• Melinda O'Malley Keckler

Idaho Beef

Updated: Feb 4

This is an award-winning recipe I created for a "celebrity" beef cookoff at the Western Idaho Fair in 1999. There are pictures from the big day below. In my family, we call this dish Owyhee Beef and the name is a tribute to a part of Idaho history many people don't know about. (Scroll down for the story.)

Idaho beef tastes great with a little Hawaiian influence. Mango and pineapple add just the right sweetness to this dish.

Idaho "Owyhee" Beef

By: Melinda Keckler, Crinkled Cookbook

2 - 2.5 lbs Idaho Beef, Tri Tip

1 or 2 mangos

1 can sliced pineapple, drained and save the juice

2 red peppers, thinly sliced

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

2 - 3 tbsp olive oil

2 cups brown rice, plus water per the directions, steamed

Leafy greens for garnish

Marinade and Dipping Sauce

1 bottle, 16 oz of your favorite BBQ sauce (I like Chivers, Spicy Apple @chivers, not sponsored)

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1/8 cup mustard

1/8 cup honey

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp freshly grated ginger, save 1 tsp for sautéing the veggies

Combine dipping sauce ingredients (remember to save 1 tsp of grated ginger for later) and set aside 1 cup of the sauce for serving. Pierce beef and place with sauce in a zipped plastic bag, let it marinate for 2 hours, turning frequently.

While beef marinates, prep the remaining the remaining ingredients for serving.

Peel and slice mango.

1 can sliced pineapple, drained - juice was used above

Slice red onion

Heat charcoals and get the BBQ grill ready. Once the coals are hot and placed in the base of your grill, add beef and cook for about one hour (medium rare).

While beef cooks, heat skillet to medium high temperature with olive oil. Once the oil shimmers, add onions and peppers and 1 tsp grated ginger. Cook until tender, but still crisp. Cook rice, per the directions on the bag.

Let the beef rest at least 10-15 minutes, then slice thin. Serve with veggies, fruit and steamed rice. Drizzle with remaining sauce.

I was so thrilled to be a participant in the beef cookoff at the fair in 1999. These pictures make me smile today, my daughter was so young. (So were we!) Much appreciation to the Idaho Beef Council for hosting and judging the event and to our friends in the newsroom who were part of the team that day.

P.S. The recipe took first place. :)

The story behind Owyhee: In the early 1800s fur trading ships brought Hawaiian natives to the Northwest to trap. In 1818 several of the "owyhees" - as it was mispronounced - were sent into the mountains and sadly, never came back. This dish is to help us remember that piece of history and how the name Owyhee came to be in Idaho.


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I'm a busy mom and wife and I love to cook. I live in Idaho, and yes we do love our potatoes, but I'll feature all kinds of ingredients and inspiration from the Great Northwest here on the Crinkled Cookbook. 

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