Five Tips to Master Memorial Day Grilling

With Memorial Day next Monday, beef is the number one protein of choice for this holiday, and grills will be heated up cooking steaks and hamburgers across the United States. As we invite family and friends over to enjoy a juicy steak or hamburger, here are five tips that you need to remember so you have the most savory and best experience this holiday.

1. When cooking steaks, cook for a total of 14 minutes, seven minutes on each side, flipping only once.

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Set a timer for 14 minutes, flipping the meat only once at seven minutes to get an even grill on both sides.

2. Steaks should be cooked to a minimum of 145 degrees whereas hamburgers should be cooked to a minimum of 160 degrees. The only way to ensure your beef is cooked to the proper temperatures is to use an instant read meat thermometer.

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Insert the instant meat read thermometer sideways into the thickest part of the beef to get an accurate temperature reading.

3. Use tongs rather than a fork to flip steaks and take steaks off the grill. A fork will pierce your steaks or hamburgers and the juices inside that add flavor and tenderness will be lost.

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Flipping steaks and hamburgers with tongs rather than forks ensures juices will stay inside the meat as it cooks and rests.

4. Let your steaks and/or hamburgers rest at least five to seven minutes before serving. The heat from the grill causes the juices inside the meat to flow and without letting your steaks or hamburgers rest prior to cutting them open, all the juices would flow out onto your plate and not cause as juicy or flavorful eating experience.

resting steak

Allowing your steaks or hamburgers to rest prior to serving it will ensure you and your guests enjoy a flavorful, tender, and juicy eating experience this holiday!

5. Cut against the grain of your steaks. Hamburgers, because they are ground beef, do not have a grain, but all cuts of steak do. It is important to cut against the grain of the meat so you do not have a chewy eating experience.

against the grain

Cut against the grain to keep the juices and flavor into the meat and avoid chewiness.

As you celebrate your Memorial Day with firing up your grill, remember these five simple tips so you and your guests have the best eating experience with the steaks and/or hamburgers you grill. Although this day is your time to shine as a chef, do not forget to thank the Veterans that have served so we can live in a free country.

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Happy Memorial Day, happy grilling, and thank you Veterans!

~Demi~

Cinco de Mayo Festivities!

Howdy Friends!

As many of you know, this past Tuesday was Cinco de Mayo!  I hope everyone celebrated with beef; I know that I did!  And it gave me a great excuse to take a break from studying for finals and kick back with a great friend and some awesome Mexican food!

My friend Logan and I had our own little party, which involved my mom’s recipe for enchiladas, homemade salsa and tacky Fiesta music.  We laughed, enjoyed dinner and had a fantastic time!  Now, my mom’s enchiladas are a winning recipe, and definitely a family favorite!  I would love to share them with y’all, so here goes!

Rolled Green Chile Beef Enchiladas

Meat Mixture

  • Hamburger
  • Minced Onion
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper
  • Green Chiles (we use Hatch Chiles we roast ourselves)

Brown meat with seasoning added to your liking.

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Green Chile Sauce

  • 1 Can Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
  • 1/4 Sour Cream
  • Green Chiles to taste

Heat ingredients until they are combined.

Coat bottom of pan with Green Chile Sauce.  Portion some meat mixture into a tortilla, add cheese and then roll.  Place rolled tortilla into pan, continue until the pan is full.  Top with remaining sauce and extra cheese.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until heated through and cheese is bubbly!

“These enchiladas were the best I’ve ever had, and I generally don’t like enchiladas.  I never knew how scrumptious ground beef could be in this wonderful Mexican dish!”

-Logan

From the Heart of Beef,

Alicia

Happy Beef Month!

May is beef month! In honor of beef month, I am going to share the top 5 reasons to eat beef:

  1. 97 percent of beef cattle farms and ranches are family-owned and operated. The same product these family farms and ranches produce is the same product that goes on their dinner plate at the end of the day.

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    Agriculture is a family affair.

  2. Beef is nutritious! All beef choices are a good or excellent source of 10 essential nutrients and vitamins like protein, zinc, iron and b vitamins.

    Nutritious

    You only need 3-ounces of beef to receive all of these nutrients.

  3. Beef is versatile! The only limitation on what you can do with beef is your imagination. Try a new cooking method! Have you ever had beef for breakfast? Give it a shot!

    Beef...it's not just for dinner anymore.

    Beef…it’s not just for dinner anymore.

  4. Beef is delicious! Did you know beef is a natural source of the umami flavor? The umami taste is described as meaty, savory and delicious and, when paired with other umami rich foods, the two will have a magnifying effect on each other and produce 8x more flavor! Bacon, aged cheeses, tomatoes or mushrooms are great options to pair with beef.

    Rich

    You can find the recipe for Ribeye Steaks with Sautéed Grape Tomatoes And Brie here

  5. Open space and pastures, managed by farmers and ranchers, provides habitats for 75 percent of America’s wildlife.

     I did not want to disturb the nest, so I did not insert anything for scale. The eggs were about the size of a quarter. Pretty tiny for a great big world!

    Here’s a nest I found in a pasture last summer. Wildlife thrive thanks to farmers and ranchers!

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Profile: Strip Steak

As an agricultural communication major, taking journalism classes and learning how to write magazine articles and news stories is part of my class requirements. Part of my news writing class was learning how to write a profile story. Not only can you profile a person, but I have decided to profile a delicious cut of steak prior to the Nashville Southern Women’s Cooking Show that we will be traveling to this week to educate moms, millennials, and more about different cuts of beef to cook, as well as quick and easy recipes.

While at the cooking show, we will have a chance to demo a recipe on stage, one that uses the Strip Steak!

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As you can notice by the fat content throughout these, Strip Steaks are a very tender and flavorful cut of beef.

The Strip Steak comes from the short loin of the beef animal, also having the more prominent names of Kansas City Strip or New York Strip Steak. In relationship to where the Strip Steak is located within the animal, it is a muscle that does very little work and is therefore a very tender and lean cut.

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Located in the Short Loin, this muscle does little work producing tender cuts of meat such as the Strip Steak and T-bone Steak.

 Without the bone, the cut is called the Strip Steak, but if the bone is left in the meat then it is called a T-bone steak, therefore both of these steaks come from the portion of the short loin alike.

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In regards to cooking Strip Steak, the three most popular cooking methods are grilling, broiling, and pan frying. No matter which way you choose to cook your Strip Steak, all three produce a juicy and delicious steak. Because the Strip Steak is so tender, it is not a cut that requires being marinaded, however it is a versatile cut and personal preference will decided if you want to use a marinate or simple rub to add your choice of flavor.

While in Nashville, the recipe that members of the National Beef Ambassador Team will demonstrate cooking with Strip Steak is called Grilled Steaks Balsamico. With only 464 calories and 30 grams of fat, this 30 minute recipe is sure to offer you a fresh new taste of one of your favorite lean cuts of beef, the Strip Steak!

grilled strip

Check out the Grilled Steaks Balsamico recipe here! http://www.beefcookoff.org/recipe.aspx?id=931

#EatBeef!

~Demi~

Happy Prime Rib Day!

Today is National Prime Rib Day! Prime rib is rich flavor, juicy tenderness with generous marbling throughout. Fun fact: not all prime rib is prime! Prime is one of the different grades of beef. For example there can be choice prime rib. So, if you are a fan of prime meat, make sure to take to your butcher to ensure you are getting the grade of beef you want.

Grades

Grading is based on marbling (the amount of fat within the meat) and maturity (the physiological age of the animal).

In honor of this day, here are some fabulous recipes for a prime rib that is sure to impress your guests!

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The American Dietetic Association lists winter squash (such as acorn squash) as one of the best sources of the antioxidant beta carotene.

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Yorkshire puddings are a great addition to prime rib!

  • Mediterranean Beef and Veggie Wraps: If you have leftover prime rib afterwards, this is the perfect recipe to use the rest of it up! It’s a great way to cook once and dine twice! This recipe features hummus, and your favorite veggies!
Save time! This recipe is ready in 10-15 minutes!

Time can be saved with this recipe, it is ready in just 10-15 minutes!

Here is some more information about the cut that is commonly called prime rib–ribeye roast bone-in. Prime rib is one of my favorite cuts of beef, a meal always feels like a celebration when you are eating it!

Happy Prime Rib Day and Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Gourmet Beef At Home – Dry Aging

When I was in Washington D.C., I had the pleasure of dining with the Texas Cattle Feeders Association at the famous, “Capital Grille.”  At this wonderful establishment fit for senators, there were lots of premium beef selections, including dry aged steaks.  Since someone else was footing the bill, I decided to try one out and see what all the fuss was about.  And let me tell you, I am ruined for life.  That was some of the most tender and flavorful beef I have EVER had.

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Meat dry ages in a controlled environment

 

Dry aging is an art which beef is left in special rooms for several weeks and the moisture contained within the beef is allowed to evaporate and the natural enzymes break down the muscle fibers even further.   The temperature and humidity within these rooms must be carefully controlled so that the meat does not spoil.   All beef is wet aged, which means allowing it to hang in refrigerated rooms for a few days before being boxed and sold.

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An outer crust forms on the cut

 

This method of dry aging allows the beef flavor to intensify and results in a perfectly tender cut.  During the process, the outside of the meat develops a fungal crust, which is trimmed off before it is prepared.  Due to the length of time it takes to perform this process, the price also rises significantly; however, I have discovered that you can dry age your beef right in your own home quite easily!

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103 Rib

To age at home, you will need a large cut of beef, preferably a primal.  Aging individual steaks does not work because after a week, the steak is entirely dried out.  A great cut to start with, and one that ribeyes are cut from, is a 103 rib.  Also, the greater amount of fat on the outside, the better!  This protects the delicious parts from drying out as quickly!  It is then recommended you place it in a special fridge at about 40 degrees fahrenheit, and place a fan to circulate air within it (a desk fan works great).  Then, allow the meat to age for approximately 21-30 days.

 

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Removing the crust is essential before the meat can be prepared!

 

 

Before you can cook it, you will need to remove the outer crust, which is the molded and dried parts of the meat.  It is now ready for you to enjoy!  Here is a longer article on how to dry age beef http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/03/the-food-lab-complete-guide-to-dry-aging-beef-at-home.html.

From the Heart of Beef,

Alicia   

Spring Into Beef!

Spring is finally in the air! Calves are being born, animals are shedding their winter coat, and in Wyoming-the snow melts within a few days of the storm! Spring is by far my favorite season. I just love how the world comes to life, and green grass and leaves appear! It almost makes enduring months of snowy, blustery weather worth it.

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As soon as it warms up, the hair starts flying!

 

One of my favorite parts of spring is the flavors. Some of my favorite vegetables to pair with beef are suddenly in season! It’s a fun way to avoid monotony in your meals.

Here are some delicious recipes to help you spring into beef!

  • Beef & Asparagus Pasta Toss:circles Ready in just thirty minutes, you can have a colorful meal ready to eat! This recipe is a great way to utilize ground beef. Ground beef should always be cooked to 160°F. Color is not a reliable way to ensure doneness.
    Want more information on handling ground beef? Check this page out.
    Did you forgot to thaw your ground beef before deciding to cook it for dinner, have no fear! The video below shows how to have recipe ready ground beef in just a few minutes.

     

  • IMG_7564Steak, Green Bean and Tomato Salad: To me, nothing says spring quite like a salad mixed with a variety of fresh vegetables. This recipe is great because it incorporates several different fresh vegetables into it. Although recipes are nice to follow, it can be fun to mix it up and add your own flair to it! Everyone has different tastes, so you can adapt the recipe to your preferences. This recipe is also super quick, and is done in 30-35 minutes.
  • Spring is a great time to fire up the grills! It’s finally warm enough to comfortably grill outside! Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner has a great recipe collection for grilling beef. With the baseball season underway, I can’t think of a better pairing than beef and baseball. Check out this recipe for Grilled Onion Cheeseburgers that are sure to please!

Spring into beef today! Happy Meaty Monday.

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Restaurant Quality Steak Anyone?

I don’t know about y’all, but I LOVE to go out to a restaurant for a good filet or strip steak!  There is just something about the way they were prepared that I wasn’t able to accomplish at home…UNTIL NOW!

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Believe it or not, you can make this right at home quite easily!

 

Being a bit of a pyrophobic (grills generally have scary flames), and the fact I live in an apartment, meant I didn’t get to eat steaks as much as I would have liked.  Then, I discovered the Two Step Method of cooking steaks, and my life was forever changed!  Now, I can have my filet and eat it too, all within the confines of my safe, flameless kitchen!

Cooking beef using this method is ridiculously simple and gives you lots of room for error.  First, you thaw your chosen cut and season it as you like.  I used Bodacious Red Soppin’ Sauce, Salt and Pepper.  While you are seasoning, get a skillet on the stove and crank it to medium high heat until it is nice and hot.  Using a pair of tongs, place the steak in the pan and allow the outside to sear for approximately 2-3 minutes per side.  I also throw a little butter in the pan, because let’s be honest, a little butter never hurt anybody!

beef_steak_color_guide

Once your steak is caramelized and seared on the outside, transfer it to an oven safe dish and put it into a preheated 350 degree oven.  Now, here’s the real magic.  Step away.  Let the oven do all the work!  The thickness of your cut will determine when it is done, so I use a meat thermometer to ensure it is just the way I like it.  Make sure to pull your steak out of the oven when it is about 5 degrees below your target doneness.  Allow it to rest, and it will finish cooking and reach the perfect internal temperature.

This is an easy and fool-proof way to make restaurant quality steaks right at home!  Make one for just yourself, or wow your guests with your awesome culinary skills!  If I can do this, I promise you can too!

From the Heart of Beef,

Alicia

Stir-Frying with Beef

Stir-frying is a simple and easy meal for anyone who is on the run.

Stir-frying is a simple and easy meal for anyone who is on the run.

Whether you are on the go and need a quick and easy meal or have leftover veggies that need to be used, stir-frying is a simple and easy preparation method that also allows you to get creative with flavors and spices. It has quickly become one of my personal favorite methods of cooking beef recently because it is so simple and quick. Here are some tips for stir-frying at home.

Preparation is key for stir-frying. Although the actual cooking is very short, take some time to prepare by slicing the steak into thin, uniform strips. Remember to cut against the grain of the meat for the best eating experience. Toss the strips in a marinade or add a light spice rub, keeping in mind stir-fry doesn’t have to include Asian flavors (try garlic and pesto for Italian stir-fry!). While the meat is marinating, chop up the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.

Stir-frying is versatile. Add a little (or a lot) of anything and everything!

Stir-frying is versatile. Add a little (or a lot) of anything and everything!

Stir-Fry is sizzling…really. The key to a good stir-fry is high heat. So while chopping vegetables, place a wok or skillet on high heat. Fast tip: don’t heat the wok on the highest heat setting so when you add the beef or veggies you can turn it up to compensate for the cooling. When you are finished chopping vegetables and marinating the beef, place a little oil in the wok. The oil should shimmer if the pan is hot enough.

Cook in batches. Don’t toss all of your beef in the pan at once, but instead cook in ½ pound batches or smaller. Overcrowding the pan won’t put a nice sear on the meat and may end up steaming instead of stir-frying. Cook the beef for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the outside is brown and remove from the pan and place to the side. At this point the beef shouldn’t be quite finished cooking. Stir-fry the veggies until they are tender/firm enough for personal taste then add the beef and stir-fry sauce to the pan. If the sauce is too runny, add some cornstarch to thicken it.

Frozen vegetables were made for stir-fry. I’m personally no whiz in the kitchen and the less prep work I have to do the better. Frozen vegetables are a quick by-pass to chopping vegetables by hand and can be cooked from frozen or thawed. Look for stir-fry blends (many include stir-fry sauce packets) or just purchase veggies you like and make a custom blend.

Frozen veggie mixes save prep-time and come in many varieties.

Frozen veggie mixes save prep-time and come in many varieties.

Stir-frying is quick and easy and is the perfect meal for anyone on the go. Although there is a little prep time up front, stir-frying is without a doubt a 30-minute or less meal and is extremely versatile. Try using different cuts of beef, different flavors and sauces, and new vegetable mixes to mix things up.

Will Pohlman

Economical Beef Cuts

Who doesn’t love a juicy tenderloin or ribeye steak? But let’s face it: these cuts are expensive and not always in a routine budget. You don’t have to settle for ground beef, however, when eating on a budget. There are many great cuts of beef that are both versatile and cheap. These cuts may take a little more cooking know-how, but if cooked properly can eat just as well as an expensive steak for significantly less.

Chuck eye steaks provide a cheaper "ribeye" eating experience!

Chuck eye steaks provide a cheaper “ribeye” eating experience!

Chuck Eye Steak is a great example of a cut that can mirror the eating experience of a higher quality cut. Although many of the cuts from the chuck require a slow cooker or roasting, the chuck eye can be prepared just like any other steak and grilled to perfection. When prepared correctly, many people liken it to a ribeye – no wonder the chuck eye steak is called “The Poor Man’s Ribeye!” For the best eating experience, do not cook past medium doneness (160°F – warm, slight pink center).

Skirt Steak is an extremely versatile and cheap cut that is often underappreciated. It is a long and thin steak, which may be different looking than the normal tenderloin or sirloin, but can be pan-fried or grilled. Skirt steak goes great in a lot of different recipes and is suited for marinades that will help tenderize it. It can take on a variety of flavors so get creative with your spice cabinet! Just like with the chuck-eye, the less done the skirt is cooked the more tender it will be.

Skirt steaks may not look like a typical steak but they eat just as well!

Skirt steaks may not look like a typical steak but they eat just as well!

Flank Steak is another great cut that, if prepared properly, can result in a fantastic eating experience. Flank steak is best suited to being cooked in small strips (fajitas anyone?) and can be used in a variety of recipes. Try marinating the flank steak overnight and stir-frying with leftover veggies! Flank steak has a noticeable grain and it is important to always slice against the grain. Not doing so may lead to dry and chewy strips.

When preparing flank steak it is important to cut against the grain.

When preparing flank steak it is important to cut against the grain.

These steaks all provide a quality eating experience when cooked correctly for a fraction of the cost of upper-end steaks. What’s more these steaks are all common staples to many meat cases at local grocery stores. Mix up your ground-beef routine when eating on a budget with these cheaper and delicious steaks!

Will Pohlman