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National Beef Cook-Off

National Beef Cook-Off Comes to Fort Worth

by Steve Labinski

Does your family rave about your roasts, line up for your stir-frys, and eagerly await all your beef dishes? If so, perhaps you have given thought to entering a cook-off? The National Beef Cook-Off is everyone's big chance to gain fame and fortune, as well as kudos for their most special beef recipes. Held this year during September 26-27 in Fort Worth, twenty finalists will compete for more than $100,000 in cash prizes. The grand prize is $50,000.

Some folks just love a cook-off. Texas features many popular cook-offs, like the numerous competitions at the Texas State Fair, or the multitude of barbecue and chili cook-offs. More than a state-wide event, however, The National Beef Cook-Off is the nation's premiere beef cooking contest. It is sponsored by America's Beef Producers and the National Cattleman's Beef Association. This year is the cook-off's twenty-fifth anniversary which, according to its sponsors, comes "when beef is becoming ever more popular in American appetites."

Under contest rules, amateur chefs must submit their recipes by March 31. To enter, recipes can be submitted online via the official website, by email, or my postal mail. The twenty finalists will be contacted by July 16, 2003. Only amateur chefs are eligible to participate - no professional chefs, food writers or caterers.

Popular Texas chef and author Grady Spears (A Cowboy In The Kitchen, Cowboy Cocktails) will lend his experience in discovering the best-tasting beef recipes. Spears observes that "Over the years, the winning recipes have reflected America's changing tastes - illustrating the growing popularity of international flavors, convenience cooking methods and always reinforcing the deliciously gratifying experience of eating beef!"

The National Beef Cook-Off seeks to inspire peoples' enjoyment of the best beef has to offer, like fresh beef, including chuck and round cuts of beef, and convenient refrigerated or frozen, fully-cooked beef products. The contest judges are "looking for taste, ease of preparation and appearance."

The categories in this year's contest are One Dish Meals, Grilled Beef, Handheld Kid Pleasers and Quick & Easy Beef. Each category matches up cuts of beef with the best cooking method.

One Dish Meals, for example, encourages the use of stovetop skillet cooking using boneless beef chuck eye steak, beef chuck top blade steak or beef top round steak.

2001 National Beef Cook-Off© "Best of Beef" Grand Prize Winner
Priscilla Yee

Cumin-Crusted Beef Steaks With Orange-Olive Relish

Total preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
  • 4 boneless beef chuck eye or chuck top blade steaks, cut ¾ inch thick (about 1-½ pounds)
  • 2 to 3 medium oranges
  • 1-½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) roasted red peppers, diced
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • Orange slices and Kalamata olives
1. Grate 2 teaspoons orange peel from oranges; reserve oranges. Combine orange peel, cumin and salt in small bowl; remove and reserve 2 teaspoons seasoning for relish.
2. Heat ridged grill pan or large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add pepper to remaining seasoning; press evenly onto beef steaks. Place steaks in grill pan; cook chuck eye steaks 9 to 11 minutes (top blade steaks 10 to 12 minutes) for medium rare to medium doneness, turning once.
3. Meanwhile peel and dice enough reserved oranges to measure 1-½ cups. Combine diced oranges, red peppers, olives, onion and reserved 2 teaspoons seasoning in medium bowl; mix well. Serve steaks with relish. Garnish with orange slices and olives. Makes 4 servings.


How to Enter

Contestants can enter their original beef recipes in the National Beef Cook-Off through the official Web site - www.beefcookoff.org using the online entry form, or send by e-mail to entries@beefcookoff.org or through U.S. mail to: National Beef Cook-Off Entries, ANCW, PO Box 3881, Englewood, CO 80155. Entries must either be e-mailed or postmarked by March 31, 2003.

More Articles on Cook-Offs:
Recipes must fall under one of the following four categories:

One Dish Meals

  • Includes beef main dishes using one cooking method such as stove-top skillet cooking (pan-broiling, sautéing, stir-frying), or a stove-top undercover cooking method (braising, stewing) as well as beef main dishes using an oven cooking method (broiling, roasting, braising or stewing). Recipe must include 8 ingredients or less, including beef and garnish (salt, regular ground black pepper, cooking spray and water not included). All ingredients other than beef must be nationally available and not brand specific. Recipe preparation and cook time must be 45 minutes or less (oven roasting and oven or stove top braising or stewing cooking methods may exceed 45 minutes cooking time).
  • Use boneless beef chuck eye steak, beef chuck top blade steak, beef top round steak, beef eye round steak, boneless beef round tip steak, beef cubed steak, beef top blade strips, ground beef chuck or ground beef round. For best results use Choice grade beef.
Grilled Beef

  • Includes beef grilled main dishes. Recipe must include 8 ingredients or less, including beef and garnish (salt, regular ground black pepper, cooking spray and water not included). All ingredients other than beef must be nationally available and not brand specific. Recipe preparation and cook time must be 45 minutes or less (marinating time not included).
  • Use boneless beef chuck eye steak, beef shoulder center steak, beef shoulder top blade (flat iron) steak, beef round tip center steak, beef round tip side steak, ground beef chuck, ground beef round or cuts requiring marinating such as boneless beef chuck shoulder steak, beef eye round steak, beef bottom round (Western griller) steak or beef top round steak. For best results use Choice grade beef.
  • For food safety reasons, ground beef patties must be cooked to medium (160°F) doneness or until centers are no longer pink and juices show no pink color.
Handheld Kid Pleasers

  • Includes kid pleasing creative beef wrapped sandwiches, beef handheld meals and beef taco or burger variations. Mom or dad must prepare recipe, including 8 ingredients or less, including beef, and garnish (salt, regular ground black pepper, cooking spray and water not included). All ingredients other than beef must be nationally available and not brand specific. Recipe preparation and cook time must be 45 minutes or less.
  • Use either a brand name, nationally available, fully-cooked beef product from the refrigerated meat case or freezer case, or any of the above mentioned fresh beef cuts from the chuck or round.
  • For food safety reasons, ground beef patties must be cooked to medium (160°F) doneness or until centers are no longer pink and juices show no pink color. Ground beef crumbles must be cooked until no pink remains and juices show no pink color.
Quick & Easy Beef

  • Includes quick & easy beef main dishes. Recipe must include 8 ingredients or less, including beef, and garnish (salt, regular ground black pepper, cooking spray and water not included). All ingredients other than beef must be nationally available and not brand specific. Recipe preparation and cook time must be 30 minutes or less.
  • Use any of the following Beef Industry's Mark of Quality approved branded beef products in the preparation of the recipe: Harris Ranch Beef Tips with Gravy, Harris Ranch Roast Beef Au Jus, Hormel Beef Tips with Gravy, Hormel Roast Beef Au Jus, John Morrell Beef Pot Roast with Gravy, King's Command Foods Just-A-Minute Fully Cooked Seasoned Ground Beef, KC Masterpiece Original Barbecue Sauce with Seasoned Shredded Beef, Lloyd's Barbecue Company BBQ Sauce with Sliced Beef, Mosey's Time for Dinner Corned Beef with Juices, Mosey's Time for Dinner Beef Pot Roast with Gravy, Mosey's Time for Dinner Beef with BBQ Sauce, Mosey's Time for Dinner Mesquite Seasoned Beef Brisket, Old El Paso Taco Sauce with Seasoned Ground Beef, Red Oak Farms Beef Pot Roast, Red Oak Farms Beef Brisket Barbecue, RMH Foods Beef Pot Roast with Gravy.

For a complete listing of the Cook-Off rules, please visit www.beefcookoff.org or call 1-800-848-9088.

Prizes

Twenty National Beef Cook-Off finalists will be notified by July 16. The finalists will be flown to Fort Worth, Texas, to compete in the Cook-Off competition on Sept. 26 and 27, with the opportunity to win the $50,000 Grand Prize "Best of Beef" award. Eight other cash prizes also will be awarded bringing the amount of total prizes to $110,000.

The National Beef Cook-Off© is a biennial contest sponsored by America's Beef Producers, through their $1-per-head checkoff, in partnership with Albertsons. This program is managed by the American National CattleWomen, Inc. in cooperation with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association on behalf of the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board and State Beef Councils.

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