Angus juniors share the story of the Certified Angus Beef® brand during cooking contest.

NJAS CAB cook-off

Michigan juniors won third place in the intermediate other beef division at the All-American Certified Angus Beef® (CAB) Cook-Off at the 2017 National Junior Angus Show (NJAS), July 9-15 in Des Moines, Iowa. Pictured from left are Kavina Johnson, Quincy; Thea Zellmer and Paige Zellmer, both of Nashville; and Jayce Brown, Pinckney. They prepared “Motor City Dogs.” The American Angus Auxiliary sponsored the event. Photo by Pearls Pics, on behalf of the American Angus Association.

Thirty-seven teams of Angus juniors recently competed in the 34th All-American Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) Cook-Off July 11 in Des Moines, Iowa. The contest, sponsored by the American Angus Auxiliary and Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB), is one of the most popular events at the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS).

During the NJAS, sports figures, movie and television stars and pop culture characters were seen milling around the exhibition hall. Characters from Beauty and the Beast and The Wizard of Oz mingled with football players, cowboys, Charlie Brown and friends, and game show contestants.

Participants prepare a CAB recipe, and write and perform a skit that promotes the product in an educational and entertaining way to the judges, the audience at the Cook-Off and, ultimately, to consumers. Teams may consist of two to six juniors, and are divided by age and type of beef used in the recipe: steak, roast or other beef.

“Year after year, we are always impressed by our Angus youth participating in the Cook-Off,” says Anne Lampe, co-chair of the competition. “The Angus breed and the CAB brand are fortunate to have such a strong future in the National Junior Angus Association members.”

As teams vie to present the best recipe and most informative and entertaining skit, they test their beef industry and CAB knowledge outside of the showring. Teams use the 10 quality standards and other research and historical facts about CAB in their skits to showcase the brand to consumers.

Reagan Skow, Palisade, Neb., portrayed the hungry lion in her senior team’s steak division skit. Her team prepared The Great Steak of Oz for the judges.

“Our skit is about The Wizard of Oz, except it has a twist on it with the Certified Angus Beef brand,” Skow explains.

In each age division — junior, ages 8-13; intermediate, ages 14-17; and senior, ages 18-21 — and beef category, teams are judged on their recipes and showmanship. Recipes are evaluated on taste and ease of preparation, while the showmanship criteria are presentation, costumes and creativity. Winners in each evaluation type, as well as an overall winner, are chosen.

“My family has always been involved with showing cattle and the showring and whatnot,” Skow says, “but it’s stuff like that makes the National Junior Angus Show really memorable, because not everybody can excel in the showring, but everyone can excel in something else with the National Junior Angus Association. ”

The Black Kettle Award

Established in memory of Paul St. Blanc, a long-time friend and supporter of the Cook-Off, the Black Kettle Award is the highest prize a team can earn in the Cook-Off. It is presented to the highest placing team across all age and beef divisions.

This year, the North Carolina intermediate team entered in the roast category took home the Black Kettle Award. Winning team members include Taylor Glover, Pikeville; Marcie Harward and Mattie Harward, both of Richfield; Cara Smith and Thomas Smith, both of Pleasant Garden; and Justin Wood, Willow Spring.

Black Kettle Award Winner
Team members: Taylor Glover, Marcie Harward, Mattie Harward, Cara Smith, Thomas Smith and Justin Wood.

Family-style French Dip
3-lb. CAB® coulottte roast
French-style rolls
provolone cheese
1 Tbs. olive oil

Ingredients for slow cooker:
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 cup Coca-Cola® (not diet)
2 10-oz. cans beef broth
1/4 cup dry minced onions
1 Tbs. beef bouillon
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf

1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in skillet. Sear roast on all sides until browned.
2. While meat is browning, add all slow-cooker ingredients to slow cooker.
3. Cook on low for 4 hours.
4. Remove roast from flow cooker and transfer to cutting board. Thinly slice roast against the grain. Return sliced meat to slow cooker and continue cooking 1-2 hours.
5. When ready to serve, remove meat from slow cooker and cover with aluminum foil. Strain fat from broth.
6. Split rolls and place on baking tray. Top each half with meat, followed by a slice of cheese.
7. Bake at 350° F for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. Serve with reserved au jus for dipping.

The 2017 NJAS in Des Moines, Iowa, was a record breaker for the Angus breed. More than 1,260 head of Angus cattle were shown — the largest number since the last record was set 10 years ago.

Visit for complete show results and news from the event.

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