Beef has taken some serious body punches in the last couple of years. Michael Pollen, Mark Bittman, and a merry cast of vegetarians have been steadily hammering away at our poor American steers, calling them expensive, health-hazardous resource hogs that have done little to whittle the national waistline. Now the Association for American National Cattlewomen has thrown down the gauntlet: The ladies are offering a $25,000 grand prize to the home cook who comes up with the most fabulous original, "Sonoma-style," beef recipe nationwide (see, steak CAN be healthy!), plus three $10,000 checks for category winners and another five grand for three runners-up. There's even a special category for teenagers. Best of all, 15 finalists will be flown to Sonoma for the cook-off.
See the full rules and enter your recipes on line at www.beefcookoff.org. Last day to submit is March 31, 2009.
In the meantime, since I've been wholly converted by the latest supersexy PETA ad (Ok, I admit it, pumpkins are totally hottitudinous), here's my beef recipe:
Take one innocent lil' baby veal calf from its torturous cage,
Find its Momma Bessie standing in her own crap and chained to the automatic milking machine,
Track down its daddy in the nasty, overcrowded feed lot,
Add a dash of mad cow disease and a pinch of e.coli,
And set them Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
(to be sung to the tune of Public Enemy's "Fight the Power").