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Recipes and cooking tips

CookingTips & Suggestions

To Defrost:

In the refrigerator (best method):
Place package in a bowl/on a plate in the refrigerator.
Ground beef and smaller packages of steak, stew meat, etc. will take 1-2 days.
Roasts will take approximately 3 days.
(You can keep defrosted beef in the fridge for 3-5 days before cooking, and it is safe to refreeze it if necessary, but some of the integrity of the product will be lost.)
In cold water:
Remove butcher paper and place meat in a Ziploc bag. Submerge beef in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes.
Small packages may take an hour or less; a 3-4 lb. roast may take 2 to 3 hours.
In the Microwave:
Remove the butcher paper and plastic wrap (you may have to wait until the beef is partially thawed to remove the plastic). Follow your microwave’s instructions for defrost, but check closely….things can start cooking quickly with this method, and nobody wants a microwaved steak!
Regardless of the method you choose, just be sure to try to cook your beef before it defrosts to the point that the juices are running out. Before cooking, unwrap your beef and allow it to rest until the meat is almost at room temperature.
To Cook:
Remember that grass fed beef may cook slightly faster than supermarket beef.
A meat thermometer can be very helpful; approximate doneness and temperatures are:
Rare-145 degrees Medium-160 degrees Well done-175 degrees
Keep in mind that your cut will continue cooking even after you remove it from its heat source.
For steaks or roast, let your prepared beef rest, covered loosely with foil, for 5 minutes or more before you cut into it. It will allow the juices in your beef to redistribute, so they won’t run out all over your plate or cutting board. You’ll have a juicer steak or more tender roast if you let them rest a bit!
Because our beef is grass fed, it does not have the excess fat that you may find in supermarket ground beef. You shouldn’t need to add fat to the pan to cook our ground beef, and you shouldn’t have to drain the fat after cooking, either!

 

34 Ranch Round Steak Chili

8-10 servings
Active time: 30 min.
Total time: 3 ½ hours

Ingredients:

2 ½ -3 lbs. round steak, cut into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 T olive oil
2T tomato paste
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
2 chiles in adobo, chopped (with sauce)
½ bottle beer (a lager works well)
1 can navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2T chile powder
1 ½ t cumin
1t dried oregano
½ t smoked paprika
Garlic pepper and salt to taste

Preparation:

-Season round steak pieces with salt and about 1 tsp. garlic pepper. Heat 1 T olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Divide steak into two batches and sauté each batch separately in hot oil until browned on all sides, about 3-4 min. per batch, adding more oil for the second batch if necessary. Remove sautéed round steak with a slotted spoon to a plate.
-Heat remaining olive oil (at least 1T) in pot. Add chopped onions and garlic and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; add tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, chiles in adobo, and beer. Stir to mix well.
-Return beef to pot. Add spices, stir well, and reduce heat to simmer. Allow to simmer about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, drink the other half of the beer.
-Add beans and simmer 30 minutes more.
Serve with your favorite chili condiments: chopped cilantro, sour cream, chopped onion, and avocado slices.
Notes:
Once all the ingredients are combined (except the beans) you can remove the chili to a slow cooker set on low for up to 6 hours.
You can freeze the remainder of both the tomato paste and chiles in adobo.
Open the tomato paste can on both ends, slide out what you need by pushing one end, and freeze the rest in a zipper bag.
Chiles in adobo freeze well in a jar; then you can just scoop out what you need in the future with a spoon while they’re frozen.
If you don’t have smoked paprika, just omit it. It is available locally at Staple and Spice Market.

 

34 Ranch Barbecue Brisket

25 generous servings
Total time: 2 days
Active time: 5 hours

Ingredients:

6 lbs beef brisket
¾ c. liquid smoke
6 onions, chopped medium-fine
¾ c. cider vinegar
¾ c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ c. spicy dark brown mustard
1/3 c. dark molasses
¾ tsp. cayenne pepper
Several drops hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, to taste
5/8 c. Worcestershire sauce
¾ quart ketchup
1 ½ c. chili sauce (tomato-based, such as Homade Chili Sauce)
1 lemon, thinly sliced, ends and seeds removed
3 T. salt
1 ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place meat, fat side up, on trivet or rack in large roaster. Put liquid smoke in the bottom and rub a little on the meat. Cover and roast at 325 degrees for 3 to 4 hours, turning meat after 2 hours. Remove th lid for the last hour so the meat browns. Test for tenderness (the meat should almost fall apart). Remove brisket from pan and allow to cool. Seal in glass or stainless steel container and refrigerate overnight. Strain juices from meat. Separate juice and fat and refrigerate in separate containers.
-The next day, trim away any excess fat. Shred the meat, pulling apart with two forks or your hands. Slice shredded meat into 3-inch (or less) pieces.
-Remove refrigerated, reserved fat. Place ½ c. fat in roasting pan. Discard the rest. Melt fat and fry onions in the fat until translucent. Add all the other ingredients, except meat, and simmer 30 minutes. Add beef and simmer on stove in or in 325-degree oven for at least one hour. Add juice as it cooks down but don’t allow it to get “soupy”. Add water if needed. Serve with rolls or cornbread.
Notes:
If brisket won’t be served immediately, reserve lemons until 30 minutes or so before serving to avoid sauce becoming too ‘lemony’.

 

Curry Cocktail Meatballs

25 servings (about 60 cocktail-size meatballs)
Active time: 30 min.                                                                    
Total time: 45 min.

Ingredients:

1 cup mayonnaise, divided
6 1/4 teaspoons curry powder, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced
2 pounds ground beef
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup minced green onions
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon hot chili powder or Hungarian hot paprika
1 tsp. salt

Preparation:

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
-Mix 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 1/4 teaspoons curry powder, and next 3 ingredients in small bowl for sauce. Let stand at room temperature while preparing meatballs.
-Place beef, next 6 ingredients, remaining 1/4 cup mayonnaise, and 4 teaspoons curry powder in large bowl. Mix with fork or hands just until blended (do not overmix). With wet hands, roll mixture into meatballs about 1 inch across.
-Place meatballs on a cookie sheet about ¼” apart. Bake at 375 for about 12 minutes per batch.
-Serve warm with cocktail picks and sauce on the side.

 

Bourbon and Brown Sugar Marinated Steak

4servings

Ingredients:

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 c. bourbon
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar, preferably dark
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1-1/2 to 2 lb. beef steak, preferably flank, or 1-1/2-inch-thick New York strip steaks
Tip:You can marinate the steaks in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours before grilling. Just bring the steaks back to room temperature before grilling.

Preparation:

Prepare a medium-hot grill fire. Meanwhile, combine the soy sauce, bourbon, sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a large zip-top bag. Seal and shake to combine the ingredients and dissolve the sugar. Add the steak to the bag, seal, massage to cover the steaks with marinade, and set aside for 15 to 20 min. at room temperature.
When the grill is ready, remove the steak from the marinade and shake off any excess, but don’t pat it dry. Reserve the marinade. Grill the steak until good sear marks appear, 3 to 4 min. With tongs, rotate the steak 90 degrees (to get a crosshatch of grill marks) and continue grilling until grill marks form and the edges are a little crisp, another 3 to 4 min. Flip the steak and grill the other side in the same way until the exterior is nicely seared and the steak is cooked to your liking, 10 to 12 min. total cooking time for medium rare. Let the steaks rest for about 5 min.
Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and boil over medium-high heat until syrupy, about 3 min. (watch carefully to prevent burning). For flank steak, slice the meat thinly across the grain. For strip steaks, slice thickly or serve in chunks. Serve with a drizzle of the sauce.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve with grilled vegetable skewers.
Notes:
We cannot take credit for this recipe. It’s from Fine Cooking magazine www.finecooking.com. It’s a great way to cook steak, and it’s delicious served with mashed potatoes. We also find the magazine to be a dependable and delicious resource!

 

Red, White, and Blue Burgers

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef (34 Ranch Beef)
Maytag blue cheese
Pickled red onion (recipe follows)
Mayonnaise (optional)
Kaiser rolls

Preparation:

-Shape burgers, making a small well in the center of each burger to allow for more even cooking. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
-Place burgers on a hot grill and cook to your desired doneness. Add cheese approximately 2 minutes before end of cooking to melt partially.
-Serve cheese-topped burgers on Kaiser rolls with pickled red onions as an accompaniment.
-Serve warm with cocktail picks and sauce on the side.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve with a simple side salad of arugula dressed with a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and freshly ground pepper.

Pickled Red Onion

Ingredients:

1 medium red onion
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/4c. honey
Several grinds black pepper

Preparation:

-Whisk honey and red wine vinegar, adding pepper to taste.
-Slice onion thinly (using a mandoline or other similar tool works well) and add to vinegar/honey mixture.
-Mix well and refrigerate at least two hours or up to 3 days.