I don’t eat a lot of red meat. Studies suggest high intake leads to increased risk for colon cancer, breast cancer, and heart disease. Additionally, eating less red meat is better for the environment; livestock production is associated with pollution, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. With enough evidence for this burgeoning sustainable dietitian to shun red meat all together, it’s a wonder I picked up a substantial plank of meat from Landisdale Farms. Perhaps it was the lure of the label singing, “grass-fed” and “antibiotic-free.” Perhaps it was sympathy and appreciation for the farmers who endured a considerable drive punctuated with snow drifts and 30 degree weather. Or perhaps, just perhaps, I was craving a steak, and J was craving one too.
Without getting into the physiology of food cravings, there’s one cliché that just doesn’t get old – everything in moderation. With so many different types of cuts available, beef can be challenging to incorporate as part of a healthful diet. Be sure to watch portions (think the size of a deck of cards) and as a quick-tip, anything labeled “loin” or “round” is pretty lean. The seven leanest cuts are: eye round, top round, round tip, top sirloin, bottom round, top loin, and tenderloin. With a choice of the Sirloin steak from Landisdale Farm’s cooler, I was sold. For $9.99. Not bad considering it fed two, plus leftovers to top a salad for later in the week.
Sirloin steak is a multi-muscled steak from the sirloin section. Sirloin cuts are naturally lean and full of flavor. They can be a bit chewy and best when prepared on the grill. I enjoyed this PDF pictorial which is a chart of the cuts and their preferred cooking methods, since fat content factors into how the meat should be cooked for optimal tenderness and flavor.
I chose to grill using my indoor grill pan (marvelous registry gift for small condo dwellers, too bad I can’t remember from whom; reference my rant on Thank You cards). I seasoned both sides with salt, pepper and a generous dose of steak seasoning. I sprayed the grill with PAM and heated for a few minutes on medium-high heat prior to cooking. The recommended grilling times of “4-5 minutes on each side” were a bit too conservative; this steak was probably close to one inch thick, so I cooked for about 10 minutes on each side.
My thermometer gave me a bit of anxiety at a reading of 135 degrees when the meat looked very well grilled, so I finished off in the oven at 425 degrees to ensure it was cooked through. I added a bit of beef broth to the bottom of a 5 x10 pan and covered with tinfoil for 10 minutes (15 for J). I have yet to master the touch test but this edged the thermometer up to 150 so I was satisfied. I let the meat rest for 10 minutes before serving.
I complemented the steak with some Greensgrow broccoli, cooked on the stove top in a small amount of water to let the steam cook through. Once they were tender, I transferred to the grill and seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder. I also made oven-baked potato fries, using one purple potato and one white potato. After squaring the potatoes and cutting them into rectangles, I tossed with two sliced shallots, some olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and popped in the 425 degree oven for 25 minutes.
It was a delicious, well-rounded meal that satisfied cravings for not only beef, but local foods as well.