This grill-gating Dr Pepper® Beef Taco recipe has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GrillGatingHero #GrillGating
I am SO stoked — college football season is here, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to gather around with family and friends for some good old fashioned grill-gating. Nothing makes game day better than delicious food with the ones you love while enjoying cheering for your favorite team (I know I’ll be donning crimson and pioneer blue for my alma mater this fall!) But the REAL star of game day isn’t on the field, it’s on the grill, and I’ve got a great recipe for Dr Pepper marinated beef that works perfectly for tacos, tapas, and even sandwiches!
When it comes to game day, I make sure to run to Walmart to stock up on all of the essentials. I love Dr Pepper for marinating my beef and for enjoying cold. Glad® Press’n Seal is perfect for making sure my marinade stays in place and for wrapping up post-tailgate leftovers. Kingsford® Charcoal is the only thing I use for grilling. RITZ crackers are great with toppings for appetizers. And is it really a game day beef taco without some Hidden Valley® Ranch? Luckily, Walmart has everything I need, including my other ingredients like fresh tomatoes and lettuce, a roast, and shredded cheese.
Now, just like you can’t play football without ever going over the playbook or practicing in advance, you can’t wait until the last minute for your game day party. You’re going to want to start marinating your beef the night before. For this part, you’re going to need two cans of Dr Pepper. One can is for the beef and the other can is for you, because you deserve it.
Place your beef in a bowl. I typically use a chuck roast or arm roast for this, but you can also use a brisket if you’d like. Cut up an onion and place it under and on top of the beef. Add cinnamon sticks (2 is plenty for a roast) and bay leaves (I use around 4-5 depending on the size of my roast). Finish with some garlic.
Next, pour on a can of Dr Pepper. This is going to give your beef a huge flavor boost and help it stay nice and tender, too!
I love to use Glad Press’n Seal to keep my marinade safe in the fridge overnight. Simply wrap it over the bowl, press tightly to seal, and you’re all set, even if one of your family members fumbles the bowl while digging for a midnight snack before game day.
When you’re ready to cook the next day, simply remove your beef from the marinade and discard the marinade mixture.
Heat up your grill with Kingsford® Charcoal. It’s my gameday MVP for grill-gating! Once your grill is heated to a low temp, place your beef on the grill. I like to cook mine low and slow for two or three hours, depending on the thickness of the cut of beef I’m using, turning about every half hour or so to keep things cooking nice and evenly.
While the beef is cooking outside, it’s time to go inside and make some glaze. The glaze that you’ll want to use consists of the same basic ingredients you used for the marinade. In a pot, place a chopped onion, a few bay leaves, a couple of cinnamon sticks, some garlic, and of course, a can of Dr Pepper. I also add a little bit of sriracha for kick. Bring this to a boil very slowly, stirring occasionally.
To really amp up the flavor, add a couple of tablespoons of Hidden Valley Ranch as well!
It’s creamy and has a great blend of seasonings for the glaze. Whisk until well combined and continue heating until the liquid in the pot has reduced by about half, then strain and discard all but the liquid.
Continue grilling your beef until it reaches your desired level of doneness, at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Near the end of cooking, in the last 5-10 minutes, brush the glaze on generously. This will give you an extra boost of delicious Dr Pepper flavor that tastes amazing on tacos!
Remove the meat from the grill and let it rest before you slice into it.
While the meat rests, go ahead and use your charcoal grill and some grill pans to heat up extra taco toppings– beans, corn, onions, and peppers are all perfect for Beef Tacos, and they heat up great on the grill, too!
To really impress your grill-gating crew, go ahead and heat up tortillas for a few seconds on each side. Your guests will love the grilled flavor and it’ll make the tortillas taste more like homemade tortillas (so no one will ever guess you bought them at the store!)
Once everything is cooked, slice your beef into thin slices or shred it with two forks, then serve with all of the game day toppings and of course, refreshing Dr Pepper!
Give your guests the perfect game day taco bar by giving a variety of shell options, plenty of fresh veggies to top with, and of course, fresh pico de gallo and Hidden Valley® Ranch!
You can’t go wrong with beef tacos for game day — they’re delicious, easy, and packed with plenty of flavor.
My tip is to eat over a napkin, or better yet, another tortilla, so if any of your toppings fall out, you can just have another taco ready to go!
But game day isn’t just about quick-and-easy tacos. Variety is the spice of life, and grill-gating is no exception. For an instant touchdown, I am all about this quick and easy RITZ topper! Simply take one block of softened cream cheese, one chopped green onion, and one tablespoon of Hidden Valley® Ranch. Mix together until well combined, slather on RITZ crackers, and top with a piece of Dr Pepper marinated beef or fresh grilled veggies!
It’s a game day hit, and it’s one of my favorite snacks all season long! Plus it’s ready in minutes, making it perfect for your appetizer tray.
I can’t imagine game day without the power of my grill-gating favorites. But I want to know:
What’s your go-to gameday food?
Let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to keep the grill-gating party with more great tips and tricks here. You can even find a great video there from Emmitt Smith! He’s got some great grilling tips for you. Be sure to check out the hashtag #GrillGatingHero on Instagram and Twitter for more great recipe ideas! Scroll down to get the full printable recipe, too.
More Game Day Recipes
Dr Pepper Marinated Beef
- 1 Can Dr Pepper
- 1 Onion, sliced
- 4-5 Bay Leaves
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Can Dr Pepper
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 4-5 Bay Leaves
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 2 Tbsp Hidden Valley Ranch
- 1 Tbsp Sriracha (or to taste)
- 1 Tbsp Garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Beef Arm or Chuck Roast or Brisket
- Mix ingredients together.
- Place beef in marinade and cover with Glad Press'n Seal.
- Soak overnight or for no more than 24 hours.
- Heat Dr Pepper, spices and herbs over medium heat until boiling, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in Sriracha and Hidden Valley® Ranch and continue heating until liquid is reduced by half.
- Cook beef over Kingsford Charcoal on grill to preferred doneness or at least 160 degrees internally. Glaze in last 10 minutes of cooking and allow to rest after adding additional glaze before slicing.
- For tacos, consider grilling additional toppings like corn, beans, peppers, and onions. Also try grilling tortillas for a few seconds per side to add that homemade flavor.
- For a quick appetizer, mix 1 block softened cream cheese, 2 Tbsp Hidden Valley® Ranch, and 1 chopped green onion. Spread mixture on RITZ crackers and top with beef or grilled vegetables. Serving size: 5 Crackers.