Is it the game or the grub fans go for?

06 Oct Is it the game or the grub fans go for?

Is it the game or the grub fans go for?

by Sydne George

Fall has arrived, and football is in the air. For many diehard fans, attending games on the weekends means partaking in the tailgate parties before, dur­ing and sometimes after the game.

While the origins of tailgating remain debatable, some claim that fans who traveled by horse and buggy to the very first col­lege football game between Rut­gers and Princeton in 1869 were in fact grilling sausages and burgers at the “tail­end”

of the horse as they enjoyed the game.

Others contend that tailgat­ing began at Yale in 1904 when a train brought football fans to a station close to the game, and they walked the rest of the way. Arriving hungry and thirsty, these spectators were said to have vowed to bring picnic bas­kets to the next game they attended. Green Bay Packer historians will tell you that tailgating start­ed in Green Bay, Wis., in 1919, the same year the team was formed. Wisconsin farmers sup­posedly backed their pickups to the edge of the field, dropped their tailgates to sit on and ate a prepared basket of food while watching the game.

In any case, the long-stand­ing tradition endures.

And while you’re likely to find burgers, hot dogs and brats at most tailgate parties wherev­er you are, portable party fare varies greatly by region.

Louisiana hospitality might mean serving gumbo, jambalaya and etoufee, Texans barbecue beef, and Buffalo fans traditional­ly lay out the white pizza and wings for their guests.

New England tailgating includes lobster and chowder while Pittsburgh is famous for its pierogies (Polish dumplings with various fillings).

In South Carolina, you can try a Low Country Boil, a seafood and potato stew.

Atlanta fans showcase tradi­tional Southern food and deep­fried turkeys. In Seattle it’s salmon and seafood, and San Francisco is one of the few places you’ll find wine and cheese at tail­gate parties.

As a seasoned tailgater myself, I’ve found that doing most of the prep work at home before leaving for the game works best for me. Cooking without a kitchen can be dicey, and I prefer to be as stress­free on game day as I can.

My husband and I, along with three other couples, own an RV and tailgate at the University of Montana Grizzly home games in Missoula. Recently it was our turn to host the party.

When planning the food, I wanted to do something I could make ahead and assemble at home, an all-in-one meat-and­potatoes offering that could be brought to the game and reheated briefly before serving.

While admittedly it took some time to bake the barbecued beef, caramelize the onions, assemble and wrap the sandwiches, it was time well spent when all I had to do at the game was remove the foil-wrapped bundles from the cooler and line them up on the propane-powered grill to heat.

Opening the foil packets revealed hot barbecued beef, melted smoked Gouda cheese and warmed caramelized onions, all nestled between pillowy soft potato rolls. Before we knew it, all 72 bundles were gone, and people were asking for the recipe.

You might want to double the recipe. These go fast.  


Barbecue Beef Bundles are stuffed with smoky gouda and carmelized onions.


For Barbecued Beef

 1 5-pound beef roast (I used choice angus blade roast)

 2 tbsp. olive oil

 ½ cup brown sugar

 2 cloves garlic, minced

 1 tbsp. Worchestershire sauce

 1 cup orange juice

 3 cups ketchup

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a Dutch oven or other large heavy pot over medium high heat, heat olive oil and brown roast on all sides.

Combine brown sugar, garlic, Worchestershire sauce, orange juice and ketchup, stirring to combine.

Pour sauce over roast and roast in preheated oven for 3 to 3½ hours or until fork-tender.

Remove roast from oven and break meat apart with a spoon, stirring to combine meat and sauce.

Let cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble sandwich­es.  


 ¼ cup butter

 ¼ cup olive oil

 6 Vidalia (sweet) onions, peeled and sliced in thin rings

In a Dutch oven or other large heavy pot, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat.

Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened.

Increase heat to medium high and caramelize onions, stirring frequently to prevent over-brown­ing.

Let cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble sandwich­es.

To assemble sandwiches: Ingredients: Barbecued beef Caramelized onions Smoked Gouda cheese, 36 slices, cut to fit rolls 36 potato rolls, from grocery store bakery Directions: Slice potato rolls in half horizontally with serrated bread knife, making sandwich tops and bottoms.

Top sandwich bottoms with barbecued beef, cheese slice and caramelized onions.

Individually wrap sandwiches in foil. (Sam’s Club carries pre­cut foil sheets which save time.) Refrigerate Barbecued Beef Bundles until ready to serve or keep cool in a cooler.

Re-warm bundles on barbecue over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until beef is hot and cheese is melted.

Makes 36 small sandwiches

Great Falls resident Lani Witt enjoys a barbecued beef sandwich at a recent UM tail­gate


Guest writer

Check out my tailgating article and recipe
in the Great Falls Tribune FLAVOR page Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Is it the game or the grub tailgaters go for?


— Sydne George

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