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Tradition lives on at annual 4-H Fair meat cook-off

Results from the beef, lamb, pork and ribs cook-off at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.

Posted on July 27, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on July 27, 2013 at 7:40 p.m.

It’s a beef, lamb, pork and ribs cook-off tradition more than two decades old. One that Mary Ann Lienhart-Cross remembers her father, John Lienhart, and a dear friend, Glen Byler, starting under the shade of the trees across the fairgrounds years ago.

This year, the top dishes of beef, pork, lamb and ribs compete under a new name to honor the founders: The Byler Lienhart Cook-Off.

“He liked to cook and share ideas and eat,” Lienhart-Cross said of her father. “He and Glen had a great camaraderie for grilling.”

Seven exhibitors entered dishes in this year’s contest, which is consistent with years past as far as numbers go.

“Years ago, we had a couple more — some exhibitors who kept winning year after year and people kept asking ‘Why do they keep winning?’” Lienhart-Cross said. “So I said, ‘Well, cook a better dish and you might start winning!’”

And win they did.

Three teams of grillers earned first place prizes in this year’s contest, and Kevin Eyer of Elkhart was named overall winner for his first-place cut beef entry, appropriately named “Finger Lickin’ Good Steaks.”

“I’m going to start crying,” Eyer said to Lienhart-Cross as he was presented his award.

“Oh don’t do that — you’ll get me going too,” she replied.

“I didn’t expect to be so emotional,” Eyer said. “The last time I won, my mom was here and she helped. She’s since passed, so it’s cool to do it again.”

Top Dishes:

Ribs

Ÿ First place: Gerald and Brooklyn Straw of Goshen - “Ribs”

Beef - cut

Ÿ First place: Kevin Eyer of Elkhart - “Finger Lickin’ Good Steaks”

Ÿ Second place: The 4 Mo’s of Elkhart - “Grilled Roast Beef with Smoky-Creamy Mushroom Sauce”

Ÿ Third place: Gerald and Brooklyn Straw of Goshen - “Ribeye Steak”

Beef - ground

Ÿ First place: The 4 Mo’s of Elkhart - “Pick Your Pepper!”

Ÿ Second Place: Karen Meade of Goshen - “Mexican Onion Bombs”

Ÿ Third Place: Ryan Meade of Goshen - “Southwest Burgers”

Pork - cut

Ÿ First place: Gerald and Brooklyn Straw of Goshen - “Pork Chops”

Ÿ Second place: Ryan Meade of Goshen - “Italian Pork Steak”

Ÿ Third place: The 4 Mo’s of Elkhart - “Herb-Crusted Rack of Pork with Italian Plum Sauce”

Pork - ground

Ÿ First place: The 4 Mo’s of Elkhart - “Jumpin’ Jack Squealers”

Ÿ Second place: Karen Meade of Goshen - “Italian Zucchini Boats”

Ÿ Third place: Kevin Eyer of Elkhart - “Citrusy Honey Mustard Burgers”

Lamb - cut

Ÿ First place: The 4 Mo’s of Elkhart - “Rack of Lamb Glazed with Citrus and Vinegar”

Ÿ Second place: Kevin Eyer of Elkhart - “Lemon Apple Roasted Lamb Chops”

Lamb - ground

Ÿ First place: Kevin Eyer of Elkhart - “Lamb and Veggie Burgers”

Ÿ Second place: The 4 Mo’s of Elkhart - “Mediterranean Grinders”

There were four entries in this year’s Great Homemade Ice Cream Crank-Off contest held at the Home and Family Arts Building, and Jan and Paul Wilsey of Elkhart took home first prize.

Top homemade ice creams:

Ÿ First place: Jan and Paul Wilsey of Elkhart - “Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream”

Ÿ Second place: Arlene Julien of Goshen - “Strawberry Banana Ice Cream”

Ÿ Third place: Arden and Virginia Zimmerman of Nappanee - “Mint Chip Ice Cream”




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