entries are now open

Beef it up recipe contest

We're heading to San Antonio, Texas February 4-6, 2025, and you and your best beef recipe can be too!

We will accept beef recipe entries in three categories:

  • Any cuisine Welcome Reception Appetizer (Must use ground beef, flank steak, or top sirloin)
  • BBQ, Mexican, Tex-Mex inspired Wednesday Lunch (Must use ground beef or chuck roast)
  • BBQ, Mexican, Tex-Mex inspired Thursday Lunch (Must use ground beef or chuck roast)

Each recipe can must use 10 ingredients or less not counting beef, salt, and pepper.

To enter the Beef It Up Recipe Contest, complete the form below. Recipes can be entered via file upload or written in the text box through the submission form below. The winning recipes will be tested and selected by NCBA officers.

The winner of each category will receive:

  • Registration for themselves and a guest
  • Recipe featured at CattleCon and used by the official convention caterer
  • Recipe Highlighted in the onsite program (Beef Resource Guide)
  • Recipe promoted on social media and on CattleCon website
  • Recipe featured on post event issue of National Cattlemen
  • Recipe highlighted on Cattlemen to Cattlemen

For more information, please contact us!

2022 Trade Show – Welcome Reception Photography

2024 Beef it up recipe contest

Congratulations to the following Beef it Up Recipe Contest winners:

  • Allison Fender, Flying F Ranch in Santa Ysabel, California
  • Darcy Sexson, Stanfield, Oregon
  • Adam Wackel, Plum Creek Wagyu in Crete, Nebraska

Welcome Reception Appetizer

Picadillo Appetizer, entered by Allison Fender, Flying F Ranch in Santa Ysabel, California


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 medium large yellow onion diced
  • 6 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • ½ bell pepper diced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 small potatoes peeled and cut in small pieces
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup whole green olives stuffed w/ pimentos
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup capers drained
  • 16 ounces of tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large cast iron at medium high heat, brown the ground beef with a 1/2 tbsp or so of cumin and a dash pepper, drain off any excess grease, and set aside in a separate bowl. In the same cast iron, decrease heat to medium and add 2 tbsp of olive oil and cook the diced onion until translucent.
  2. Add the chopped garlic and cook until almost golden.
  3. Mix in the bell pepper, 1/2 tbsp cumin, dash of pepper and pinch of salt.
  4. Add the chopped potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the ground beef and the wine, let the liquid reduce.
  6. Add raisins and tomato sauce when the potatoes are starting to soften. 
  7. Cook for 5-10 more minutes and then add the olives and capers.
  8. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are ready. If the sauce thickens too much, you can add some more wine or a little bit of water. Taste and adjust any seasonings: salt, pepper, cumin or additional olives and capers.

Thursday Trade Show Lunch

Asian Beef Bowls, entered by Darcy Sexson, Stanfield, Oregon

  • 2 lbs. ground beef (93/7 is my personal preference)
  • 10 oz shredded carrots
  • 1 Tbs fresh grated ginger (or from a refrigerated squeeze tube)
  • 1 Tbs fresh minced garlic (or jarred minced garlic)
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs sriracha
  • 2 Tbs rice vinegar
  • Bibb, Boston or "Living" Lettuce, leaves torn off at the base and kept whole to make a "cup"
  • 1 bunch of green onions - sliced thinly


  1. In a pan over medium high heat, brown and crumble the beef.
  2. Once browned, add in the garlic, ginger and carrots and cook for 2 minutes or until the carrots are slightly softened but still hold their shape.
  3. In a measuring cup, mix the hoisin, soy sauce, sriracha and vinegar. Add one Tbs of hot water if needed to loosen.
  4. Turning the heat down to medium, pour the sauce over the beef/carrot mixture and stir until combined and hot, about 1 minute.
  5. Turn off heat.
  6. Lay the lettuce leaves out on plates and scoop the beef mixture into, using the lettuce as a cup/bowl. We serve this buffet/family style at home; with lettuce leaves stacked on a plate, and the beef mixture staying warm in the pan. 
  7. Garnish with sliced green onions. Additional garnishes can include chopped cilantro, bean sprouts, chopped peanuts or chopped cashews.

Friday Trade Show Lunch

Chuck Roast Sliders, entered by Adam Wackel, Plum Creek Wagyu in Crete, Nebraska 

  • 1 lb. chuck roast 
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 onion, finely sliced
  • Slider buns
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup coleslaw (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp. beef broth


  1. Season the chuck roast with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.
  2. In a pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic and onion, sautéing until translucent.
  4. Add the seasoned chuck roast to the pan and brown on all sides.
  5. Once browned, add beef broth to the pan.
  6. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 2-3 hours until the meat is tender and can be easily shredded.
  7. Once cooked, shred the beef and mix with BBQ sauce. 
  8. Serve the shredded beef on slider buns topped with coleslaw.