Friday, January 28, 2011

Ground Beef and Cheese Manicotti

Melanie V. sent over this Beef and Cheese Manicotti recipe. She also came over and helped me prepare it. Thanks Mel!  My family loved it! So did Jeni N. and Karen M.  
Thanks to the support of Bo Sharon, owner of Lucky's Market in north Boulder, I was able to purchase all the ingredients for my dinner and support several Colorado businesses at the same time. Lucky's has recently begun carrying Lasater Grasslands Beef (LGB) in the frozen meat case. Be sure to look for LGB when shopping there. It's a super friendly neighborhood market. Everyone is so nice there! I bought Pastatively marinara sauce made in Eagle, Colorado & Cheese Importers mozzarella located in Longmont, Co. This meal can be prepared ahead of time, then placed in the oven for 55 minutes before serving. It serves approximately 6 people. 
Ingredients from Lucky's

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound Lasater gound beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 (8-ounce package) manicotti
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces


Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, onion and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the meat browns and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and cool. Brush 1 teaspoon of oil over a large baking sheet. Cook the manicotti in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly softened, but still very firm to the bite, about 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the manicotti from the pot to the oiled baking sheet and cool. Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, 1 1/2 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and parsley. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper to taste, and mix. Stir the cooled meat mixture into the cheese mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Fill the manicotti with the cheese-meat mixture. Arrange the stuffed pasta in a single layer in the prepared dish and spoon the remaining sauce over.

Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, then the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the stuffed pasta. Dot entire dish with butter pieces (we did not do this part). Bake the manicotti uncovered until heated through and the sauce bubbles on the sides of the dish, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.

 Serve this hearty creamy meal with a dark leafy green 
salad or roasted root vegetables. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lengua (Beef Tongue) at Oak!

Oak at fourteenth continues to create unique dishes that are pleasing to the palate.  Some are new twists on old favorites (Housemade Pastrami Sandwich) and others take the patron on food adventures, re-discovering delicacies. This week, Chef Steve, features Lasater Grasslands Beef tongue soup with garlic. 

Beef tongue is not a very common dish to most of you, but this rich cut of meat is enjoyed in many parts of the world.  Previously, Joe and I have only tasted cow tongue in Mexican tacos. Tonight, Joe, Ryan S. & I were eager to try this interesting dish.  We discovered a perfectly delicate soup that would compliment any meal. Chef Steve poached the tongue in beef stock, bay leaves, & thyme for approximately 8 hours, tenderizing this tasty delicacy. The outer membrane was then removed, and the tongue was thinly sliced. The poaching liquid, which is reminiscent of a consomme, was poured over blanched baby golden beets, carrots, along with the tongue slices. It was beautifully garnished with thin shavings of fresh garlic, a bit of thyme, and drizzled with tarragon-parsley oil. Tongue is similar in flavor to brisket and pot roast. We all delighted in our shared adventure of eating this relatively rare cut of beef. We then continued on with our culinary tour and ordered fried pickles.  This crunchy & tangy 'shared plates' dish is served with a creamy green goddess aioli and is YUMMY!


If you have a chance to visit Oak at fourteenth, stop in for lunch, dinner or brunch sometime soon. Owners Steve Redzikowski, Annie Polk, & Bryan Dayton have renovated the old 14th Street Bar & Grill space and created a warm, inviting atmosphere that is perfect any time of day.   

Lunch and Dinner Tuesday-Sunday 
Saturday & Sunday Brunch
1400 Pearl Street

Friday, January 21, 2011

Flat Iron Steak at Salt!

Bradford Heap, owner of Salt the Bistro, along with executive chef Kevin Kidd and staff are really adhering to their philosophy of sourcing locally. They have made a commitment to use organic, fresh ingredients whenever possible, and Lasater Grasslands Beef (LGB) is playing a significant role in that effort.
Last night our friends David and Elizabeth P. & family joined us for a delicious dinner at Salt the Bistro. Kevin and sous chef, Alex Krill, prepared flat iron steak and delighted patrons with an inventive take on a simple beef cut. They marinated the pasture raised beef in rosemary, olive oil, & garlic then grilled it perfectly medium-rare over an apple wood fire. The steak was served with roasted fennel on a bed of beluga lentils that had been ladled with a nage, an aromatic broth. The dish was topped with gremolata or gremolada, which is a chopped herb condiment typically made of garlic, parsley, and lemon zest. Salt has refined the traditional recipe by adding olive oil and fennel fronds. It was a deliciously zesty dinner entree that the kids enjoyed too!

Old flat iron 'rest' showing shape
 A flat iron steak is actually a top blade steak cut from the shoulder, specifically the tender top blade roast. The roast is separated into two pieces by cutting horizontally through the center to remove the heavy connective tissue. It is similar in texture and taste to a flank or skirt steak. On your next visit to Salt ask about the  Lasater Grasslands Beef specials. 

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

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Beef Tenderloin at Colterra!

Thanks to the consistent support of Bradford Heap, owner and chef of Colterra in Niwot, Michael Drazsnzak, executive chef, has created a delicious local and organic dinner entree with Lasater Grasslands Beef tenderloin. Today Joe, Elizabeth P. & I dined at Colterra. Joe ordered the tenderloin which was phenomenal! (Of course, we all tasted it.) Chef Michael marinated the tenderloin in crushed whole garlic, fresh rosemary, extra virgin olive oil, cracked black pepper & salt. He then grilled it a perfect medium rare which brought out the deep flavor of the Lasater beef. It was served with a creamy risotto that featured Oxford Gardens roasted carrots, Hazel Dell Mushrooms shitake & oyster varieties. The risotto was a rich delicious compliment to the tenderloin. Two really nice aspects of dining at Colterra are the ambiance and portion size. You'll never feel rushed and therefore have plenty of time to enjoy your meal.

Elizabeth P. and I enjoyed a glass of the Honig 2009 Napa Sauvignon Blanc, but I know that David Roth, Colterra Manager, has other suggestions to 
accompany the Lasater Grasslands Beef tenderloin.

Monday - Friday 11 to 2
DINNER Monday-Saturday 5-9
BRUNCH Saturday & Sunday 10-2

Sunday 5 to 8

210 Franklin St., Niwot

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Housemade Pastrami Sandwich at Oak!

Wow! Have you been to the new restaurant in town, Oak at fourteenth? Steve Redzikowski, the chef & proprietor is doing great things. Yesterday I was in with Beth S. and the kids and enjoyed the most scrumptious Housemade Pastrami Sandwich made with Lasater Grasslands Beef brisket. Yummy! Steve has assembled a tasty treat. Thinly sliced Lasater pastrami, melted Swiss cheese, topped with shaved carrots & cabbage served on an Udi's pretzel roll with whole grain mustard. The final touch-homemade chips to accompany this absolutely mouth-watering hot sandwich.  


Lunch and Dinner Tuesday-Sunday 
Saturday & Sunday Brunch
1400 Pearl Street

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ossobuco-'bone with a hole'

Claire D. sent this recipe to me. Ossobuco or Osso Bucco is a typical Italian dish, specifically from the Milan region of Italy.  Traditionally it is prepared with veal shanks that are cross-cut and braised in white wine with vegetables. Lasater's meaty shanks make the perfect substitute for veal shanks. The modern recipe calls for tomatoes, red wine, & vegetables.  I used Claire's recipe which is like other modern recipes. I then added a few small pieces of beautiful homemade prosciutto given to me by Ryan S.  We love being Ryan's neighbor!  My ossobuco was a deliciously rich meal. I slow cooked it in the crock pot and came home to an amazing aroma that filled the house. Next time I will try ossobuco with white wine and gremolata!  Here follows the recipe:
  • 2 packages of Lasater meaty shanks
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 14oz can tomatoes or fresh, up to 28oz for more sauce
  • 1 tsp dried basil or 2 frozen basil cubes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp parsley (put in 15 minutes before serving)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: add a couple of pork ribs or prosciutto for flavor
Ryan's prosciutto
Put everything in a crock pot, olive oil 1st, then the beef shanks, then everything else. If you have time, brown the shanks before putting them in the crock pot, and saute the onions (I did not do this, and it tasted perfect!). Be sure to leave the shanks on the bottom of crock pot, stir everything, getting the juices between the shanks. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.5 hours minimum. Can also be made on the stove, cooking in a deep pan for 2-2.5 hours or until the shanks are very tender. 

Serve with risotto or polenta

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Herb Swiss Steak - slowly braised top round

My house smells so delicious right now! I will serve this with rice and a mixed leafy green salad tonight for dinner. What do you do with top round roast? Herb Swiss Steak! This is a recipe I found for cuts that require moist heat while cooking and tenderizing with a mallet. Here follows a recipe for Herb Swiss Steak

1-2lbs pounds Top Round Roast or round steak, 1/2 inch thick slices or cubed steak
2 tablespoons olive oil 
salt & pepper
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes plus juice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, quartered and sliced thinly
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 broth or water (if necessary)
1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram
dash thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste

In a large heavy skillet, heat oil over med-high heat. Cut beef into serving size pieces then pound with pointed side of meat mallet, flatten slightly. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Sear in oil until browned. Add remaining ingredients and reduce and simmer for 2-3 hours or until meat is tender. Add water or broth to ensure that meat is mostly covered. This will prevent your meat from becoming too dry. Check frequently and add more water or broth if necessary.
Dinner is served!