The "Judge" Pizza.

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by guest Chef Matt Driscoll.

Follow Matt’s adventures in pizza …


Making great pizza dough is worthwhile and is a real art.

You can take the time to do this or you can just buy store bought dough. 

Shhhh ..…don’t tell Matt I said that   : )    


note **1 If you want to make your own pizza dough follow the Expert Tips at the bottom of this recipe.






·      1lb pizza dough (about a 16 inch pizza)

·      ½ cup of Judge Casey’s Tomato Relish

·      3 strips of smoked bacon

·      Half a red onion

·      1 cup of ground beef (around 10-15% fat)

·      1 cup of beer cheese  ( (or spreadable cheese)

·      1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese

·      Salt & pepper




1.    Line a pan with the bacon. You can use a glass baking pan, a steel or aluminum baking sheet, or even a cast iron pan.

2.    Put the pan into a cold, unheated oven, on the middle rack.

3.    Set the oven to 450 degrees and take out after 20 minutes. This is a great way to make crispy bacon. Once done, set aside on a paper towel.


4.    Portion off 1 cup of beef and season with salt and pepper or your seasoning of choice. Spoon out a teaspoon of beer cheese. Make sure beer cheese is cold so it will form into mini balls, . Inside the palm of your hand form meat around mini balls of beer cheese. Seal closed and smooth into balls.

5.    Place the mini meat balls on a baking dish in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, turning once browned. Remove from oven and set aside. Some beer cheese might spill out, not to worry.

6.    Cut red onion into ½ inch thick slices. Do not separate onions into rings.

7.    In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, in hot olive or salad oil, cook red-onion slices for 5 minutes, don’t turn.

8.    Sprinkle onions with sugar and salt. Cover skillet; reduce heat to medium-low and cook onion slices 15 to 20 minutes longer, turning slices once with pancake turner, until golden brown and tender.

Note**2 You can top the pizza with these delicious sautéed onions or take this recipe to the next level with deep fried sautéed onions – Scroll to the Expert Tips at the bottom for details.


9.    Lightly grease pizza pan, pizza stone or baking steel or dust with cornmeal. Take dough ball and using your fingers, pat it out from the center to the edge, leaving the outer edge a bit thick.

10. Top with Irish Tomato Relish. Break up and add the smoked bacon, (deep fried) sautéed onions, mini meatballs (stuffed with spicy beer cheese)

11. Heat the beer cheese in a small pot over medium heat until its melted, you might need to add a few tablespoons of half and half depending on the cheese you use.

12. Bake 10-15 minutes until edges are golden brown. Drizzle pizza with more beer cheese and serve to your hungry excited friends.


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Expert Tips


**1: Homemade Pizza Dough

This homemade pizza dough recipe is the perfect start for your favorite kind of pizza. The recipe yields two large pizza crusts, so feed the whole family or freeze one for later.


It is so easy to prepare and, unlike some dough recipes I have tried, it tastes delicious!  This pizza dough recipe makes enough dough for two large pizzas.  You can make two pizzas, or make one and freeze one, or use the second to make breadsticks instead.  The dough keeps great in the freezer, just be sure to bring the dough to room temperature again before rolling out.


Servings: 2 pizzas



·      1 1/2 c. warm water

·      2 T. sugar

·      2 1/4 t. active dry yeast one 1/4 oz. packet

·      3 3/4 c. flour

·      1 T. Kosher salt

·      3 T. extra virgin olive oil



1.    Combine water, sugar and yeast in small bowl. Let sit 5 minutes. Mix flour and salt together in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with dough hook. Add oil to yeast mixture. 

2.    Pour yeast mixture into flour mixture and knead on low speed for 10 minutes. (If mixing by hand, knead dough for same amount of time.) Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

3.    Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape into 2 balls. lightly brush dough balls with olive oil and cover completely with plastic wrap. Let rise another 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

4.    Lightly grease pizza pan or dust with cornmeal. Take each dough ball and using your fingers, pat it out from the center to the edge, leaving the outer edge a bit thick. Top with favorite toppings. 

5.    Bake 10-15 minutes until edges are golden brown.


How to Freeze Pizza Dough


You can freeze the dough after the first or second rise.  

• If you are freezing after the first rise, punch the dough down and divide it into two balls as directed in the recipe.  Place the dough balls in the freezer on a cookie sheet.  After the dough is frozen, place the dough balls in freezer resealable plastic bags.  To thaw, let the dough come to room temperature (about 1 hour) and then let it rise another 45 minutes.

• If you are freezing after the second rise, freeze the dough balls and then place them in freezer resealable plastic bags.  To thaw, let the dough come to room temperature (about 1 hour) and then roll out onto pizza pan.


**2: Deep fried sautéed onions

I get so much enjoyment out of deep frying veg, but please be careful cooking with hot oil.

This recipe makes more beer batter than you will need for toppings for just one pizza. .You should use the leftover batter to make all sorts of tasty deep fried veg.

Mushrooms are my real favourite, sliced jalapenos add a little heat & zucchini are really refreshing but can be a little moist. You can cut them, cover with salt and after 10 mins pat them down with paper towels first to remove water content and excess salt. …Okay onward !!


·      1 cup all-purpose flour

·      1 tsp salt

·      1 tsp ground black pepper

·      1 tsp chili powder

·      1 tsp garlic powder

·      2 egg

·      1 cup beer

·      1⁄2 qt vegetable oil

·      Red onions sliced & sautéed


1.    Mix flour, salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, eggs, and beer together in a bowl.

2.    Preheat oil to 365 degrees F in a deep fryer or large pot.

3.    Dip sautéed onions in the batter, then carefully place into the hot oil. Avoid overcrowding by working in several small batches. Fry until they float to the surface and are golden brown and crispy. You may want to carefully turn them with a slotted spoon to brown both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining sautéed onions.

stephen bray