Special for the Times-Tribune
The Laurel County Agricultural Fair had a new addition this year. The first annual Beef Exposition, sponsored by the Kentucky Beef Council on June 14.
Many hours of planning and preparation went into the event that included the help from volunteers, students, agents and staff from the Laurel County Extension Office. They also received help from several members of the local Cattleman's Association.
The event began around 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning with a hands-on demonstration and instruction session led by Mrs. Clara Patton, a 4-H volunteer in the county.
There were 25 youth from 4-H and FFA clubs from four counties who participated in the activities and event.
Participants from Laurel, Clay, Rockcastle and Pulaski counties had a chance to learn about basic beef cooking during the demonstrations.
The subjects covered were: safe handling instructions, cuts of meat, marinades and rubs, proper cooking temperatures, different levels of doneness and proper portion sizes.
The first lesson on the agenda was safe handling instructions when preparing and cooking your beef.
Patton also instructed the participants on how to choose good cuts of meat, according to your recipe and how to marinade and apply rubs to a cut of meat.
The students were divided into groups with each group working at different stations with various cuts of meat. They learned how to identify the best cuts of meat varying from T-bone steaks to whole roasts.
Patton showed participants how some cuts of meat are tougher cuts than others and must be cooked accordingly.
They prepared and cooked roasts in a crock pot compared to a roast on the barbecue grill, round steak marinated in Italian dressing, beef hamburgers cooked on the grill using various recipes, and T-bone steaks cooked two different ways to demonstrate proper temperatures and doneness.
Each student prepared their own beef and then cooked it with the help of volunteers and the grill instructor, President of the Cattlemen's Association, Jason McWhorter.
Meat temperatures were tested by the participants with thermometers donated by the Kentucky Beef Council.
The final lesson of the event involved teaching proper portion sizes as the participants cut servings and served 45 or more people who attended the events that day.
The beef was tested and evaluated by participants from other stations and were given a rating.
Most participants received a ÒgoodÓ or ÒexcellentÓ rating from their peers.
Special for the Times-Tribune
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