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Cornish Pasties with Skirt Steak

When I first saw the word “pasties,” I automatically added an “r.” Cornish pastries. That sounds delicious! After recent travels through the British county of Cornwall, I can vouch for the fact that Cornish pasties, and Cornish pastries are heavenly (if as “pastries” you count scones with marmalade and clotted cream, a delicacy that’s somewhere between butter and whipped cream).

Cornish pasties were so good that my sister recreated them at home. Below, you can find her recipe, which will make an amazing treat for Memorial Day picnics.

This kind of pasty is pronounced pass-tee, not paste-y (which describes my skin before I managed to get a sunburnt nose in a country famous for its rain). The first form of pasty comes from the same root word as pâté, which can be not only an hors d’oeuvre but also a savory pie of meat or fish.

And a savory pie is what you’ll get when you order one at bakeries in Cornwall. My brother-in-law described the one he ordered as a thick beef stew wrapped in pie dough. The dough is soft with a delicious firm crust at the edge, while the filling is tender without making the dough soggy.

Pasties are a historic grab-n-go meal. “Pasties are thought to have been around in Cornwall since the 14th century,” says the Cornish Pasty Association’s website, “so it’s only natural then that the Cornish have become rather attached to them.”

Stewed beef was a later addition, according to the Great Cornish Food Book, cited on the Cornish Pasty Association website. Before that, the workers who carried this convenient lunch used ingredients that were easier to come by—potatoes, onions and rutabagas.

Knowing that this was a worker’s lunch, it is easy to make the connection between pasties and mining. Traveling through Cornish coastal towns, we saw as many mines as pasty shops. Copper, tin, and other metals drew miners deep into the ground in Cornwall.

 

“It was the advent of Cornish mining in the 19th century that really brought the pasty into its own and made it an important part of the life of so many Cornish families,” says the Great Cornish Food Book. They were easy to carry. Some even say the miners held the rope-shaped “handle” on the edge of the pasty and discarded it at the end so they wouldn’t eat anything they’d touched with “grubby, possibly arsenic-ridden hands.” Others say the miners wrapped pasties in paper bags or cloth so they wouldn’t have to handle them with bare hands. I’m inclined to believe the second idea. That crust is one of the best parts!

Try them yourself! Here’s the recipe my sister made soon after we returned from vacation.

Cornish Pasties with Skirt Steak
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: English
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 pasties
 
A delicious "hand pie" - perfect for eating on the run or as a stunning meal for company. For those who prefer a simpler method, store-bought crusts can be used. Just cut them in half first and form into a triangle, or make one very large pasty that serves 2. If you're pressed for time, you can even turn the temperature up and pre-cook the ingredients. Sometimes I microwave the vegetables and pan-sear the beef if I need a quick meal. Be creative. Use olive oil, add other vegetables, meats or cheeses, or even drizzle some wine or beer into your mixture too!
Ingredients
Pasty:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup cold water
Filling:
  • 2½ cups potato, finely diced into about 1 cm pieces (about 3 medium potatoes)
  • 1 cup white cooking onion, finely chopped (about 3 small onions)
  • 1 cup carrots, finely diced (about 3 small/medium carrots
  • 12 oz beef skirt steak, finely chopped (some recipes said you could use chuck roast instead)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
Instructions
  1. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, butter and egg yolks into a food processor and blend until the mixture forms crumbs. Slowly add the water until it forms a ball (you may not need all of the water). Wrap the dough in clingwrap and refrigerate 1 hour
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. On a floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough. Cut out 6 circles of dough using a large bowl or dinner plate as a template.
  4. Mix together the meat, vegetables, flour and a generous amount of salt and pepper in a large bowl. (Yes everything is raw still!) Ladle into the center of each circle of dough. Add a generous dollop of butter on top of the meat and vegetable mixture. Fold over and crimp the edges with a fork. Cut a few steam holes in the pasty. Brush with beaten egg. Scatter a little bit of cornmeal on the bottom of the pasty before placing on a baking pan to allow some heat to circulate underneath. Put another sprinkle of salt and pepper on top too before baking.
  5. Bake 50 minutes at 350, until golden brown on top and the beef is no longer pink. Allow them to rest 5-10 minutes.
  6. These reheated splendidly in the oven, and I imagine they would do fine being assembled ahead of time and baked later - which would make them the perfect meal to make ahead of time for company.

Dice your vegetables very small – about 1 cm or less than 1/2 inch pieces.

And, if you happen to find yourself golfing in Phoenixville, PA, look for the Wheatley mine on the grounds of the Pickering Valley Golf Course, where you can find this familiar-looking “Cornish stack.” It reminds me of an old saying: “a mine is a hole anywhere in the world with at least one Cornishman at the bottom of it.” As Cornwall was running out of minerals, other countries were discovering them, so many miners left Cornwall to offer their expertise and improve their lot elsewhere.  Between 1841 and 1901, more than a quarter of a million people left Cornwall. The Wheatley mine in Phoenixville was founded during that time period: 1850, to be exact.

Cornish pasties made with #SkirtSteak! #PicnicFood #SavoryPie

Cuban Vaca Frita with Lone Star Farm Skirt Steak

A table can be a comfort. A restaurant can be an island set apart from the cares of life. When my husband and I moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida at the end of May, I needed just such an oasis.

“What is Port St. Lucie like?” Friends asked me before we moved. “I mean, is it a city, or the country, or what?”

“It’s just houses and strip malls and palm trees as far as the eye can see,” I said.

So after I moved, I needed an oasis because much of the Port St. Lucie landscape is monotonous. I looked for egrets and sandhill cranes by the roadside canals, just to break the relentless ugliness of supermarkets, office supply stores, pawn shops and fast food restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the convenience of being within a ten-minute drive of the nearest Target as much as the next person, but that convenience has its price, and in so many suburbs the price is an endless vista of bland uniformity.

So imagine my delight when my husband and I stepped into a local Cuban restaurant on our anniversary this past June. We had parked in a strip mall parking lot and entered through a strip mall door, but once we were inside the restaurant, I felt like I was in someone’s home. Bamboo shades blocked my view, and my memory, of the parking lot. White tablecloths adorned the tables, and antique chairs beckoned. The bar looked like it came from the set of Key Largo. I could smell savory seared beef.

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A server joked with us like we were old friends. Life slowed down. I saw only vistas of beauty and comfort.

I looked at the menu and ordered vaca frita—“fried cow.” The Spanish language tells it like it is.

I don’t think it was just the fact that I felt so at ease in this restaurant that made the beef taste so good. Vaca frita is an amazing meal that starts with slow-simmed beef that is then fried in oil. The beef isn’t breaded the way most fried food is, but it gets crispy nonetheless.

Later that night, I texted a Cuban friend of mine: “I ate something called fried cow. It was so good I almost wept.”

A few weeks later, I had to try making vaca frita myself with Lone Star Farm’s skirt steak, sold in their freezer packs. I hope that whenever I serve this meal, my table will also be a comfort, creating an oasis for whoever eats there.

Vaca Frita
Author: 
 
Adapted from Food & Wine.
Ingredients
  • 1½ lbs skirt steak
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large pan, combine skirt steak, onion, bell pepper, bay leaves, oregano and onion powder, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine lime, oil and garlic to use as a marinade.
  3. Once steak has simmered, remove it to a plate. Discard bay leaves and drain liquid. Fry the onions and peppers and set aside.
  4. Shred the steak once it is cool enough to work with. Toss it in the marinade to coat and let it sit 30 minutes.
  5. Working in small batches in a very hot pan, add shredded beef in one layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let it get nice and crispy on both sides.
  6. Serve with fried onions and peppers.

 

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Smokey Philly Cheesesteak Dip for Harvest Parties

Whenever the topic of Philly cheesesteaks comes up, a debate about cheese varieties is sure to follow. Maybe you’re a die-hard Cheez Whiz cheesesteak fan, or maybe it’s the provolone that makes a cheesesteak a cheesesteak to you.

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But really, it’s the beef that matters most and that unites the cheese factions. After all, when the Philly cheesesteak was invented at Pat’s King of Steaks in the 1930s, the first steaks were not even topped with cheese. As the story goes, Pat Olivieri, who ran a popular hot dog stand, was slicing up some meat for his lunch and grilling it on the hot dog grill when a cab driver asked if he could have one of these grilled steak sandwiches, too. “Forget ‘bout those hot dogs!” the cab driver said after trying it. “You guys should be making these.”

When Pat’s did start “making these,” they were Philly steaks. It took 30 years before they put the “cheese” in cheesesteak.

And did you know that, like the cheesesteak itself, the cut of meat that works so well in a Philly cheesesteak was also discovered by accident?

In the 1930s, a butcher, not from Philadelphia but from Pomona, California, discovered that a cut of bottom round roast had been frozen accidentally. He didn’t think it would be any good, but he decided to slice the meat as thin as lunch meat and let it thaw in his refrigerated display case.

The meat was delicious, and his method created a new way to prepare beef. Ever afterward, bottom round would be frozen for 24 hours, sliced paper-thin, and then thawed and browned much like ground beef.

Chip steak, this cut of beef discovered in California, can be used in the most amazing Philly Cheesesteaks that you can make at home, and, as you prepare for harvest parties this weekend, or game-day parties coming up, you can use browned Lone Star Farm chip steak in this Smokey Cheesesteak Dip your guests will love. (I’m solidly in the provolone cheesesteak camp, so I opted for smoked provolone in this recipe. But feel free to modify the cheese if you like!)

Served the same day, this dish’s smoked provolone notes are the most noticeable flavors. If you can’t get enough of rich, smokey provolone, serve this dip the day you make it. If you want the flavors to harmonize, make it ahead and serve it the next day.

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Smokey Philly Cheesesteak Dip for Harvest Parties
Author: 
Recipe type: Dip
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups chip steak, browned and drained of any fat
  • olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup shredded smoked provolone
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Saute onions and green pepper in olive oil a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Remove from heat and reserve.
  3. To the mixing bowl of your electric mixer, add cream cheese, mayonnaise and smoked Provolone and mix on low until well blended. Then mix in pepper and onion mixture and chip steak.
  4. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until cheese is golden.
  5. Serve with flatbread or toasted Philly cheesesteak rolls.

 

Get Dad Grilling with New York Strip Steaks for Father’s Day

Divide and conquer.  That’s always the strategy my husband and I employ whenever we’re having guests.  I find peace in the way that we each go through a mental to-do list and circulate through the house completing tasks while we listen to music.  It tells me that we’ve been married for several years and have found our way into a helpful pattern.  It tells me that we both care about reducing stress and the workload for the other person.

Recently, I found a recipe that allows the family chefs to divide and conquer in a way that is sure to bring peace, satisfaction and an unforgettable feast–whether you’re planning a meal for guests or for the family.

If Dad loves grilling, you can make his Father’s Day heart content by sending him out to the patio to enjoy the great outdoors and grill up Lone Star Farm’s tender, sumptuous dry-aged New York Strip Steaks.

The Beiler family says they know many dads who love their New York Strip Steak, which is such a perfect steak for grilling that some grill masters have called it “the ultimate” steak for a barbecue.

Here’s How To Grill It

As with all grilling, you’ll want to let the beef warm up to room temperature before grilling, just for 20 minutes, keeping food safety in mind.  Just before the meat hits the grill, salt and pepper it.  Salting too early will dry the beef out (which isn’t a good thing unless you’re a pioneer on the Oregon Trail).

For a medium rare to medium 3⁄4 inch steak, grill 7-10 minutes on a medium hot charcoal or gas grill. For a 1-inch steak, grill 11-15 minutes on charcoal or gas.  The internal temp should reach 140 degrees for medium rare or 155 degrees for medium.

Making the Sauce

While Dad is in his element, the other chef can work on a rich tart cherry sauce to top the finished steak.  You’ll have to start this about 30 minutes before sending Dad out to the patio as it takes some time to simmer.  If you’re starting with fresh sour cherries and need to pit them, our friends at Weaver’s Orchard have helpful tips.

Once it’s all ready, you will definitely be celebrating the teamwork as you enjoy how the salty, juicy grilled flavors and the tart cherry flavors mingle together.  It’s a great way to celebrate in-season produce and free-range beef as families celebrate all that Dad means to them.

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Grilled New York Strip Steak with Cherry Sauce
Author: 
 
Adapted from Chukar Cherries blog
Ingredients
  • 2 10-12 ounce Lone Star Farm New York Strip Steaks, grilled
  • ½ cup tart cherries, fresh (pitted) or frozen (thawed)
  • ¾ cup cabernet sauvignon
  • ¾ cup cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, bring wine and beef broth to a boil. Add tart cherries and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Add butter.
  2. When it has melted, stir the mixture, add salt and pepper and pour over grilled steak.
  3. Note: If using frozen cherries, you may want to reduce the amount of wine and broth as the thawed cherries will have a lot of liquid.

 

 

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What Does “London Broil” Really Mean?

When I was growing up, London broil meant “special occasion.”  It meant that summer was here and we were celebrating a birthday, anniversary or special guest.  It meant side dishes of potato salad and homemade bread.  It meant we got to drink cranberry juice turned “sparkling” with a dash of seltzer water.  It meant we squished around the picnic table on the front porch and tried not to elbow each other (well, sometimes we didn’t try too hard).

While London broil is always a very meaningful meal for my family, if you try to order London broil in London, it means nothing.  Londoners don’t serve London broil.  The origins of this meal are entirely North American, and fairly recent.  “London broil” first appeared in a cooking dictionary in 1969, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Growing up, I always thought London broil was the name of a specific kind of steak.  It always looked the same–a thick piece of meat cut into thin slices, deliciously crisp on the outside with just a hint of pink in the middle–and tasted the same–rich, tangy and nourishing, perfect with vinegary steak sauce.

Even this meaning slips away, though.  London broil describes the cooking method, not the type of steak.  At Lone Star, London broil encompasses a few of our best cuts: we have one that is so perfect, we specifically call it London broil, and you could also use our top round steak and flank steak.

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So… next question… what’s the right cooking method?  Well, here are the essentials:

  • Marinate the meat at least six hours, or, ideally, overnight.
  • Broil or grill it.
  • Cut it in thin strips, across the grain.

Here is one London broil marinade that is sure to wake up your taste buds and make a special summer meal:

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Zesty London Broil Marinade
Author: 
Recipe type: Marinade
Cuisine: Traditional
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Mix ingredients and pour into a resealable bag. Add the meat (about a 2-3 pound cut) and make sure the marinade soaks into the whole piece.
  2. Press as much air as you possibly can out of the bag and then close it.
  3. Marinade as long as you can--at least six hours and preferably overnight. Turn the bag and swish the liquid around at least once.

 

Even though you might not be able to see Big Ben from your table while you enjoy this steak, and even if it doesn’t refer to a specific cut of meat, London broil is sure to be the start of a memorable and meaningful meal.

Reminder: You can pre-order a London Broil in time for Mother’s Day! Call us at 717-629-2276 between the hours of 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. to place your order for pick up this Saturday at Twin Valley Coffee in Elverson. Twin Valley Coffee is located at 4043 Main St. Elverson, PA – right across from the Wal-Mart. 

Article written by Rebecca Talbot and coordinated by VanDuzer Design and Marketing for Lone Star Farm and may also be syndicated on Fig: West Chester and Rachel’s Farm Table

The High Stakes of Cooking Steaks: Sirloin Steak Salad Recipe

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Stakes are high when it comes to cooking steaks. The last thing you want to do is to ruin perfectly good steak by using the wrong cooking methods, so read on to make sure you get the most out of your steak dinner. While I know there are many adventurous ways to cook steak, I am always satisfied with familiar flavors like garlic, herbs, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Plus, these ingredients have many health benefits.

Garlic has many health benefits including reducing blood pressure, combatting allergies, helping control insulin levels for diabetics, fighting off common infections and preventing numerous cancers.

Herbs like Rosemary, Thyme and Oregano aid in many health issues. Rosemary is known to help relieve headaches, reduce blood pressure and aid in digestion. Thyme is also used for relief of coughs including those from bronchitis or whooping cough and has many germ-killing properties. Oregano can help relieve allergies and coughs and can be applied to the skin for common ailments such as acne and athlete’s foot.

Olive Oil is high in healthy, monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help lower cholesterol, normalize blood clotting and regulate insulin levels in diabetics. Fats also play a vital role in healthy brain function and both olive oil and our lean ground beef play a key role in keeping your brain healthy!

Balsamic Vinegar helps regulate insulin levels (are you catching the common thread here?) aids in digestion, and suppresses appetite, which can assist in weight loss. It also contains antioxidants, which are said to fight against cell damage.

A great, guilt-free way to enjoy steaks like our Sirloin Steak is to marinade it with our favorite herbed marinade, grill it and then serve it over a bed of fresh greens, your favorite vegetables and a healthy homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Try the recipe below, and stop by our stand at The Farmers Market at Elverson this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to stock up on our featured item, Sirloin Steak!

Herbed Marinade

Yield: Marinade for 1 steak

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. each fresh diced herbs: rosemary, thyme and oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

1.  Marinate thawed steak 2-3 hours.

2. Allow steak to reach room temperature for approximately 30 minutes.

3. To grill sirloin steaks, preheat your gas grill to high. Place the steaks on very hot grill and close the lid. This will sear in the juices and help the sirloin cook evenly.

4. Grill the steak with lid down for 4-5 minutes, depending on thickness. After 4-5 minutes, lift the lid and flip the steaks using tongs.   Close the lid and grill the steaks 3–4 more minutes for medium rare (135 degrees) and about 5–6 minutes for medium. (150 degrees)

5. Slice steaks and serve over a bed of your favorite greens and accent with other vegetables, homemade croutons, crumbled cheeses such as chevre, feta or gorgonzola and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

  • ¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. each fresh or dried basil and oregano

Mix all ingredients together in a carafe and pour over salad as needed. This is also a great marinade for croutons.

The Budget-Friendly Ranch Steak

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The affordable Ranch Steak is a lesser-known gem in the steak offerings from Lone Star Farm. This tasty boneless steak is cut from the center of a chuck shoulder with all of the excess fat removed.

I first tried a Ranch Steak on Ernie & Elmina Beiler’s recommendation as one of their best steaks – especially for the budget-conscious shopper. It certainly didn’t disappoint!

Ranch steaks are quite flavorful yet they should be marinaded about 2-3 hours for optimum flavor and tenderness. Any marinade should work well for this recipe, just keep a few simple tips in mind:

  • Don’t over-salt the steak – Lone Star steaks have so much flavor on their own!
  • Don’t over-marinate the steak – 2-3 hours is plenty of time. Otherwise the steak can become too soft.
  • Keep it simple. Only a few spices are needed to draw out the natural flavor in the steak.

Try this simple, flavorful marinade:

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a zip-lock bag with steak and marinade 2-3 hours.
  2. Allow the steak to reach room temperature (about 30 minutes) prior to grilling.
  3. Grill on high for a total cooking time of about 10-12 minutes. After 2.5 minutes, rotate the steak 45 degrees to get nice grill marks. In another 2.5 minutes, flip the steak over. Only flip the steak ONCE! After another 2.5 minutes, rotate the steak 45 degrees and cook the final 2.5 minutes.

Kick Off Summer with Sirloin Steak

steak close up

 

While reading on my porch last weekend, the familiar aroma of my neighbor’s grill smoke wafted onto the deck and teased my appetite with thoughts of the Lone Star steaks I had in my freezer. Grilling is one of my absolute favorite things about summer. It’s a win-win-win situation: my summer menus are much more simple, the dishes are healthier and the clean up is far easier.

Later that weekend we decided to grill some sirloin steak for the company we had coming over. One Lone Star sirloin steak would have been plenty for 4 people, but I chose to throw on some ranch steaks too just to be sure there was enough. I thawed the steaks and then marinated them in the refrigerator for about 2 hours using my mom’s steak marinade recipe, which I’ll share below. Sirloin steak shouldn’t be marinated much longer than 2-3 hours, otherwise it may become too tender.

Sirlion steak 2

About Marinades: 

Marinades should include some sort of acid like tomato, vinegar or fruit juice to help tenderize the meat. A tasty marinade also adds flavor to the meat as it absorbs the liquid around it. Use an impervious container such as glass, glazed ceramic or stainless steel.

Steak Marinade Recipe:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce (contains vinegar)
  • 6 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp A-1 steak sauce (contains vinegar and tomato)

Grilling Time:

Total grilling time should be about 8-10 minutes for medium rare steak.

Grill it in 2 minute rotations: rotate at a 45 degree angle after the first 2 minutes, grill another 2 minutes, then flip once. Grill another 2 minutes, rotate 45 degrees and grill a final 2 minutes.

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Grilling Tips

  • Thaw meat thoroughly in the refrigerator.
  • Most chefs recommend taking the steak out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before grilling. It will cook more evenly if it’s not ice cold (but keep food safety in mind and don’t ever let it get too warm).
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to allow your grill to reach the proper temperature before grilling.
  • Don’t pierce the steak; this will drain the juices. Use tongs to turn the meat.
  • Turn it only once while grilling. This creates a nice crust. To get nice grill marks, divide the total grilling time by four and rotate 45 degrees before and after flipping the steak or burger.
  • Times listed below are total cooking times.
  • When you think the steak is done, use a quick read thermometer to find the internal temperature. You’ll notice some variation in the internal temperature in the following recipes, depending on the cut of meat.
  • With a little practice, you won’t need a thermometer. You’ll be able to tell doneness just by touching the meat.
  • To preserve the succulence of the steak, let it rest for about five minutes before serving or carving. Or wrap it in foil and let it rest for up to 20 minutes.

Learning to Cook a Top Round Steak 3 Different Ways

Fajitas

Beef Fajitas with Top Round Steak

This month’s featured item is Top Round Steak, a lean cut of meat that can be sold either as a roast or as a steak. The only difference between the roast and the steak is its thickness. A steak is typically 1 1/4 inch thick, whereas a roast would be much thicker. We recommend 3 main ways to prepare this cut:

1. Marinating & Grilling

Top round steaks are very similar to a London Broil and are often sold interchangeably. They are best marinated for four hours to overnight and then grilled. Top Round steaks taste best when they are not cooked beyond medium rare, for a total cooking time of about 10-14 minutes.

2. Slow-Roasting

Top Round steaks and roasts can be slow-roasted to bring out this cut’s tenderness. You can roast the whole steak or cut it into individual portion sizes prior to roasting. To braise the top round, first season and brown the meat in olive oil over medium high heat. After it has browned, add ¼ cup broth or wine (This is for a four-pound roast. Adjust accordingly, particularly if you are using a thinner steak instead of a roast.)  Keep an eye on it and add a little more liquid if needed while it cooks. Simmer the roast for 2-2 ½ hours or until it reaches your desired doneness:

  • Medium Rare – 145 degrees
  • Medium – 160 degrees
  • Medium Well – 160 degrees
  • Well Done – 170 degrees

If oven braising, preheat the oven to 350 while you brown the roast. Pour ¼ cup liquid into the roasting pan, add the meat and cover the pan with a lid or foil. Bake for 2- 2 ½ hours or until it reaches your desired doneness.

In the crockpot, cook 6-8 hours on low. Some cooks use a little liquid and some just season the roast and let it cook in its own juices.

3. Thin-Slicing & Pan-Frying

Top Round steak can also be thinly sliced, seasoned and pan fried. You may want to add a little bit of water to the pan to ensure that the steak has enough moisture. This method works well for fajitas, pepper steak or cheesesteaks.  We recommend trying the following fajita recipe using a top round steak:

Homemade Fajita Seasoning

In a small bowl, combine:

  • 1.5 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. onion powder

Delicious Beef Fajitas

  • 12 oz. top round steak, beef skirt steak or flank steak
  • 4-6 flour tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup thin strips of red or green sweet pepper (1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion separated into rings (1 medium)
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh jalapeno pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomato or salsa (1 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Serve with guacamole, fresh or canned salsa, cheddar cheese, lettuce and sour cream, if desired. Accompany it with freshly sliced pineapple or mango on the side.

1. Use beef while slightly frozen for easier slicing. Trim fat from meat and thinly slice across the grain into bite-size strips. (The thinner the better!) Place meat strips in a deep bowl. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. of fajita season, reserving remaining 1 tsp. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

2. Wrap tortillas slightly in foil. Heat in a 350 degree oven about 10 minutes or until heated through. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of oil over medium-high heat. Add sweet peppers, onion and remaining fajita seasoning. Cook and stir about 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove onion mixture from skillet.

3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the meat to the skillet. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes until desired doneness for steak. Drain well. Return onion mixture to skillet. Stir in tomato or salsa. Cook and stir 1 minute or until heated through. Remove skillet from heat; stir in lime juice.

4. To serve, fill warm tortillas with meat mixture. If desired, top meat mixture with guacamole, salsa, cheese and sour cream. Roll up tortillas and enjoy!

If you are on our email list, you’ll get a coupon for $5 off 3 or more Top Round steaks this month. Be sure to sign up on the side column!

 

Philly Cheese Steak with Lancaster County Chip Steak

I’ll admit, Philly cheese steaks are one of my guilty pleasures. But when they can be made with lean beef chip steak from Lone Star Farm, I don’t feel quite so bad about eating it. In fact, I would even argue that if you follow the recipe below, it’s actually pretty healthy!

But first, let’s learn a bit about the history of the chipsteak! According to Ehow.com, the chipsteak was first discovered in the 1930’s:

The chip steak began, as many great inventions do, by accident. Butcher William Dubil of Pomona, California discovered that a cut of bottom round beef had been frozen accidentally during storage. Despite his inclination that this cut of beef would spoil as it thawed, he sliced the beef into paper thin patties and allowed the frozen cuts to slow thaw in his refrigerated display counter. Much to his surprise, the meat did not go bad, and instead became a tasty delicacy which he named chip steaks.

Today, chipsteaks follow the same pattern of taking the meat (either a round or a loin) and freezing it at low temperatures for 24 hours before slicing it thinly into this delicious cut of meat!

cheesesteak

Philly Cheesesteak Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 Package Lone Star Farm Beef chip steak
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium cooking onion
  • 1 portobello mushroom
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic

Plus:

  • Crusty sandwich rolls
  • Provolone cheese
  • Marinara sauce (if desired)
  • Hot peppers (if desired)

Directions:

  1. Slice onions, mushrooms and peppers and mince garlic.
  2. Add olive oil, garlic and onions to a large pan over medium heat. Saute 1 minute, add mushrooms and peppers. Cook 1-2 minutes more until vegetables begin to soften. Remove from pan.
  3. Slice the chip steak into thin strips; season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  4. In the same pan, add the chip steak and cook on high just until browned. Add vegetables back to pan 1-2 minutes more.
  5. Slice the sandwich rolls, place a slice of provolone cheese on the roll and toast in a 300 degree oven until the cheese is melted.
  6. Load up your sandwich roll with the meat mixture and add any toppings you desire.
  7. Serve with a green salad, like the one pictured with field greens, cucumber, red onion, goat cheese and an olive oil vinaigrette.