Beringer Great Steak Challenge 2
There’s something magical about Napa Valley. The sunlight, the warm California air, the wine…
This other-worldly destination is home to Beringer Vineyards, where they celebrate the perfect marriage of food and wine every year during their annual “Great Steak Challenge.” A $25,000 recipe contest and television special on the Cooking Channel.
I was honored to cover the second annual Beringer Great Steak Challenge. If you remember last year, our friend Lisa Keys took home the top prize in their first contest! (Click here to read the 2011 story.)
Have these photos convinced you yet? You simply must enter this recipe contest! Not only will you have a chance to compete for the cash prizes, but you and a guest will enjoy a weekend getaway in this legendary vacation destination. The sponsors at Beringer treat the contestants like culinary royalty and you will make memories to last a lifetime.
Click here to enter your best grilled steak and Beringer wine pairing. Entries are due by July 16th!
There were many familiar faces at the 2012 contest. Larry Elder competed and was joined by his wife, Janice. Mary Hawkes was also a finalist and brought along her husband for the events. (You might remember Janice Elder’s grand prize Lemon Blueberry Trifles and Mary’s winning Cranberry Citrus Biscotti from our weekly contests. I am so proud of our accomplished group here at Better Recipes!)
This contest is unique because it is not only a fierce culinary competition, it is also the set of a major television production! While knives are chopping and grills are firing, cameras are rolling to capture every move. Every moment is pure excitement!
Not only that, contestants have these two fine gentlemen watching their every move and interviewing them while cooking! Here is a glimpse of Jamie and Bobby Deen chatting before the big show begins, making sure everything goes smoothly when the cameras roll.
The judges look on with anticipation to taste the contestants mouth-watering dishes. As experts in their field, they critique the recipe, the preparation and, of course, the wine pairing.
The “Beringer Great Steak Challenge” airs throughout the summer on Cooking Channel. You can watch it this weekend, 5/19 at 6:30 PM and 5/20 at 4:30 PM. It will also air 6/7 at 9:30 PM and 1:30 AM, 6/9 at 8:00 AM and 6/10 at 10:30 AM.
Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t watched the show yet, bookmark this page and come back later. Otherwise, get ready to see the outstanding winning recipes and Beringer wine pairings!
The $25,000 grand prize went to Kristin Davis from Easthampton, MA.
Kristin says “My dish, Thai Lemongrass Tenderloin Skewers, is all about balance. A bold spicy sauce follows the rules by combining hot, sweet, salty, and sour. This balance lays the perfect framework for a crisp, fruity, well-balanced wine. The Beringer Founders’ Estate Sauvignon Blanc has the strength of flavor to stand up against the intense sauce, while still accenting the light freshness of the cucumber slaw.”
6 Beef tenderloin steaks (6oz each)
6 lemongrass stalks
Salt and pepper
4-5 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup of fresh ginger
5-6 Red bird’s eye chilies (the really small ones)
1/2 cup soy bean paste
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1/4 cup White vinegar
1/4 cup Dark Sweet soy sauce
1/4 cup Fish sauce
1 English cucumbers
1/4 cup Rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp Sesame Oil
In a food processor, combine sauce ingredients and pulse until coarse puree. Pour into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cook for 30 seconds; remove from heat. Use small individual serving dishes. Generously salt and pepper steaks. Use a knife sharpening steel to pierce a hole in the center of each steak, skewer with lemongrass stalk. Over medium high, sear steaks on all sides until desired doneness.
Slaw: Julienne cucumber into matchstick-like pieces. In a large bowl, toss cucumber with vinegar and sesame oil. Serve atop steak.
2nd place and $7,500 went to Larry Elder from Charlotte, NC.
Larry says, “Tenderloin is my favorite cut of beef as it is big on taste and smooth on texture. I wanted to create a recipe that would be enhanced by my favorite Beringer wine, the Founders’ Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. The first thing that came to mind was chocolate and I suspected cocoa powder might give the beef an earthy flavor. It needed something else to round out the taste so I incorporated horseradish mustard for a little kick and caramel topping for a bit of sweetness. A splash of fresh lime juice adds a fresh acidity and helps bring all the flavors together.”
1/2 cup butterscotch caramel topping
2 tablespoons horseradish (or wasabi) mustard
2 tablespoons lime juice
6 (6-oz. each) tenderloin steaks
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Optional garnish: additional slices of fresh lime
Drizzle: Preheat grill to medium-high. In a small saucepan whisk together caramel topping, mustard and lime juice. Place on grill until warm and well blended.
Rub steaks with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Just before removing from the grill, dust top of each steak very lightly with cocoa. Remove from grill. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then serve with sauce, garnished with lime slices, if desired. Yield: 6 servings.
3rd place and $2,500 went to Mary Hawkes from Prescott, AZ.
Mary says, “My ribeye recipe brings those influences together in a warm salsa cruda that makes a complex addition to the juicy tenderness of the ribeye. The Beringer Founders’ Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a delightful pairing with this steak. The full-flavored steak along with the earthy flavors of the olives, fresh parsley, cheese, lemons, and sweetness of the grill-roasted tomatoes bring out the nuances of the complex flavors of this fruity Cabernet Sauvignon.”
1-1/2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning (unsalted)
1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1-1/2 teaspoons grated fresh garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 (10 to 12-ounce) container marinated bocconcini (bite-size mozzarella), drained, reserving 1 tablespoon marinade; bocconcini quartered
2 well-trimmed boneless beef ribeye steaks, 1-1/4 inches thick (about 1-1/2 pounds each), room temperature
1-1/2 cups small grape tomatoes, assorted colors
1/3 cup halved pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Mix Italian seasoning, rosemary, garlic, salt, zest, pepper and reserved tablespoon of marinade; rub onto steaks. Prepare gas grill for medium-high heat. Place steaks on oiled grill rack; grill, covered, to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest 5 minutes. Place tomatoes in a grill basket; grill 3 to 4 minutes, until starting to soften.
Prepare salsa: mix tomatoes, bocconcini, olives, parsley and juice. Slice steaks diagonally across the grain into 1/2-inch thick slices, divide onto 6 plates; top with salsa. Serves 6.
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