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Written by: Nick Houser
Date: November 1, 2019

Football tailgate food.

Photo: Austin Kirk / Flickr Creative Commons

Football season is in full swing in Columbus and throughout Ohio. Before you enter the stadium, WOSU Chefs in the City food blogger Steve Stover has some recipes to guarantee your tailgate party is victorious.

Beef Brisket

  • 2 1/2 – 5 lb beef brisket
  • 3 tablespoons – Liquid Smoke or Wright’s Natural Hickory Seasoning, or to taste.
  • 4 tablespoons – chili powder, or to taste

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

Pat the brisket lightly with a paper towel. Rub generously with Liquid Smoke. Then sprinkle and rub with a generous portion of chili powder.

Oven “Smoked” Method: Wrap and tightly seal brisket in heavy-duty foil. Wrap again in heavy-duty foil and seal tightly. Place on a jellyroll pan or cookie sheet with sides. Optional: For evener cooking, place a rack under the meat. Cook the meat for 5-6 hours until brisket is thoroughly cooked and tender, but not falling apart.

Smoker Method: Prepare smoker as follows:

  1. 3/4 pan of water, including beer
  2. 3/4 pan of charcoal
  3. Hickory or other wood chunks or chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes or until saturated, and then drained.
  4. Spray grill with shortening or use a vegetable oil on grid to keep meat from sticking.
  5. Replenish liquid and coals as necessary.

Start coals. Place water/beer mixture above. Place meat on rack. Add moistened wood chunks or chips to coals. Close the smoker. Smoke brisket for approximately 12-14 hours. Internal temperature should exceed 190o and meat should be tender.

NOTE: To use a kettle grill, place a small aluminum pan in the center of the grill bottom to use for liquid. Surround the pan with coals. Add moistened wood chunks or chips. It may be necessary to open the vents enough to keep the fire going.

To Serve

  • Allow the meat to slowly cool to room temperature.
  • Slice the brisket into 1/4 inch slices.
  • Degrease and save the juices.
  • Serve with bread or buns, juices, and your choice of barbecue sauce.

Serves 8 or more.

Recipe by Steve Stover, with thanks to Jim Budros

Virginia Stover’s Blueberry Buckle


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour, reserving 2 tablespoons for the blueberries
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed, drained, and dried well

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour (minus the reserved 2 tablespoons), baking powder, and salt.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar. Beat in the egg and the vanilla and mix well. Add half of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, then the milk, then the remaining flour mixture. Mix well after each addition.

Toss the dried blueberries in the reserved 2 tablespoons flour.
Gently fold the blueberries into the batter. Pour the batter into the baking pan.


  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled

Mix together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the mixture until crumbly. Scatter the topping evenly over the batter.

Bake the buckle for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Option: Add a layer of peeled, thinly sliced peaches over the batter, then top with the topping and bake as directed.

Serves 8

Recipe by Virginia Stover

Apple Cobbler

  • 5 cups apples, peeled, cored, sliced in 3/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups whole or coarsely chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 13×9-inch baking pan or oval baking dish.

Apple mixture

  • Arrange the apples in the bottom of the baking pan or dish.
  • Combine the brown sugar, almond extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Sprinkle over the apples.
  • Add the optional nuts.


  • Mix flour, salt, 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar, and baking powder in bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add cream and mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
  • Roll out dough into a rectangle, large enough to cover the cobbler. OR make 1 1/2 – 2 inch diameter and ½ inch thick patties and arrange them over the top of the apples. Sprinkle the top with up to 2 tablespoon sugar.
  • Bake until topping is brown and the juices bubble around it, about 35 – 40 minutes.

To serve
Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, heavy cream, or creme fraiche.

Note: This cobbler is wonderful using blueberries, peaches, or peaches and blueberries instead of the apples. For optional fruit, whisk together 3 tablespoon lemon juice, 3 tablespoon cornstarch until blended. Add the berries and sugar, tossing gently to combine. Pour into pan and follow baking instructions.

Serves 8
Recipe by Mary and Steve Stover

Elizabeth Stover’s Killer Brownies


  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 13 x 9 pan with heavy-duty foil and grease foil with butter.

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a saucepan over very low heat, stirring until smooth. Stir in sugar until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla. Then mix in flour and optional nuts. Spread in baking pan.

Bake, until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Caramel topping

  • 3/4 cup caramel sauce (Mrs. Richardson’s)
  • 1 cup toasted pecan halves
  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter


  1. When the brownies have cooled, evenly spread the caramel topping over the brownies.
  2. Cover caramel with pecans.
  3. Melt the chocolate chips and butter in a heavy saucepan, or in the microwave on half power. Stir to blend. Drizzle over pecans.
  4. Cool until toppings are firm then remove brownies from pan.
  5. Peel off the foil.
  6. Cut into squares or bars.

    Recipe by Elizabeth Stover