Tail.gate \täl'-gäte\ verb, intransitive:
1. To participate in a picnic that is served from the tailgate of a vehicle, as before a sports event.
2. Eat, Drink and be merry.
Football fans are as passionate about eating as they are their teams of choice -- the style of on-the-go cooking known as "tailgating" was first coined by followers of the sport, but I'd like to think it really began on the Wagon Trains of the old West. The concept of eating outdoors from the back of a vehicle has ultimately evolved through the years. Gone are the Conestoga's of yore, replaced by the modern Sports Utility or Recreational vehicles. Outdoor cooking methods haven't changed much though. We still cook with wood or charcoal, but now have the option to use Propane or Natural Gas to burn our Brats.
This week, the Broncos travel to Kansas City for an early game with the Chiefs and unless you're happen to be a Broncos fan residing in that area, chances are you'll be watching at home. I happen to have a few suggestions for a savory motif that can be fulfilled in either circumstance. Read on if you dare.
For years Kansas City has been voted as the best tailgating city in the Universe and Chief fans do tailgating better than anyone. When you have a crowd that fills two stadium parking lots at a single event, and I am speaking of Arrowhead stadium and Kauffman Stadium (where the Royals play), it's hard to dispute that claim. Kansas City is famous for a Strip Steak by the same name and it's awesome barbecue. Establishments such as Arthur Bryant's, founded in the early 20's, or Gates Bar-B-Q which has been in operation since 1946, are two of the more famed eateries in the region.
According to Kansascitybarbeque.com, Henry Perry is the "Father of K.C. Barbecue". He is famous for the slow-cooked ribs he served for 25 cents a slab out of a trolley barn in the early 1900s. His legacy thrives with the city's countless barbecue restaurants and The Kansas City Barbecue Society, which has more than 8,000 members worldwide.
So what else could today's food feature be than barbecue?
Now I'm not going to choose the meat or veggie for your entree, you'll have to call an audible. But I can put you in the right coverage. That's right, I've got a barbecue sauce for you.
- 1 Spanish onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 7 oz tomato puree
- 20 ounces canned tomatoes with juice
- 5 ounces white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 4 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 2 tablespoon mustard
In a heavy saucepan, saute; the onions over medium heat until golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered on very low heat. Puree when sauce has thickened, about 2 hours. Keep warm in hot water bath at 150 degrees F., covered with plastic wrap. Makes 1 quart.
Source: KC Steak Company
If you need to throw to a hot route, try adding some Tabasco to the mix (just to keep the sinuses clear).
Now I don't know if barbecue belongs on the menu for an early game (this one will be before lunchtime in my area), so I did procure another option whether you are home or away, tailgating or partying on the patio. It is called the Tailgate Breakfast Casserole and it comes from Mary Anne McNeish.
"I don't know about you, but the idea of BBQ at 7 in the morning before a football game isn't exactly my cup of tea. Instead, make this delicious Tailgate Breakfast Casserole the night before, throw it in the fridge overnight and bake it 30 minutes before you leave."
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
* 4-6 Slices of White Bread
* 16 oz. Spicy Crumbled Sausage, cooked and drained
* 1 package shredded Cheddar Cheese
* 6 eggs, beaten
* 2 cups milk
* 1 teaspoon dry mustard
Grease the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Take bread and cover the bottom of the pan, overlapping slightly. Evenly spread cooked sausage over bread pieces, cover with cheddar cheese. Mix eggs, milk and mustard together. Pour mixture over casserole.
Store covered, overnight. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes, cover and take to game!
Again, if you want to change up the play, try adding red and green pepper and some onions.
Food is the centerpiece of tailgating, but it is also about the entertainment. Anything from throwing around the football to Beer Pong to being an armchair quarterback. Good Music and good friends and food mixed with football? It don't get much better than that my friends.