The weather is quickly changing and warm, early summer days are just ahead. And nothing heralds the arrival of the season quite like the Kentucky Derby. This annual spectacle of horse racing marks the unofficial start of the summer celebration season, with crowds gathered near and far to cheer on these magnificent, four-legged athletes. Part of the tradition of the Kentucky Derby is of course bourbon, whether that’s enjoyed in the iconic Mint Julep, or just imbibed on its own — ice optional. Which is why we were inspired to utilize a bourbon-inspired recipe to entertain friends and family alike come race day.
In partnership with Napoleon Grills, we’ve enlisted the help of Blaise Ffrench — Actor, Model, Influencer, and Marketing Manager for BODY ARMOR Sports Drink — to showcase how you can utilize bourbon within a delicious, crowd-pleasing recipe that’s sure to be a winning bet on Derby day. With over 2 million followers on Instagram and a prominent career as an actor under his belt, Blaise is accustomed to having to entertain a crowd on his gorgeous Los Angeles rooftop. To feed his hungry friends on race day, he’s cooking up a meal worthy of a ‘Triple Crown’ —Tri-Tip Steak Sliders with Kentucky Bourbon Brown Sugar Sauce. Served alongside grilled veggie skewers, you’ll be ready to cheer along your favorite horses, and the unofficial start of the summer season, in style.
Thanks to the Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, Blaise was able pull off this feast like a pro as showcased in our video (stay tuned for additional game-day recipe inspiration from Blaise and Napoleon.)
To start this Derby day party, Blaise seared his Tri-Tip on the Napoleon Prestige Pro 665 Sizzle Zone, providing a nice char that locked in the flavor of the roast. Blaise then placed the Tri-Tip on the rotisserie forks and allowed the rear infrared burner to go to work, slowly roasting the meat. In the interim, Blaise heated up the Kentucky Bourbon Marinade (recipe below) on the side burner, glazing the Tri-Tip every 15 minutes to ensure maximum juiciness. Finally, Blaise pulled together his veggie skewers, hitting them with a splash of avocado oil and seasoning, and grilling them over the dependable WAVE™ cooking grids for those distinctive sear marks that only a Napoleon can provide
If you’re looking to elevate your grilling game this summer, look no further than the The Napoleon Prestige Pro 665. With a shining stainless steel body that provides durability against the elements (and chrome details that add a splash of luxury), the Napoleon Prestige Pro 665 is not just durable on the outside; under the lid is the same quality stainless steel used for the cooking grids, tube burners and dual-level sear plates. As a bonus, the LED Spectrum NIGHT LIGHT™ Control Knobs have near limitless color options, making night-time entertaining a breeze, Learn more and find a local retailer at napoleon.com.
Kentucky Bourbon Brown Sugar Sauce
A perfect addition for these tri-tip sliders, also goes great with fish, chicken or just about anything!
1 Cup Bourbon
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Pineapple Juice
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Molasses
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Clove Garlic (finely minced)
Pinch of Black Pepper and Cayenne
Blend ingredients together in blender (or combine by hand). Place mixture in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir occasionally until thick.