The Iron Bowl is one of the classic college football rivalries, pitting the two Alabama state powerhouses – The University of Alabama and Auburn University. This rivalry started in 1893 and will be played for the 76th time on Saturday. 10-1 Alabama is looking to secure a possible berth in the BCS Championship Game with a win, and 7-4 Auburn is aiming to get invited to a better bowl game. Alabama won the national championship following the 2009 season and Auburn was the champion of college football last year.
Not only are these great football schools, but these fans sure know how to party. Tailgating is done right in Alabama, especially the preparation of food. The majority of Iron Bowl tailgates will feature succulent barbeque of some kind — ribs, brisket, pulled pork or sausage are the most prevalent. But one group of Auburn Tigers fans will be eating their much-anticipated appetizer, the Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pulls. Auburn fan Stephanie Parker shares this easy-to-follow recipe that is perfect for the Iron Bowl because you need an iron stomach to digest it.
* 1 unsliced loaf of round sourdough bread
* 8-to-12 ounces Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
* 3 ounces Real Bacon Bits (Oscar Mayer)
* 1 tablespoon Ranch dressing mix
* ½ cup Butter, melted
1. Cut bread loaf in a checkerboard pattern in both directions with sharp knife, but do not slice through the bottom crust.
2. Place cheese slices in between the cuts.
3. Sprinkle real bacon bits all over bread, making sure to get in between cuts.
4. Mix butter with ranch dressing and pour over bread.
5. Wrap loaf in foil and place on baking sheet.
6. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
7. Unwrap. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.