Bradley Wins 2009 Beef Cook-off

The allure of $1500 in cash and prizes brought out eleven cooks from around the state for the 2009 Arkansas Beef Cook-off, held at the Family and Consumer Science kitchen facilities at Conway High School East Campus on October 31.

The annual cook-off is sponsored by the Arkansas CattleWomen Association and the Arkansas Beef Council.

The judges had a hard time deciding on the original dishes which were required to include beef ranging from steaks to ground beef.  This year’s theme needed to reflect the Sonoma-style way of life, using few ingredients yet be incredibly delicious. Suggested ingredients to compliment the beef and add color, texture and flavor may include but are not limited to fresh aromatic herbs and spices, fresh vegetables, beans, whole grains, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts or peanuts, full-flavored seasoning agents such as chili peppers or hot sauces, capers, olives, bell peppers, roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes or dried mushrooms and sparing amounts of strongly-flavored cheeses. The recipe needed to include no more than 10 ingredients (excluding water, plain salt, ground black pepper, vegetable oil or cooking spray.) and be prepared and cooked in 45 minutes or less (not including marinating time).

Cook-off veteran, Sandra Bradley, of North Little Rock came away with the top prize of $750 along with other great prizes.  The winning recipe, Sonoma Ribeyes, wowed the judges along with the bystanders.  Sandra’s award-winning recipe follows:

Sonoma Ribeyes
Sandra Bradley, North Little Rock

4 (6-8 oz.) ribeyes, well trimmed
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided use
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/4-teaspoons kosher salt, divided use
1/2-cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
1/3 cup Blackberry preserves without seeds
3 tablespoons Worchester sauce

Place steaks in large plastic Ziploc bag.   Mix 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, black pepper, and 1-teaspoon salt.   Pour over steaks and marinate for a minimum of one hour in refrigerator.

While steaks are marinating, heat oven to 350 degrees.   Place walnuts on cookie sheet and sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt and brown sugar over walnuts cook for 3-4 minutes until nuts are lightly toasted.   Remove from oven and cool.

Remove steaks from marinade and drain well, discard marinade.   Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large heavy skillet over med high heat.   Add steaks, cook for 5-6 minutes on each side or until desired doneness is obtained.   Remove from skillet and keep warm.

To same skillet with pan drippings, add onions and cook until tender crisp over a medium heat.   Remove onions and keep warm.   Add preserves and Worchester sauce to skillet over medium heat stirring continuously, cook until sauce is hot and pan is deglazed.

Place Sonoma Ribeyes on serving platter, place onions along side steaks, drizzle some of blackberry sauce over steaks.   Sprinkle seasoned nuts over the top.   Serve warm.   Makes four servings.

Elizabeth Ferguson of Pine Bluff took second place with her Ground Chuck Filet Mignon.  She won $500 and other great prizes.

The third place prize and $250 went to cook-off veteran Linda Blake of Little Rock with her  Skillet Steak and Vegetables.

Finally, rounding out the competition were Glenda Page, Bill Blake, Rebecca Boudra, Jerion Pillow, Terry Sue Satkowski, Beth Wallace, Flora Whitfield and Jessica Whitfield.

The Arkansas Beef Cook-off is sponsored by the Arkansas CattleWomen Association and funded by the Arkansas Beef Council.  For more information on the state beef cook-off and recipes from all the entries, call (501) 228-1222.  For more great beef recipes visit and for 2009’s National Beef Cookoff winning recipes