For the seventh consecutive year, Kentucky Monthly requested our readers’ best original recipes, with sumptuous results. We received many mouthwatering entries using locally sourced ingredients, from which our chef, Ann Currie, selected nine dishes to prepare. The judging panel then was given the tasty task of selecting the best from those semifinalists based on appearance and creativity, as well as the most important feature: taste.
Thank you to all who entered recipes and congratulations to the grand-prize winner and finalists!
Grand Prize winner, Submitted by Kyle Wilson // Hardin
Wilson and his family own the Brass Lantern Restaurant, serving western Kentucky since 1972.
“This recipe exemplifies two of Kentucky’s finest products: bourbon, and bison raised by Marcus Cope and son Lyle at Benton Bottoms Bison. Bison is an all-natural product that comes from their experience of over 20 years managing the Land Between the Lakes bison herd.”
Bison with Bourbon Bacon Butter and Pickled Onions
Kentucky-grown 24-ounce bison T-bone steak
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed
1 clove garlic, chopped
Bourbon bacon butter (recipe below)
Pickled onions (recipe below)
1. Remove the bison T-bone steak from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before grilling to allow it to come to room temperature. Heat the grill to medium high.
2. Once the grill is hot, season both sides of the steak liberally with salt and pepper and place steak on the grill. For medium-rare, cook steak 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes uncovered.
3. While the steak is resting, heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the green beans and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the garlic to the pan and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add drained pickled onions and season to taste.
4. To serve, place the steak and green beans on a large plate or platter. Top the steak with a few tablespoons of the bourbon bacon butter and allow it to melt to create a buttery sauce. This is a great dish that can be passed around the table family style and allow each person to enjoy their favorite part of the T-bone steak.
Bourbon Bacon Butter
3 strips hickory-smoked bacon
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons Maker’s Mark bourbon
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook bacon in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, about 6 minutes.
2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain and chop finely when cool. Reserve 1 teaspoon of bacon drippings and use to sauté the shallots and garlic just until softened. Remove from the heat, deglaze the pan with the bourbon, and allow mixture to cool.
3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the butter, shallot/garlic mixture, thyme, salt and pepper, and mix until well-combined. Place mixture in the refrigerator and allow to harden.
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 c up white sugar
2 tablespoons pickling spice
1 medium red onion, julienned
1. Place the vinegar, water, sugar and spice in a small saucepan and allow mixture to come to a boil. Add the red onion to the pan and turn off the heat.
2. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. This can be done a day in advance and be stored in the refrigerator.