What’s for dinner tonight? If you are from the Midwest like me, beef often takes the center of the plate. (Oh, I can’t help myself—do your remember the music and that famous line from the commercial: “Beef, It’s What for Dinner?”) Just maybe you are ready for some new, quick and easy beef recipes?
I can’t tell you my excitement about being asked to be on the judging panel for the 2013 National Beef Cook-Off. It was so fun to taste 21 expertly prepared beef dishes and talk about food for two wonderful days. Yes, it was hard to pick a winner, but as they say, someone had to do it!
I discovered a lot about food trends and this fantastic contest and shared the inside story at the Kansas CityStar’s Chowtown blog. Picking just one to share today was almost as hard as helping to pick the winner—there were just far too many great recipes. When we develop recipes or judge a recipe contest, we always go back to one key question, and that is, “Would I make this again and serve it to my family?” Yes, lots of them!
Besides the food, I loved meeting each and every one of the other panelists and representatives of the American National CattleWomen, who sponsored the contest. We had a ball! Barbara Kiebel, of Creative Culinary, another one of the judges, is sharing a contest recipe, so visit her site to get another of these great beef recipes (and maybe a fantastic cocktail to serve with one.) Soon, all of the recipes will be posted on the 2013 Beef Cookoff site. All, that is, except the Grand Champion and we must wait until November for that special one. For now, make this winning recipe tonight.
Total Preparation and Cooking Time: 40 minutes
1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted, crushed
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
1 beef flank steak (about 1 pound)
1 ciabatta baguette loaf (about 15 inches)
2 cups arugula
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Combine fennel seed, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl; mix well. Place beef steak and marinade in a food-safe plastic bag; turn steak to coat. Close bag securely; marinate in refrigerator 6 to 24 hours.
Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Place steak on grid over medium, ash-covered coals; grill steak, covered, 11 to 16 minutes (or over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 16 to 21 minutes) for medium rare (145° F) to medium (160° F.) doneness, turning occasionally. Carve steak diagonally into thin slices.
Meanwhile, cut ciabatta in half lengthwise; brush cut sides with remaining olive oil. Grill cut-side-down, during last 2 minutes of grilling beef.
Place steak slices on bottom half of bread, top with arugula and blue cheese; drizzle with remaining balsamic vinegar. Close sandwich.
Makes 4 servings.
Recipe credit: National Beef Cook-Off Regional Winner, Emily Detwiler, Truckee, CA