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Tailgating: It’s not a game

As we enter the latter half of the football season, and our favorite NFL and College Football teams are kicking into high gear to prepare for the playoffs, it’s time to take your tailgate to the next level. Being a southerner, tailgating isn’t just a party, or a fun event, it’s a way of life.

In the south, we have places that take tailgating to the next level, but no matter where you are, you can make your tailgate something to remember with some very simple steps:

First, make sure you are cognizant of the weather. If it’s going to be cold out, make something that will keep your guests warm. Chili is great and I’ve known guys that’ll even roast a whole hog.

Second, you don’t have to sacrifice taste on the altar of simplicity. There are some simple things you can do that will make your guests have a tailgating experience that they’ll never forget. For instance, since we are coming up on the cold months (and more than likely another polar vortex), nothing would be better at a tailgate than a Burgoo.

Don’t know what a burgoo is? Don’t worry, you don’t have to know the history in order to make it, but if anyone asks, a burgoo is a spicy stew, traditionally made with whatever meats and vegetables were available. I’ve added my favorite burgoo recipe below. It’s a sure-fire hit. Emphasis on fire.

Third, don’t forget your side items. If I were doing a tailgate, I’d do a grilled wheel of brie. It’s simple to do: you only need a grill and a good wheel of cheese (with a thick rind and a soft center). Prepare an indirect fire (a medium-hot fire on one side and no fire on the other), and heat the wheel until it is warm on both sides and then serve immediately. Trust me, people will love it. You can even kick it up to the next level with some peppered jelly. After you’re done with the cheese, throw some crostini on the grill for any bread lovers in attendance.

So get out there and let your mind think past hot dogs and brats and you’ll quickly become the most popular tailgate in the parking lot. Believe me, a good tailgate will not only help your guests forget about the weather, but if your team isn’t doing so well, it’ll help your guests forget about that too.



Yield-20 servings


•2 lbs. beef

•1/2 lb. lamb (baby lamb or mutton)

•1 medium-sized chicken

•2 C diced potatoes

•Red pepper to taste (1 small pod, or more to taste)

•3 C corn cut from the cob (young field corn is best)

•Salt and black pepper to taste

•2 cloves of garlic

•2 C diced onions

•1 C fresh green beans cut in 1 inch pieces

•3 carrots, diced

•2 green peppers, diced, seeds removed

•2 C okra, diced or cut in rings

•1 gallon Brown Beef stock

•12 tomatoes or 1 qt. can


  1. Put the onions, garlic, beef, lamb, and cut chicken in pot with stock, salt, black and red pepper.
  2. Let this come to a hard boil, reduce the heat, and simmer about 1 hour with the lid on.
  3. Add potatoes , green beans, carrots, green peppers and corn and simmer for 2 hours
  4. Stir occasionally
  5. Add water if necessary, to thin burgoo
  6. Add okra and tomatoes and let simmer another 1 hour
  7. Serve immediately or let sit overnight refrigerated.


This recipe is perfect for any leftover BBQ (chicken, pork, beef or mutton).  If using cooked meat then bring to a boil and move to step 3

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