You may have heard about the recent trend this past summer of preparing queso on the grill, or in the smoker. I can’t think of anything I’d like better for tailgating, or autumn barbecues than a bubbling tray of ooey-gooey cheesy dip.
Tailgating may be a little obscure this year but who’s to say we can’t enjoy a little “home-gating,” if not well-spaced actual tailgating?
I couldn’t wait to try my own version of smoked queso, but my mind went to planning all kinds of good things to serve with it. This led me to think about steak tips and fondue.
The fondue can be prepared the same way the queso is made. A disposable, aluminum pan works great for the grill or smoker.
We prepared the beef tips in a grill pan, but an aluminum pan with wholes punched in the bottom will also work well. Or even skewers would be good method for grilling or smoking the beef tips.
Serve fresh veggies with the fondue, or cubes of potatoes and bread. Enjoy food made fresh, and enjoy the big games!
Tailgate Beef Tips and Fondue
2 pounds good sirloin, cut into bite-size pieces
2-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
1 tablespoon packed sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons butter, melted
10 ounces asadero cheese, cut into small chunks
4 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
4 ounces Neuchatel cheese, or cream cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Place cubes of steak in a shallow dish. Add ginger, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and balsamic glaze. Stir to combine. Add brown sugar, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Drizzle with melted butter and stir to coat. Let marinate for a minimum of 1 hour, covered. Or place in refrigerator overnight.
Set up the grill, or smoker, to your liking. We used a small tailgating charcoal grill and added a few pieces of lump charcoal for extra smokiness.
Place asadero, Monterrey Jack, and cream cheeses in a disposable aluminum pan. Top with garlic powder, onion powder, and white pepper.
Spoon marinated beef into a grill pan. Depending on the size of the pan, work in batches. Place grill pan and aluminum pan with the cheese mixture onto the grill. Keep over medium heat. Let beef sear before tossing. Turn beef tips several times until reaching the desired doneness.
Cheese mixture will begin bubbling. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking/melting. Once it is fully melting and of good dipping consistency, add Worcestershire sauce and Dijon and whisk to fully incorporate. Place the pan on a cooler part of the grill for serving. Or pour fondue into a fondue maker to keep warm. Or pour into a microwavable dish and reheat in microwave if fondue thickens before serving.
Dip beef tips, and other items such as fresh veggies, cubes of bread, or potatoes into the smokey fondue. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
ANGELINA LARUE is a food writer, recipe developer and author of “The Whole Enchilada Fresh and Nutritious Southwestern Cuisine.”