Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Beef...it's what's for dinner.

So...I was feeling social this weekend.  It's been awhile since I've felt up to hosting folks at my house, what with a new baby and all.  I invited friends over, and ended up with TWO dinners at home, one on Sunday and one on Monday.  Lucky for me, the Monday dinner friend (our oldest friends in Santa Barbara), offered to bring dinner.  So she provided the ribs and green beans, I provided bruschetta with some pretty sucky French bread, because I was too lazy to walk the extra block to the fancy grocery store from Albertson's.  My bad.

Anyway, we have these big grass fed steaks.  My friend/coworker and her husband buy grassfed beef in bulk from a local place, but don't have enough room to store it.  So I benefit.  The great thing about buying in bulk in the price.  I got 10 lbs of steak for $6 a pound.  Now, we generally don't eat much steak, and in fact, don't really know how to cook it well.  But even the local beef at the farmer's market is $7/lb for GROUND beef, nevermind steak, which is way higher.

In any event, grassfed steak is tricky.  It's very lean and is very prone to overcooking, and overcooking = leather.  Johnny dropped it off and said "6 to 8 minutes a side, trust me on this".  So the first time we tried, it was very rare, and by the time we tried to recook, we got leather.

This time, my spouse mentioned that he thought it was still partially frozen the first time.  So I defrosted it a day earlier, and marinated it.  I googled "steak marinade" and got this recipe, which was great, but I subbed balsamic vinegar for Worcestershire sauce, because I didn't have any.  And I used bottled lemon juice because I was down to 1/2 lemon, and I was using it for my bubble water drinking.  I made 1/2 a recipe for a 1.25 lb steak.

This time...success!  A perfect pink in the middle and tender and delicious.  I wish I took a picture.  But the reality of trying to get dinner on the table with 4 adults and 3 boys (6, 2, and infant, who doesn't eat at the table), means I was just happy that the food was all hot at the same time.  Well, the steak had to rest longer, because the rice wasn't done in time, so I tossed it in the pressure cooker, and then overcooked it.  I used this recipe, but next time will cut the tomato sauce in half and replace with water - it was too tomato-ey.  I left out the onion because my friend hates onion (I KNOW!!)

We also made burgers.  Because we were worried we'd ruin the steak, we had a backup plan.  In the end, I ruined the rice.  Go figure.

So tonight, we still had 4 of the six burgers left.  They were good, even without the onion. ;)

I didn't know what to make as a side.  It's Tuesday, and we're getting low on veggies from the CSA.  We had cucumbers and carrots, and some broccoli from Trader Joe's.  I opted to use nap time #1 to make this Moroccan Carrot Salad recipe from Casual Kitchen that looked good to me.  And...it was delicious!  And so easy!  I microwaved the carrots instead of boiling.  And I topped mine with feta, because I found another recipe with feta, and avocado, because I have a ripe one, and I had to do something with it.  For a laughably cheap recipe, this was a real keeper.  Except my kid thought it was "too spicy" (the lemon juice? the vinegar?  I cut the garlic to one clove already.)  Being a good mom, I rinsed his portion in the colander and let him eat the plain steamed carrots.

On a side note, trying to lose weight and count calories when you are nursing...sucks! I'm starving!  At 2300 calories a day!


Biz said...

I wouldn't even worry about counting calories at this point!

Wow, $7 a pound for GROUND beef? My store has ground sirloin on sale for $2.99 this week!

Happy news - I FINALLY mailed your magazines! I did media mail, but be on the look out in the next week.

Marcia said...

Thanks! Yeah, the $7 a pound is for the grass-fed organic, local stuff. I can get it at Whole Foods on sale for better than that ($4/lb), once in a blue moon.

We can get better prices on ground sirloin at the grocery store when it's on sale. But when it's not, it's pretty pricey.

Marcia said...
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Joanne said...

I agree with Biz, eat when you're hungry and as long as your food choices are healthy ones, then don't worry about the calories! The weight will come off in the long run! I have heard that grass-fed steaks are harder to cook. Kudos to you for preparing a great meal for your friends!

Marcia said...

I've been trying the "eat when you are hungry" and weight hasn't budged in 6 weeks. Which would be fine, if I'd only gained 35 lbs (and lost 20 right away). But I gained 50 lbs (and lost 20).

I still expect it to take a year to lose the weight. I'm okay with 2 lbs a month.