Friday, September 19, 2014

Beef. It's What's For Dinner.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association is a trade association designed to support and promote U.S. cattle and beef producers. In 1992, under contract by the Beef Checkoff, they launched their advertising campaign through television, radio, and print ads touting "Beef. It's What's For Dinner." The ads have featured actors Robert Mitchum, Sam Elliott, and in 2008, Mathew McConaughey. McConaughey reminds me of that eccentric relative everyone has, who can't help but make you smile!

Nicked this funny picture from! Ha! Ha!

However, McConaughey's beefy Texas drawl has been silenced (gasp!), to be replaced by Garrett Hedlund, in hopes of appealing to a younger audience. Hedlund is best known for his roles in "stellar" movies (cough, cough) such as Troy, Tron Legacy, and the debacle Country Strong. Why? I don't remember Mitchum or Elliott being any spring chickens? So, while we will miss our favorite bongo boy buddy promoting lean cuts of beef as part of a heart-healthy diet, I do have an excellent recipe for "Maple-Balsamic Marinated Steak with Grilled Pear Salad" from you know who, The National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

This simple recipe is one of my new favorites! Strip steaks, pears, and red onion are marinated in a flavorful mix of maple syrup, balsamic vinaigrette, thyme, and black pepper. The vinaigrette helps give a lot of smokey flavor by causing flare-ups on the grill. (Remember to keep it covered so they won't burn!) The steaks are then sliced and served along side the smokey pear and red onion salad, complete with leafy greens, toasted pecans, and creamy goat cheese! Fantastic! I'm sure McConaughey would approve, and yes, please come to dinner!

Maple-Balsamic Marinated Steak with Grilled Pear Salad

Serves 4

2 boneless beef top loin (strip) steaks, cut 1-inch thick (about 8-10 ounces each)
2 Bartlett or red Anjou pears, halved and cored
1 medium red onion, cut into wedges large enough that they can be skewered for grilling
8 cups mixed salad greens or arugula
1/4 cup toasted and chopped pecans*
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese*
Kosher salt, to taste

*Walnuts and blue cheese would be another option, if preferred.

For the Marinade
1 cup reduced fat or regular balsamic vinaigrette
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons coarse grind black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup marinade for dressing the salad. Place beef steaks and 1/3 cup marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn steaks to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in the refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours. Reserve remaining marinade for brushing the pears and onion.

Soak two 10-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes; drain. (I just used some metal skewers.) Thread the onion wedges onto the skewers. Brush onions and cut sides of pears with half the reserved marinade.

Remove the steaks from the marinade; discard marinade. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals; arrange onions and pears around the steaks. Grill steaks, covered, 11-14 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 11-15 minutes) for medium rare (145 degrees) to medium doneness (160 degrees), turning occasionally. Grill onions 12-15 minutes (13-16 minutes for gas) and pears 8-10 minutes (gas grill times remain the same) or until tender, turning occasionally and brushing steak, onions, and pears with remaining reserved marinade.

Remove onions from skewers., Chop onions and pears into bite-size pieces. Combine greens, pears, onions, cheese, nuts, and reserved 1/2 cup marinade; toss gently to combine. Carve steaks into slices; season with salt, as desired. Serve with salad mixture.

No comments:

Post a Comment