It’s one of our favorite times of year. The air gets crisp, leaves turn colors and football fans from all corners of the country to rejoice in team spirit! We decided to turn tailgating on its head and help you go all out – from snacks and sides to main entrées, cocktails and desserts; we’re giving you the lowdown all month long!
We’ll also be sharing some of the most outrageous tailgating set-ups from around the country, so make sure you’re tracking The Roundup.
For this post, we’re trying out a new trend in tailgating – street-style snacks. Stemming from the food truck craze, street-style food is predicted to make its way onto the tailgate scene this season.
Tacos Al Cowboy Pastor
Makes 12-15 servings
• 7 ounces achiote marinade (available at Mexican specialty markets)
• 1 can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (reserve 8 tablespoons liquid from can)
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 3 garlic cloves, rough chopped
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 1 pineapple, sliced into quarter inch rounds
• 3 pounds thinly sliced pork shoulder
• Package tortillas
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 medium red onions, sliced into quarter inch rounds
• 3 cups pico de gallo or salsa verde, for topping
• 1 cup chopped cilantro, for topping
• Sour cream, for topping
• 3 to 4 limes sliced into wedges, for garnish
• In a blender, combine the achiote, 1/2 cup oil, water, 6 chipotle chilies and the 8 tablespoons of reserved adobo sauce and blend until smooth.
• Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano and 2 teaspoons salt to blender. Blend until well combined.
• Chop half of the pineapple into medium sized chunks and add to blender. Blend by pulsing until pineapple is just broken up and combined, but not liquefied.
• Coat both sides of pork slices with the marinade
• Transfer the meat to an airtight container and refrigerate for 1 hour
• Set your grill up with two temperature zones by piling charcoal on one side of your grill, leaving the other side open. The side with the charcoal will be used for direct grilling (directly over hot coals) and the other side for indirect grilling (away from hot coals).
• Brush the onion slices with vegetable oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
• Grill onions over direct heat until grill marks appear and onions brown (about 2 minutes each side)
• Transfer the onions to the cooler, indirect grilling side to finish cooking.
• Follow the same process for the pineapple slices. Brush with oil. First grill over direct heat until grill marks appear. Move to cooler, indirect grilling side to finish cooking.
• Depending on the thickness of your sliced pork shoulder. If your slices are thick, you may want to start your pork out on the direct heat side of the grill before finishing them over indirect heat. If your slices are thin, you can opt to cook them over indirect heat since they could quickly burn over direct heat.
• Once pork is finished cooking, transfer it along with the onions and pineapple to a cutting board and chop into small pieces. Season with salt.
• Transfer to large serving platter.
• Set up pork, onions, pineapple, sour cream, salsa, cilantro, lime wedges and tortillas for a build-your-own-taco bar.
Cowboy’s Steamed BBQ Pork Buns
*It is best to prep this recipe the night before the game and bring the uncooked, filled buns to finish at the tailgate.
• 2 tablespoons Char Siu sauce
• 1 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
• 1 1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
• 3 teaspoons oyster sauce
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 8 ounces pork belly
• 1 root ginger chopped and soaked with 1 tablespoon of warm water to make ginger water
• 2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
• 2 teaspoons sesame oil
• 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
• 2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
• 3/4 cup warm water
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• In a large bowl, mix all marinade ingredients together
• Add pork to the marinade bowl and coat thoroughly
• Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours
Waiting meat is marinating, prepare your dough.
We will be making our dough using a 2 step process. We will first make the sponge and then it will be added to the remaining dough ingredients.
• To create your sponge, combine yeast, 1 teaspoon of the sugar, 1/4 cup of the flour and 1/4 cup of the warm water. Let stand for 30 minutes.
• To your sponge, add in vegetable oil, salt and remaining warm water, flour and sugar.
• Knead until dough surface is smooth and elastic.
• Roll over in a greased bowl, and let stand until triple in size or about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
• Punch down dough, and spread out on a floured board.
• Sprinkle baking powder evenly on surface, and knead for 5 minutes.
• Divide dough in half, creating 2 halves.
• Divide each half into 12 parts (approximately 24 total). Shape each part into a ball with smooth surface up. Put each ball on a wax paper square. Let stand covered until doubled in size, approximately 30 minutes.
Pork Belly Directions:
• Prepare fire with Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal and brush grill grate with oil
• Add the pork to the grill and cook for about 30 minutes until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
• Remove pork from grill and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes
• Cut the roasted pork belly into small cubes and mix with the filling ingredients. Set aside.
• Take a dough ball, press down the center and place one scoop of the filling in the middle; seal the dough completely by pinching the top together.
• Brush the bottom of bun with oil and place in steamer. Use wax paper squares to prevent sticking. If you do not have a steamer, you can improvise using the double-broiler technique and a metal colander.
• On a stove top or over a hot grill fire, place metal colander inside pan. Fill with water to a level just below the metal colander and heat water to boiling.
• Allow water to create steam and steam buns for 15-20 minutes
• Once done, remove from heat and let buns sit for 5 minutes before serving.
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