Dakota Farmer

The Alpine Inn of Hill City, S.D., won the 2019 Sturgis Beef Throwdown competition.

Lon Tonneson, Editor, Dakota Farmer

August 26, 2019

2 Min Read
group shot of presenters and winner of Sturgis Beef Throw Down
BEEF WINNER: On stage at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for the presentation of the Beef Throwdown trophy are Suzy Geppert (left), executive director of the South Dakota Beef Improvement Commission; Gary Deering, an SDBIC director; throwdown winner Clark Braun, chef from the Alpine Inn; Les Shaw, an SDBIC director; Jerry Cole, rally events coordinator; and Justin Warner, Food Network celebrity chef.SDBIC

The next time I’m in the Black Hills, I am going to make it a point eat beef at the Alpine Inn in Hill City, S.D.

The Alpine Inn won the 2019 Sturgis Beef Throwdown during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The Beef Throwdown — a food competition — was hosted by the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) and the city of Sturgis. Ten restaurants competed in the throwdown, and rally attendees were given a map so they could ride to all of them and enjoy each of the beef dishes in the competition.

Chef Clark Braun from the Alpine Inn won the contest with a Steak Diane sandwich.

“[It] was a delightfully unique interpretation and reinvention of a beef classic,” says Justin Warner, a Food Network celebrity chef and one of the contest’s judges. “The sauce, typically finished with brandy, was never in competition with the beef itself — it augmented and enhanced the beef to a hyper-craveable level. The beef itself was uniformly cut and so tender that only mushrooms cooked to their silkiest and the bread of the sandwich itself provided textural resistance. Once the sandwich was in my hand and first bite consumed, I didn't want to put it down.”

The Alpine Inn won a trophy and will have the opportunity to send four representatives to the Sanford International PGA Tour of Champions, held Sept. 18-19 in Sioux Falls, S.D., where they will be the official beef representatives as a team in the Pro-Am portion of the event.

South Dakota beef producers Les Shaw, White Owl; Gary Deering, Hereford; and Eric Sumption, Frederick, were also judges in the throwdown.

About a half million people usually attend the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, making it an ideal place to promote beef, according to SDBIC.

"Many people believe cattle live in confinement their whole lives,” Deering says. “Getting out and seeing the wide-open space that South Dakota provides for a home to some four million cattle, shows [them] how cattlemen and women care for not only the cattle they raise, but the resources that are required to keep the cattle industry efficient and alive for generations to come, while providing a healthy product for consumers to enjoy.”

SDBIC is comprised of three representatives from eight agricultural organizations: South Dakota Beef Breeds Council, South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, South Dakota Cattlemen's Auxiliary, South Dakota CattleWomen, South Dakota Farm Bureau, South Dakota Farmers Union, South Dakota Livestock Auction Market Association and South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

Information provided by the South Dakota Beef Industry Council was used in this column.

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