MOOREVILLE – When Bart Bevill was a student at Mississippi State University, he got his first grill. And that’s how he learned to cook.

“We didn’t cook peas and cornbread,” said Bevill, 49. “We cooked hamburgers and hotdogs. We’d go to the grocery store and buy sirloin steak and use butter to try to make it more tender. That’s just what you did. We cooked a lot of burgers, steaks and chicken.”

Bevill, a manager at Nutrien Ag Solutions, has been in the agriculture business for 25 years.

“Through that journey, I’ve been fortunate to go all over the country eating good food,” he said. “Then you get back and say, ‘How did they cook that?’ because you know you’re going to want to make it at home.”

Bevill cooks every meal that’s prepared at his home in the Richmond community near Mooreville, where he lives with his wife, Staci. They have two daughters, Tanner and Blake. His parents, Ann and Billy Don Bevill, live in New Albany.

“Staci cannot boil an egg,” he said. “And she will tell you that herself. I cook all the meals and I clean as I go, but at the end of the meal, they do the rest of the cleanup.”

He’s best known for the meals he prepares on his grill and smoker.

“We grill three to four times a week and every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for sure,” Bevill said. “There’s always somebody here. It’s a sin to cook like I do and not have people here to eat it. I don’t think we ever eat a meal where it’s just two of us.”

He might make ribs with slaw and baked beans, or a beef fillet with macaroni and cheese and bacon-wrapped asparagus.

“I do some type of squash in the summer just about every time I cook,” he said. “We don’t cook peas and creamed corn and green beans. We do grilled vegetables.”

From 2015 to 2017, Bevill and a couple of his friends put together a cooking trailer and did the local barbecue circuit.

“We quit doing competitions because the way we like to eat it is not the way you have to cook it to win,” he said. “You’re not going to cook it the way the judges want it and enjoy it yourself.”

Bevill said the most important tool when grilling is a temperature probe.

“Get a good meat probe and use it,” he said. “If you want beef to be rare, cook it to 130 degrees or 135 for medium rare. When the probe says it’s hit that temperature, take it off. Don’t question it. You’re done.”

Bevill cooks plenty of venison, beef, chicken and pork, but the one thing he has not mastered is brisket.

“I killed half the cows in Kansas trying to cook a good brisket at competition,” he said. “It got to be a joke with us. We finally figured out it’s all about the cut of meat you get.”

GRILLED SHRIMP IN BUTTER AND GARLIC SAUCE

24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (31-35 count)

1/2 stick butter

1/2 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

Hot cooked rice (optional)

Preheat broiler with oven rack 5 inches from heat. Place shrimp in a lightly greased broiler pan.

Melt butter and add garlic. Saute 1 minute. Add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings and stir well. Drizzle butter mixture over shrimp. Broil 4 to 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Serve over hot cooked rice, if desired. Serves 2.

BAKED MACARONI

5 quarts water

1 tablespoon salt

2 pounds elbow macaroni

1 1/2 sticks butter, divided

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 1/2 to 2 cups milk

2 pounds processed or American cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Salt and pepper

1 1/2 cups grated mild Cheddar cheese

2 cups plain breadcrumbs

Paprika

Bring water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add salt. Add macaroni and stir. Cook for 2 minutes less than recommended on the package. Stir periodically to keep the pasta from sticking. Drain well and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Melt 1 stick butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add flour and mustard, whisking constantly. Continue whisking for about 2 minutes, being careful not to let the mixture brown. Gradually whisk in 1 1/2 cups milk, whisking continuously until mixture is smooth.

Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in processed cheese, one-third at a time, until all the cheese is melted. Add more milk if the cheese sauce seems too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour the cheese sauce over the drained pasta and stir gently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.

Grease a large roasting pan or casserole and pour the macaroni mixture evenly into the pan. Sprinkle the grated Cheddar cheese on top.

Melt remaining 1/2 stick of butter in a saucepan. Add breadcrumbs and stir to coat. Spread the breadcrumbs evenly over the top of the grated cheese and dust lightly with paprika.

Bake the macaroni and cheese at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the mixture is hot and bubbling and the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Turn the pan 180 degrees halfway through bake time.

BACON-WRAPPED MEDALLIONS

MARINADE

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons ketchup

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves minced garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

MEDALLIONS

Elk, beef, chicken or pork

Cream cheese, softened

Jalapenos, sliced

Bacon

For the marinade, combine all ingredients in a bowl and chill for 4 to 6 hours. Save some of the unused marinade for basting or for serving at the meal.

For the medallions, cut meat into 1-inch-wide by 2-inch-long by 1/4-inch-thick strips. Marinate meat overnight in marinade.

For the medallions, spread a teaspoon of cream cheese on one side of the meat strip and place a jalapeno strip on top. Roll up in a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Cook on the grill until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees or bacon is crispy.

REVERSE SEARED BEEF FILLET

1 whole beef fillet

Garlic cloves, sliced

Worcestershire sauce

Coarse black pepper

Kosher salt

Take a whole beef fillet and lay the thin part of the end over on itself and tie with baker’s twine to make the fillet a uniform size from one end to the other. Cut 1/4-inch-wide slits by 1-inch deep about 2 inches apart from end to end of the fillet.

Insert slivers of garlic into each hole as deep as possible. Pour Worcestershire sauce over the entire fillet, filling the holes created. Sprinkle all over with black pepper, then salt.

Place fillet on smoker or grill and cook at 275 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees. Remove meat and place it in a black skillet or sear plate and rotate every additional 5 degrees until internal temperature reaches 135 degrees for medium rare.

Wrap meat in foil and let rest 15 minutes before slicing to desired thickness.

662 BBQ BEEF RIBS

1 rack of beef ribs

Olive oil

1 tablespoon garlic powder

Montreal steak seasoning

Trim excess fat from ribs. Place ribs bone side down and coat top of ribs lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle garlic powder on ribs, then a generous coating of steak seasoning. Place on smoker at 275 degrees for about 2 1/2 hours. Remove from grill and wrap tightly in foil, bone-side up. Place back on grill and continue cooking at 275 degrees for about 2 hours or until tender.

DO YOU KNOW A GOOD COOK? Send your nominations to Ginna Parsons, Cook of the Week, P.O. Box 909, Tupelo, MS 38802. Or you can call Ginna at (662) 678-1581 or email them to ginna.parsons@journalinc.com.

ginna.parsons@journalinc.com

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