Saturday, November 14, 2009

A plate of sunshine

Growing attention is being given to the humane and health aspects of eating corn-fed beef and other industrialized types of meat. (Plenty of good sources, I like Michael Pollen among many others.) We do not limit our consumption to only organic, free-range, or other preferred animals. Perhaps we should, if only for reasons of taste. Eating grass-fed beef, as we did tonight with steaks from Red Bridge Beef, is a different experience than one normally has with supermarket meat.

The distinction between grass- and corn-fed beef during our dinner-time conversation sparked an observation that we were really eating "sunshine." Meat is an inefficient  way to do this, of course, but eating locally-grown and free-range animals is a step in a positive direction. Plus, it is incredibly delicious! (With consideration for our vegetarian friends.)

I failed to take a picture of the raw ribeyes. They were nicely marbled and possessed thick layers of fat in the proper places. Generally, I like to cook steaks on a charcoal grill, but wasn't feeling well-enough to spend the time in the cool air.

The Method

Thank you to my father-in-law for suggesting that we use a recipe he found for Outback's steak seasoning. I reduced the original proportions by half, because I was preparing only two steaks. The result was:

  • 4 tsps salt
  • 2 tsps paprika
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion power
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  1. Bring steaks to room temperature.
  2. Season on both sides with seasoning mix.
  3. Melt 1 TB butter and 1 TB olive oil in a frying pan. Heat until smoking hot.
  4. Add steaks.
  5. Cook to preferred temperature. (Our preferences range from the rare side of Medium-Rare to the well side of Medium.)

The Result

steak We seldom have red meat, and even less often steak. These were marvelous. The flavor was - well - simply two-steps above anything you can find in the store (or nearly any restaurant): "deep" is the best descriptor.  The texture was soft...not quite buttery as would be a filet, but fork-tender. It was a steak to be savored bite-by-bite. The seasoning was excellent, too. I used about 2/3 of the mix on the two steaks, and would reduce it a bit further next time. I might also cut the coriander in half.

Our now-regularly appearing salad of OPO mixed greens with a balsamic vinaigrette, OPO sweet potatoes (diced and boiled until tender), and caramelized onions rounded out the meal. Nothing fancy, but served with a glass of cabernet...the perfect way to forget how poorly I felt most of the day.

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Kudya Bwino Bwino (Eating Well) © 2009