I’m a strong proponent of the Good-Food-Starts-with-Good-Ingredients school of cooking, and for no food is this truer than beef. Thanks in large part to Portland’s excellent Laurelhurst Market, I’ve gone from being somewhat nervous about finding a good steak to cook at home to shopping and preparing all manner of beef with confidence, whether it’s a large roast or a quick-cooking skirt. My quest for great beef in California led me to go in with some friends on the purchase of a whole, grass-fed cow. We got about 22 pounds of meat, in a variety of cuts, including two handsome half pound ribeye steaks.
Our cow, from Nevada County Free Range Beef, was raised entirely in the hills of Nevada County, CA, and slaughtered and processed at the University of Nevada, Reno. As the New York Times recently noted, California has a severe lack of slaughterhouses, which especially impacts small ranchers. Nevada County Free Range Beef sells directly and doesn’t deliver, focussing on providing high quality, local beef.
Earlier in the week, I had purchased some strawberries at the Farmers’ Market. While our mesquite charcoal lit, I sliced a few of the strawberries and placed them in a bowl with balsamic vinegar and some crushed red pepper.
We also made up some bleu cheese butter by churning Straus whipping cream into fresh butter, then mixing in bleu cheese in equal proportion.
Once the grill was hot, we put some salt and pepper on the steaks, and threw them over the hot coals.
I flipped them after about 30 seconds, and grilled the other side over high heat, before scooting them over a couple inches to a slightly cooler spot.
I cooked them for 6 minutes, flipping them every minute, then removed them and let them rest for a few more minutes, aiming for a nice medium-rare.
I strained the strawberries and placed them in a dish, then splashed a little more balsamic on them. We placed a healthy scoop of strawberries and butter onto each steak, and served them with a little grilled kale and corn.
Ribeye steaks don’t need much to be delicious—particularly intensely flavored grass-fed steaks—but adding a little sweet-savory interplay with the balsamic strawberries and bleu cheese butter was a great way to dress them up without interfering with the beef’s natural flavor.
All the pictures are here.