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Peppering the Patriots - A Broncos Tailgate Theme

The Kaptain has three dishes to dominate all three phases of your Tailgate game.

Kaptain Kirk 10/6/2012

Coming up with an inspiring theme for the Broncos-Patriots game this week, I went with something simple. I combined the game plan for the Broncos to defeat the Patriots with a menu to fill your belly. Autumn has begun and football season means cooler weather and you'll want something to put that fire in you.The Broncos will need to pepper the Patriots on Offense, Defense and Special Teams. By the same token, I have come up with three dishes to help keep the chill off and make your Tailgate, Patio or Indoor Football fete a success.

This first dish from Alton Brown takes roughly 30 minutes to complete and feeds four.

Strip Steak with Pepper Cream Sauce


  • 4 (6 to 8-ounce) strip steaks, 3/4 to 1-inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely crushed black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons clarified, unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup beef stock or broth
  • 3 Tablespoons cognac
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon green peppercorns in brine, drained and slightly crushed

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

Sprinkle the steaks with kosher salt and crushed black pepper. Heat the butter in a 12-inch, heavy bottomed saute pan over medium heat. Once the butter is hot, add the steaks and cook until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare and 3 minutes per side for medium. Remove steaks from pan and place on a rack set on a sheet pan; place in oven to keep warm.

Add the stock to the saute pan and whisk until the crispy bits release from bottom of pan. Allow the liquid to reduce for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-high heat. Add cognac, heavy cream, and green peppercorns to the pan. Increase heat to high and cook, whisking continually, until the sauce thickens slightly, just enough to coat the back of a spoon; this will take 5 to 7 minutes.

Season the sauce, to taste, with kosher salt. Place steaks on plates, top with sauce, and serve immediately.

If you happen to be grilling outdoors, this offering will work for you. This is another meal that will take 30-35 minutes to prepare and make 4 to 6 servings. Most of the time is spent in the preparation, so you can do most of the work beforehand and still enjoy the game.

Pepper Steak Skewers

For the steak rolls:

  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 2 Tablespoons Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, halved
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil

For the spicy yogurt sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Preheat a grill to medium. Butterfly the steak by cutting horizontally through the center until the two halves open flat. Cover with plastic wrap and pound the steak to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 3 equal rectangles.

Lay out each steak rectangle. Season with 1 Tablespoon of the steak seasoning. Lay a piece of the roasted red pepper along the bottom edge of each. Sprinkle each with 1/3 cup cheese.
Starting at the bottom edge, roll each rectangle into a tight log. Place the 3 rolls parallel to one another. Pierce the 3 rolls with 6 evenly spaced skewers so each skewer goes through the center of all rolls. Slice the rolls between the skewers to make 6 skewers with 3 pieces on each. Season with the remaining 1 tablespoon steak seasoning.

Make the spicy yogurt sauce: Combine the steak seasoning, yogurt, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and parsley in a bowl.

Brush the grill grates with the canola oil. Grill the skewers for 3 minutes on all sides. Serve with the sauce.

Now if those two options aren’t working for you, my 3rd down play calls for sandwiches.

Roast Beef and Chile Sandwiches

You will need to know how many mouths you have to feed in order to adjust as necessary, because I’m only going to show you what is needed for one sandwich. In other words, this recipe feeds one.

  • 2 slices of Sourdough Bread
  • 4 oz. thinly sliced Roast Beef
  • 2 slices Provolone cheese
  • 3 roasted Pueblo Chiles (If that’s too hot, use Ortega Chiles)
  • Butter

Anyone who’s ever made a Grilled Cheese sandwich can handle this, because there isn’t much difference.
Heat up a skillet over medium heat.
Butter one side of each slice of bread.
Assemble the sandwich using the roast beef, cheese and Chiles with the buttered sides out.
Grill the sandwich until browned, then flip it over and cook the other side.
Remove from the skillet to a breadboard and cut in half or quarters and serve.

This sandwich will show your guests that you possess the winning strategy.

Until next week, good eats and...

Go Broncos!

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