With January behind us, we can go back to our regularly scheduled programming that does not include grain bowls, green juice, or whatever resolution-diet-item you’ve been nauseating over for the last month. This year, get pumped for the Super Bowl and all things American (well, some things) as soon as you wake up by making a bacon football. That’s right, we’re talking about a big football-shaped breakfast sausage loaf wrapped in a bacon lattice. It has all of your favorite breakfast players: sausage, cheese, bread, eggs, hot sauce, more cheese, and, of course, bacon.
Don’t be intimidated by a football made entirely of sausage and bacon. Whether you start the night before (it can be assembled a day ahead of time) or the morning of, this recipe comes together easily. If you’re new to the art of weaving bacon, brush up on how to make a bacon lattice.
So go forth and celebrate Super Bowl Sunday with a huge goddamn bacon-wrapped football.
The bacon football can be made a day ahead of time, covered tightly in plastic wrap, and chilled overnight. Allow to come to room temperature before placing in the oven.
2 pounds breakfast sausage, casings removed
3 cups panko breadcrumbs
¾ cup finely grated parmesan
⅔ cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoon Tabasco
3 large eggs
1 pound thick-cut bacon
3 slices of white American cheese
How to Make It
In a large bowl, combine breakfast sausage, breadcrumbs, parmesan, cheddar cheese, ketchup, Worchestire, and Tabasco. Add the eggs, mixing with your hands, until the ingredients are completely incorporated. Begin shaping the sausage mixture into a football-shaped ball.
Wrap the ball with two layers of plastic wrap (the plastic wrap should be loose enough for some wiggle room in order to keep shaping into a football form). Chill for at least 20 minutes up to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a fitted cooling rack over the baking sheet; set aside. Remove from the refrigerator and continue to shape into a football. Remove the plastic wrap and transfer the sausage football onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake until brown and crisped all over, 20-30 minutes.
Remove the sausage football from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes. Transfer the football to a cutting board or clean work surface; set aside baking sheet.
Place the sausage football so that one of the pointed ends faces you. Starting from the end furthest away from you, lay strips of bacon horizontally, allowing the ends to drape over. Fold every other strip halfway. Vertically place another strip of bacon across the unfolded strips. Keep it close to the folds.
Unfold each strip, right over the vertical one you just added. Fold up the horizontal strips skipping the horizontal strips that were folded over in the previous step. Add another vertical strip. Bring the horizontal strips back over. Repeat the steps until the whole football is covered, pinning with toothpicks to help bacon strips stay in place as necessary. (Confused? Check out a step-by-step on how to make a bacon lattice.)
Tuck any bacon strips hanging over underneath the football. Return the football back to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until bacon is browned and crisp, 40-50 minutes.
Cut the American cheese into one 4-inch by ½-inch piece (for the long vertical lace); six 2-inch by ¼-inch pieces (for the short horizontal laces); and two 5-inch by 1-inch pieces (for the end horizontal laces). Assemble the American cheese pieces to form a football lacing.
Remove toothpicks from the football. Serve immediately.