Monday, February 28, 2011

Beef & Broccoli Cooking Demo

At the most recent Lasater Grasslands Beef cooking demo a good group of folks showed up to learn some new recipes. Each person shared their successes and challenges cooking with 100% pasture raised beef. We enjoyed delicious food, good conversation and shared recipes with one another. Please join me for the next cooking demo in April 2011. Look for the upcoming date to be announced & follow related Lasater tweets.

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 lb or more top sirloin or sirloin tip, sliced against the grain 1/8 inch thick
3 tablespoons peanut oil
10 ounces broccoli florets and stems
ginger root, fresh or frozen grated
chili pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup water if more beef, then add more water


Toss together cornstarch, salt, pepper, and beef in a bowl until meat is coated.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in wok over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then stir-fry beef until just cooked through, about 1 minute. Constantly stirring beef. Transfer with a slotted spoon to another bowl and keep warm, loosely covered with foil.
Add remaining tablespoon oil to wok along with broccoli and garlic and stir-fry over moderately high heat until broccoli is just tender and garlic is pale golden, about 2 minutes.
Add soy sauce and water and bring to a boil. Return meat to skillet and cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.

Cooking tips for great stir fry:
  • Partially freeze meat before slicing against the grain- Appro. 30 minutes.
  • Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to use before beginning.
  • Cut all ingredients the same size for even cooking.
  • Pre-heat the wok on medium-high to high heat for at least a minute before adding oil.
  • Make sure oil coats all sides of wok.
  • If possible, never add more than a cup of meat at a time to the wok.
  • Remove the meat from the wok when it changes color - for example the redness in the beef is gone. At this point the meat is approximately 80 percent cooked.
  • Do not use wet vegetables. Vegetables should be as dry as possible.
  • Once the dish is completed, taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  • Serve the stir-fried dish immediately.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rustic Cabbage, Beef & Barley Soup

Rustic cabbage, beef & barley soup is a variation on a traditional dish from the Provence region of France. What I found most appealing about this soup is that it requires ingredients found in a winter pantry or cellar: onion, garlic, cabbage, celery, & barley. The orange is the bit from Provence. This is a simple recipe.

2 ounces bacon
1 pound Lasater stewing beef, in 1-inch cubes
1 onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup barley
2 cups chopped green cabbage (about 1/4 medium head)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1-2 teaspooons grated orange zest
7-8 cups beef stock 
Salt and pepper to taste


In a four quart Dutch oven or other large heavy pot, cook the bacon on med-high until lightly browned. Remove, leaving the fat in the pot. Add the beef and cook over high heat until lightly browned. Remove, return the bacon to the pot and add the onion, celery, garlic and cabbage.  Cook on medium heat until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the paprika and zest.
zester close-up
microplane zester

Return the beef to the pot. Add stock, season with salt and pepper and simmer covered for 45 minutes. Stir in the barley, cover and cook for 30 minutes. If the beef is not tender, cook it a bit longer. If the soup is not served immediately, more stock may be needed for reheating. 

Build a fire, get a bottle of Cote du Rhone and enjoy!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beef Chili with Molasses Cornbread at Salt!

Yet another smokin' hot dish from Salt The Bistro. Bradford Heap, owner of Salt, has given his staff the opportunity to really work with local suppliers to create fresh twists on some classic standards. The boys and I were in the other night for dinner and enjoyed Lasater Grasslands Beef chili.  Brett Bertin, the new AM sous chef added his own signature to this western comfort food. While Brett sauteed Poblano and Anaheim peppers with onions & carrots, he let the beef marinate in freshly toasted cumin seeds, paprika, salt & pepper. After browning the beef, the peppers were added to the pan and he deglazed it with the house draft beer - Bella Big Brown Ale. Brett used the mild chili mix from Savory Spice Shop and let the aromatic ingredients simmer. Finally, he added pinto and great northern beans and a tomato puree, and then let the chili cook for 4-5 hours.  The chili was mouth-watering and pleasantly spicy. Adding the final touch to this hearty dish was a giant piece of housemade molasses cornbread. The cornbread was perfectly moist and delicious. If this is what we get out the gate from Brett, I can't wait to taste more.  Congratulations to Brett -- lucky us!

sunday 10 - 10 
monday - wednesday 11 - 10 
thursday - saturday 11 -11
1047 Pearl Street
303.444.(SALT) 7258 
Salt the Bistro

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Marinated Tri-tips with Kale Salad


It was Ryan's birthday and the theme was tapas. I had a boneless tri-tip roast, a lean cut of beef from the bottom sirloin. To see a chart of beef cuts visit beef made easy cut chart.  Some of our family samplers include this cut of beef. It is a great cut for fajitas, stir fry, tacos, and many other dishes. 
I marinated the tri-tip for a few hours leaving it at room temperature, and then grilled it medium rare. Since I have been enjoying kale this winter, I decided to prepare a mixed kale salad with an acai dressing. Kale is rich in vitamins A & C and contains calcium and iron. It is also a great source for fiber. 

Marinated Tri-tip
1-2 lbs of Tri-tips
4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Drizzle the olive oil over the tri-tip roast. Rub the chopped garlic on both the top and bottom size of roast. Salt & pepper both sides as well. Let marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour before grilling. If time permits, marinate for longer. If longer, marinate in the refrigerator.  Bring meat to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before grilling.  Heat grill to medium-high heat. Place roast on grill surface. The most tender and succulent way to eat pasture-raised beef is rare to medium-rare. Once meat is grilled, set aside for 10 minutes to allow it to rest. The interior of the meat tends to continue to cook once it has been removed from the fire. Prepare salad, then slice meat thin and place on top of salad. Be sure to slice meat immediately before serving.  
Mixed Kale Salad with Acai dressing
2 bunches Kale  (purple & green)
1 carrot, shredded
1/4-1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced 
1/2  cup  a├žai juice blend (such as Sambazon Original Blend)
3  tablespoons  sucanat
1 1/2  tablespoons  grated orange rind
3  tablespoons  rice vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Steam kale for approx. 1 minute, remove, let cool. Toss all ingredients including salad dressing together. Place in serving platter, then place meat over salad.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Tongue-wich" at Salt The Bistro!

Between lunch and dinner on any given day, the chef, sous chefs, and prep cooks at Salt are stoking the fire that will be used to prepare the evening meals. Anyone who has ever sat at the kitchen counter at Salt knows that the grill is the beating heart of the restaurant. If you are lucky enough to grab those counter bar stools, do it, and watch the show unfold before your eyes. 
Yesterday afternoon, we were those lucky folks. The boys, Tita and I sat and watched as the kitchen staff prepared for the dinner rush to arrive.  We weren't disappointed. Chef Kevin, sous chef Nate Weir, and team gave us a great performance. Of course, we were there to enjoy a Lasater Grasslands Beef (LGB) special: Tongue-wich! Nate prepared a deliciously unique BBQ style tongue sandwich served with a fennel slaw, & housemade fries. 
First, Nate brined the tongue in juniper berries, brown sugar, molasses, apple cider vinegar, and seasonings overnight. He then simmered the tongue in a mixture of beer, water, leeks, garlic, onions, apple cider vinegar, molasses, & chipotle peppers for 2 hours. After simmering, the outer membrane of the tongue was removed. Then, the brisket-like meat was smoked in a perforated pan on hickory and apple wood chips. Once finished, the tongue was sliced ultra-thin and served with a BBQ sauce made by reducing the broth.
If you haven't enjoyed tongue, like most folks, give it a try. It is tender, has a brisket-like texture and is very flavorful. Nate has created the perfect first-timer's dish.


The wood-grilled fare at Salt is delicious and captivating to watch while it's being prepared. See if you can snag those counter seats and watch the flurry of activity on your next visit to Salt!

sunday 10 - 10 
monday - wednesday 11 - 10 
thursday - saturday 11 -11
1047 Pearl Street
303.444.(SALT) 7258 
Salt the Bistro