this sandwich? Hard to say since we have so many great options. While it’s a tough call, whichever you choose, there’s nothing tastier than our sausage when it’s hot off the grill. Bonus: It’s also low-carb and it fits into a keto or a paleo diet.

If you are feeling extra adventurous, you can even make a sausage dish ahead of time and just re-heat on the grill when you’re ready to eat. This Mexican potato skin bites recipe is a great example, and something your guests will be sure to enjoy!

Potato Skin Bites
This awesome appetizer takes just under an hour to prepare and yields 6-8 servings, or 40 skins. We recommend you spice up these skins with our Uncle John’s Pride Mild All-Natural Sausage made from fresh pork shoulder and natural spices. It has no filler, no MSG, and no added nitrites; just pure goodness.

20 small new red potatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Package Uncle John’s Pride All-Natural Sausage
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced crosswise
Sour cream, for serving

1. Heat the oven to 425 °F and arrange a rack in the upper third level. Place potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil, season with salt, and toss to coat. Roast until fork tender, about 30 minutes.
2. Set potatoes aside to cool. Meanwhile, heat a medium, nonstick frying pan to medium heat, cut the Uncle John’s sausages into small pieces or chunks and heat up, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
3. Slice potatoes in half and using a small spoon, scoop out most of the interior, leaving about ¼ inch of potato flesh. Divide sausage among the skins and top with cheese. Bake until skins are warmed through and cheese is melted, about five minutes, keeping a watchful eye so they don’t burn. Remove from oven, garnish with green onions and serve with dollop of sour cream on the side.

During your next tailgate, just make these bites the night before, then pack them in aluminum foil and bring with you on game day. When you arrive to the stadium, strike up your grill and throw them on (low-medium heat) for about 10 minutes to bring them up to the perfect temperature. Your guests will thank you for this unique and tasty snack!

As for us? We’re keeping our fingers and toes crossed for the Bucs this season, and hope to hear a lot of cannon blasts as they put points on the board. We’re also looking forward to seeing you at Raymond James Stadium with good friends, enjoying that glorious Tampa sun, grilling Uncle John’s Pride sausages and passing around some delicious potato skin bites!

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