Jeff Mauro's Top Tip For Game Day Cooking - Exclusive

Food Network's Jeff Mauro is known for his love of sandwiches (he is the sandwich king, after all) and, in general, food that's going to be great on a game day. Think cheesesteaks, pizza, and wings — and if you're lucky enough to get an invite to Mauro's house on an upcoming game day, those are just the kinds of things you can expect him to be serving. As Jeff Mauro told Mashed in an exclusive interview, he's usually working up "a lot of meat, a lot of cheese, a lot of bread, a lot of salt, a lot of beer — all the things you love."

He says he's currently on an Italian beef kick and "can't get enough of them." It's only the icing on the cake that, he says, Italian beef sandwiches are easy to make and require little "babysitting," so you can keep your eyes on the game rather than in the kitchen. If he can have only one game-day food, though, he's going with Chicago tavern-style pepperoni pizza, saying, "It's easy to eat a lot of, because they're [cut] in the little small squares, so you don't feel like you're eating giant pieces of pizza that you have to motor through and keep on a plate. You pop one in, you go to the corner, pop one in, go to the middle piece, pop one in ... It's the best. The next thing you know, you can't even take off your jewelry."

But no matter what you're cooking up for your next game day, pizza or otherwise, Mauro has one main piece of advice. 

'Keep it simple'

According to Jeff Mauro, a good game day spread includes three primary components: a sandwich, a pizza, and wings. Combined, he says, "All three of those items scratch all of the itches you can possibly have on game day." However, overall, you should keep things simple and "cook what you know and love."

He told Mashed, "I always start with what I crave, and you can't go wrong then — you're going to execute it well because you crave it yourself. If you crave it, you usually know how to make it, so you're not reaching into an internet hole, searching for a new and complicated thing that you've never even attempted before, which can sometimes lead to a misfire. I always start with what I am craving the most, and that is a good launching point for what you should serve yourself and your loved ones on game day."

And, of course, if you want to keep things even simpler, you can always check out Mauro's Mauro Provisions, where you can purchase sandwich kits and butcher boxes, including an Italian beef kit that Mauro says includes everything you could need, such as locally made sausage, locally made bread, craft giardiniera, prime Italian beef, gravy, the recipe, and even sandwich wraps.