Beef up Your Tailgate Party With Easy Grilling Tips and Recipes From Chef Tom McAliney

Make Your Game Day Cookout the Envy of the Parking Lot

BRAWLEY, Calif. – September 20, 2007 – With football season well underway, and baseball and NASCAR approaching the height of their seasons, sports fans every where are invading stadiums, armed with grills and ready to tailgate. But for some fans, the thought of the same old hotdogs, hamburgers and brats generates little enthusiasm. Tom McAliney, a world-class-chef, has some tips and recipe ideas to make your tailgate party the envy of the parking lot.

According to the American Tailgaters Association (ATA), the first tailgate party occurred in 1869, when students gathered to eat and socialize before the first football game between Rutgers and Princeton. For decades, tailgating has become synonymous with sporting events, and fans across the nation are enjoying this pastime and looking for new ways to enjoy themselves and impress their fellow tailgaters.

“When preparing for a game day tailgate party, it is important to think through your menu the day before the game,” says Chef McAliney. “Selecting high-quality ingredients and foods that are quick and easy to prepare is essential to maximizing flavor and ensuring an enjoyable party. I prefer to use natural products including natural steaks from Brandt Beef, which are tender and extremely flavorful.”

“My carne asada steak sandwich with avocado salad recipe is perfect for tailgating. About 90 percent of this recipe can be prepared in advance – meaning that when game day rolls around, all you’ll have to do is fire up the grill, cook the steaks, and melt the cheese on the bread.”

Carne Asada Steak Sandwich with Avocado Salad (serves six)
For Steaks:
• 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
• 6 tablespoons paprika
• 3 tablespoons ground pepper
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• 3 tablespoons onion powder
• 3 tablespoons garlic powder
• 1 tablespoon ground allspice
• 1 tablespoon ground dried thyme leaves
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 4 pounds Brandt All Natural flat iron steaks
• 2 crusty baguettes about 12 inches in length
• ½ pound cheddar cheese sliced paper thin
For Avocado Salad:
• 3 ripe but firm avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into chucks
• ¼ cup chopped scallions
• 1 large red bell pepper, diced
• 1 red onion, diced
• ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
• 2 tomatoes, seeds squeezed out and chopped
• ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Pre-Game Day Preparation:
• Combine the first nine ingredients and blend together well. Place the mixture in a zip lock bag, add the steaks, and let marinate for six hours.
• Prepare the avocado salad by combining all of the salad ingredients and mixing gently. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
• Slice baguettes lengthwise, and slice cheese.

Game Day Cooking Instructions:
• Prepare the charcoal grill to medium-high heat.
• Place the marinated steaks on the grill.
• Cook the steaks for approximately four minutes per side and use an instant-read thermometer to determine when the steaks are done (135 degrees for medium rare). Place steaks back on the grill to cook more or let them rest with a foil tent over them.
• Place baguettes on the grill with the cut side down. Toast for one minute, then flip and place sliced cheddar cheese on the cut sides. Allow the cheese to melt.
• Slice the Brandt Beef flat iron steaks across the grain, place on the baguette, and top with the avocado salad. Cut each baguette into three portions and serve.

Chef McAliney offers the following quick tips to ensure that your Brandt Beef All Natural flat iron steaks are grilled to perfection:

1. Clean the grilling surface prior to every use and preheat the grill 30 minutes before grilling. Also be sure to have all necessary grilling items including meat, seasonings, an instant read thermometer, tools, etc. ready for use by the grill.
2. To avoid fire flare-ups, trim your steaks, leaving only a thin layer of fat around the perimeter to retain natural juices and flavor.
3. Only add salt, pepper and seasoning after grilling. Salt, pepper and seasonings added before grilling will draw out moisture and inhibit browning.
4. Always use tongs or a spatula to turn your steaks. When steaks are pierced with a fork, flavorful juices can be lost. And remember to turn the steak only once during grilling.
5. The most accurate way to determine the temperature of the steak is to insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally from the side into the center of the steak.
6. Allow three to five minutes of resting time once your steaks have been removed from the grill. This will ensure optimal consistency and flavor are reached prior to serving.

For additional grilling tips and recipes from Chef McAliney, please visit

For grilling safety tips, Chef McAliney recommends visiting the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site at

About Tom McAliney
Tom McAliney is the executive chef for Brandt Beef. He specializes in working with natural and seasonal products. Prior to joining Brandt Beef in 2006, Tom served as executive chef and director of food and beverage for the Greenwich Country Club in Greenwich, Conn. Tom also has extensive experience working as a corporate executive chef for special events and has hosted such events as the Grammy Awards, Olympic fundraisers, the Elton John AIDS Foundation Awards, the Silver Apple Awards, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s Inauguration, Hollywood movie premiers, celebrity weddings and corporate IPOs.

About Brandt Beef
Brandt Beef – The True Natural, is a family owned premium natural beef producer for the up-scale restaurant and retail markets. The Brandt family is passionate about producing the most consistent, highest quality, 100 percent source verified natural beef in the market. Through cattle selection, natural feeding practices and humane treatment of animals, Brandt Beef produces a product that is unparalleled in taste, tenderness and consistency. Recently, Brandt Beef received the Master Chefs’ Institute Seal of Excellence for its achievement in obtaining the Master Chef’s Institute standard of quality. More information is available at