The Certified Angus Beef ® brand Test Kitchen and Culinary Center is amazeballs.  The whole facility was amazing.  Saturday morning we were greeted with mimosas and bloody mary’s – yes please!


What a day last Saturday was!  We got to check out the Meat Lab, had a fabulous lunch (which I will post about tomorrow) and then got do some grilling and have a tailgate competition with all the other bloggers.

So let’s talk about Certified Angus Beef ® brand prime beef.  Chef Michael talked about all these different cuts – from USDA Select, Choice, Certified Angus Beef ® brand and Certified Angus Beef ® brand Prime.  He had the test kitchens cook every cut to the same temperature and only seasoned with salt and pepper and then let us try each  one.

It was fascinating to taste all of these because at a glance, they kind of all look alike, no?  But each one had more and more flavor, and of course the Certified Angus Beef ® brand Prime was the most flavorful. 

See all that fabulous marbeling?  That’s flavor town!

I apologize for all of my vegan and vegetarian followers – even my step-son who used to love beef has been vegetarian for a couple years.

Diana is a meat scientist at Certified Angus Beef ® brand – I never knew that job existed.  She went to U of I in Champaign originally studying veterinarian but ended up as a meat scientist – quite a twist of fate in job careers, no?!

That’s my new friend Julia – she can be found on her blog called A Cedar Spoon.  We each got a big cut of beef to cut down.  That Meat Lab is kept at about 45 degrees – it was chilly!  And it was near 90 degrees outside that day.

I can’t wait to try this at home – that’s a short rib that is frenched so the bone is exposed – I think that would look so cool on a dinner plate!

This is another cut that I am going to try to find at home – it’s called a top sirloin cap.  It has a nice fat cap on it, and when sliced, you can skewer it and grill it up.

How stunning does that look?!  It tasted phenomenal too.  Now you may not see these cuts in the aisles of your meat department at your local grocery store, but the Certified Angus Beef ® brand staff said that you can always ask your butcher for any cut of beef you are looking for.

I knew there was going to be a tailgate cookoff between all the contestants, but I had no idea what to expect.  We got paired into groups of three, we could choose our cut of beef and then much like the show Chopped, we had the use of pantry and fridge to come up with a tailegate bite.

The dream team!!  Myself, Isabelle from Family Foodie and Sunday Supper Movement and Yvonne from Tried and Tasty.

They were both thrilled when they realized they were going to be on my team, but I told them we didn’t stand a chance of winning, so let’s make something simple and have a hard cider and not sweat too much – it was hot out!

I decided to make a cheesy beef crostini – the sourdough bread was brushed with rosemary garlic butter and crisped on the grill.  I used a Santa Maria Rub (I’ll post that recipe later – it’s amazing!) on my tenderloin and cooked that to an internal temperature of 120 before letting it rest.  Then we made a blue cheese bechamel sauce, topped with pickled onions for a pop of color and then crushed potato chips on top.

And guess what – we won!!!  I couldn’t believe it.  We were against professional BBQ people who travel every weekend in the summer to different competitions.  But I think they over thought it – one team was doing a stuffed rolled flank steak, but it didn’t cook in time, but they had to plate – another team spent time making a homemade BBQ sauce – we kept it simple and it worked!  I’ll be doing a post of that recipe later too – it would be perfect as an appetizer at a BBQ.

We then went to Debbie Blythe’s aunt and uncle’s ranch.   We were greeted with the best sweets table – all worth the points and insulin.  If you are near the Wooster, Ohio area, you need to check out Miss Amy’s Bakery – everything was spectacular.

Look at these cookies!!!

Probably the best sugar cookie I’ve ever had 😀

Come back tomorrow when I show you what an amazing lunch we had from the Chef’s at the Culinary Center – it was spectacular!

Happy Wednesday my friends – make it a great day!!

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I was fortunate to have my travel, food, and lodging for this trip paid for by Certified Angus Beef® Brand.