Tomorrow (July 24) is B.C. Beef Day, and summer is a great time to cook a bite of beef on the barbecue, so here are a couple of ways to help you celebrate B.C.’s beef industry.
One of these recipes is out of the old Beef Recipe Round-Up book I put out for the B.C. Cattlebelles (the auxiliary to the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association) in 1986, when I lived in the Cariboo, and the other recipe I just made up and tried out the other day. We thought it was delish.
Ranching was a traditional use of the land on the hillsides around the Okanagan Valley, although there’s far more ranching in the Cariboo and in the north now.
When we lived there we found ourselves drawn into the lives of our ranching neighbours, most of whom became friends.
So, we helped out at branding and again at round-up time, as well as riding fences when the cattle were out on the range during the summer—and we bought sides of beef from the neighbour youngsters when they were in 4-H. It’s just like you buying candy bars to support the neighbour kids’ activities in the city.
It was a different life, far from the nearest conveniences, in a sense, although the mail lady delivered our fresh-out-of-the-cow milk in big glass containers, with several inches of cream on top. We made our own butter from the cream, then I baked buttermilk biscuits from what was left from the butter in the excellent oven of my wood cookstove.
Just as orchardists are part of the Okanagan community, farmers who raise cows for the beef we love to barbecue are a big part of the economy in B.C., so it’s to our advantage to support them by ensuring the beef we purchase is from this province—raised by our neighbours.
If you feel strongly, as I do, in the importance of eating local and supporting local farmers, you’ll be interested in a move by a collaboration of organizations to promote the concept via a new set of awards for those who make, offer, supply or support the movement to eat local.
For details, go to: www.facebook.com/buylocaleatnatural and click on We (heart) Local Awards where you can vote for your favourite nominees in 15 different categories.
I’m flattered to have been nominated for my book, Jude’s Kitchen, and this column, as well as my agriculture writing over the last few decades, so you could even vote for that in the advocacy category.
There are lots of beef recipes in my book, Jude’s Kitchen, available wherever books are sold, or at local wine shops. Many recipes are accompanied by wine tasting notes from renowned wine writer John Schreiner.
Don’s Gourmet Beef Oscar
Beef Oscar is a classic old recipe for a steak and crab combo drizzled with a bit of Bearnaise Sauce. It’s very rich, but pretty delicious. You could substitute other seafood, because steak and seafood is a very tasty combination, and you could also use dried or prepared sauce. Asparagus is the classic accompaniment, but fresh green beans are now available locally, so they’d be a better choice in summer.
1 1/2 lb. (.7 kg) tender steak
10 oz. (.3 kg) crab
1 green onion
1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh tarragon
2 tbsp. (30 ml) white wine
2 tbsp. (30 ml) white wine vinegar
salt & pepper, to taste
2 egg yolks
1/4 lb. (113 g) butter
For the sauce, mince the green onion and half the tarragon and add to a very small pot with the white wine and vinegar, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for five minutes or so, until it has been reduced to about half.
Cool a bit and scoop into the blender with the egg yolks.
Melt the butter in a small pot and keep it hot.
Whiz the egg mixture up in the blender, then leave it on, remove the opening in the lid and slowly pour in the hot, melted butter. Add the remainder of the chopped fresh tarragon.
Once it’s mixed in and thickened, remove and use as soon as possible. If it’s too thick, carefully blend in a few drops more of the white wine, or a few drop of very hot water.
Barbecue steak to your taste, top with crab and drizzle Bearnaise Sauce over it all. Steam fresh beans to serve on the side.
Beef on a Stick
This spicy marinade gives a delicious kick to bites of beef grilled over a lick of flame with some crisp, sweet vegies. We paired this with Intrigue Wines’ Damitz Good, a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon produced by Intrigue Wines of Lake Country. It added ripe fruit flavours and a hint of spice to the barbecued taste of the kabobs; very smooth and a good wine with barbecued beef.
We picked up a top sirloin steak from L&D Meats and Deli at Guisachan and it was fabulous, as always. Those guys know what they’re doing.
1.5 lb. (.7 kg) lean beef
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp. (15 ml) minced ginger
1/2 c. (125 ml) red wine
2 tbsp. (30 ml) soy sauce
1 tbsp. (15 ml) brown sugar
1 tsp. (5 ml) Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. (5 ml) cumin powder
8 drops favourite hot sauce
marinated beef cubes
20 grape tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 small sweet onion
Cut beef into pieces about an inch square. Mince garlic and ginger and put into a medium-sized bowl.
Add remaining ingredients to make the marinade and mix well.
Add beef cubes and turn about until they’re completely coated in the marinade. Refrigerate for eight hours or overnight.
Slice the green pepper and sweet onion into cubes about an inch square.
Put a little oil on a bit of paper towel to rub oil on each skewer to ensure nothing sticks to them. If using wooden ones, soak for an hour or so first. I use metal ones.
Thread the meat and vegetables onto the skewers, keeping in mind where the hottest parts of your barbecue are and keeping tender vegies like the tomatoes further away from that on the skewer.
Brush with any remaining marinade and reserve the remainder to brush the kabobs with during barbecuing. Just ensure that you cook each side after brushing with the marinade to ensure raw meat juice in the marinade is cooked.
Cook them for a minute or two each side. Do not overcook.
Serve over a rice pilaf.
Serves 4 or so.