Thursday, August 19, 2010

From the backyard to the State Fair: The best BBQ dishes

When it comes to barbecue, I've really only tried making such dishes myself a couple of times. This is partly due to my lack of culinary skills but also because I don't have a fancy-schmancy grill (actually, all I have is a crock pot and a tabletop Food Network grill).

My issue is of no concern to the contestants at Wednesday's inaugural Shoup's Country Backyard BBQ Cookoff at the Indiana State Fair. Some of the 15 entries brought in giant, fancy grills, while at least one other relied on an open pit to roast his meal.

Shoup's awarded medals to the top three winners in each of the four categories -- loin, ribs, open and hogburger -- in addition to medals and prizes to the Grand Champion and Reserve Champion, both of which scored the best once their entries for all four categories were added up. The Grand Champion even received a gas grill, $250, embroidered apron and chair, chef's hat and more.

And don't think every dish had pork in it -- one featured asparagus covered with cilantro and blue cheese sauce. Of course, there were also ribs and even pork-stuffed red peppers.

Miss the action? Here's a list of the winners:

Grand Champion
John Hillbert, Peru (featured in photo at top in the pig snout and chef's hat)

Reserve Champion
Mike Strong, Speedway

1st: John Hillbert, Peru
2nd: Pat Burkhalter, Mulberry
3rd: Danny Derrick, Indianapolis

1st: John Hillbert, Peru
2nd: Greg Schiesser, Shelbyville
3rd: Mike Strong, Speedway

1st: Greg Schiesser, Shelbyville
2nd: Nick Carter, Indianapolis
3rd: Mike Strong, Speedway

1st: Greg Schiesser, Shelbyville
2nd: Mike Mang, Frankfort
3rd: Craig Sheets, Kirklin

Shoup's also held a special category "Showmanship" that did not go toward the overall champion tabulation:
1st: Craig Sheets, Kirklin
2nd: Pam Nash Dobbin, Indianapolis
3rd: Nick Carter, Indianapolis

Submitted by Kristofer Karol

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