Beef Bites

Beefing up your day with a variety of beef related information!

Beef brings you luck this St. Patrick’s Day

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Posted by: on March 15, 2011

A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and a lucky four-leaf clover are sure signs of good luck this time of year. Did you know that beef can be your good luck charm too?

That’s right! America’s favorite protein will have you feeling the “luck o’ the Irish” this St. Patrick’s Day. After all, no St. Patrick’s Day menu would be complete without the ever-popular choice — Corned Beef. Our recipe features a tasty apple onion sauté on the side!

Homestyle Corned Beef and Cabbage

Total recipe time: 2-3/4 to 3-3/4 hours
Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
2-1/2 to 3-1/2 -pound boneless corned beef brisket
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

Dilled Cabbage:
1 medium head cabbage (about 2 pounds), cut into 8 wedges
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place corned beef brisket and 2 cups water in Dutch oven. Bring just to a simmer; do not boil. Cover tightly and cook in 350°F oven 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours or until fork-tender.
  2. About 20 minutes before brisket is done, steam cabbage 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
  3. Remove brisket from water; trim fat. Place on rack in broiler pan so surface of beef is 3 to 4 inches from heat.
  4. Combine honey and 1 tablespoon mustard. Brush top of brisket with 1/2 of glaze; broil 3 minutes. Brush with remaining glaze; broil 2 minutes or until glazed.
  5. Combine butter, 1 tablespoon mustard and dill; spread on hot cabbage. Carve brisket diagonally across the grain. Serve with cabbage

This recipe is an excellent source of protein, vitamin B12, selenium and zinc; and a good source of fiber, niacin, vitamin B6 and iron.

Doesn’t fit your schedule? Stop at the grocery store on your way home from work and in no time at all, you’ll be whipping up a simple Classic Reuben Sandwich. Or put the ingredients for Irish-Inspired Beef Pot Roast and Vegetables in your slow-cooker before you leave in the morning and you’ll come home to complete festive meal!

For more information and tips on cooking methods, as well as hundreds of delicious beef recipes, visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

Best o’ luck with beef.

Show off your beef recipes in the National Beef Cook-Off

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Posted by: on February 28, 2011

Calling all home cooks and entertaining enthusiasts! Do you love to cook with beef and have some mouth-watering recipes? The 29th National Beef Cook-Off® is seeking America’s winning recipes, and we know you’ve got one!

The 2011 NBCO is hosting a national search for extraordinary beef recipes that demonstrate the benefits and versatility of cooking with beef via four uniquely themed contest categories:

  • The 5:30 PM Dinner Crunch – This category will focus on easy-to-prepare beef recipes for busy weeknight meals using ingredients commonly on hand at home.
  • Retro Recipes Revived – For this category, home cooks can improve and modify an American classic or old-time family favorite recipe to be more convenient, healthier, or both for today’s busy families.
  • Fuel Up with Beef – Recipes in this category will feature convenient and healthy beef recipes using one of the 29 Lean Beef Cuts for people with busy lives.
  • Stir Crazy Solutions – Home cooks won’t go stir-crazy when they have a chance to create a unique stir-fry recipe using one of the 29 Lean Beef Cuts along with fresh vegetables and grain ingredients.

Enter your recipe now for a chance to win up to $25,000 in cash, plus a trip to the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show in Washington D.C.

Entry deadline closes April 30, 2011.

February 25th is National Chili Day!

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Posted by: on February 25, 2011

Today is National Chili Day! And these colder temperatures and snowy days sneaking back into the radar make it seem like the perfect meal to keep warm with your family. If it’s traditional chili you love, great! Or if you want to spice up your Friday night meal, we can help you do that too! With our Beef Chili Five Ways, you can have your chili the way you’ve been craving all day!


Ingredients

1 pound ground beef (95% lean)
1 can (15-1/2 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 to 14-1/2-ounce) reduced-sodium or regular beef broth
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 tablespoons chili powder

Toppings:
Shredded Cheddar cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, minced green onion (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings.
  2. Stir in beans, broth, tomatoes and chili powder; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes to develop flavors, stirring occasionally. Garnish with Toppings, as desired.

Moroccan Variation: Prepare recipe as directed above, adding 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and 1/4 cup chopped pitted dates or golden raisins with ingredients in step 2. Serve over hot cooked couscous. Garnish with toasted sliced almonds, chopped fresh mint and Greek yogurt, as desired.

Mexican Variation: Prepare recipe as directed above, adding 1 tablespoon cocoa powder with ingredients in step 2. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and corn tortilla chips, as desired. Serve with corn tortillas.

Italian Variation: Prepare recipe as directed above, adding 1-1/2 teaspoons fennel seed with ingredients in step 2. Before removing from heat, stir in 3 cups fresh baby spinach. Cover; turn off heat and let stand 3 to 5 minutes or until spinach is just wilted. Serve over hot cooked orecchiette or cavatappi, if desired. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and pine nuts, as desired.

Cincinnati Variation: Prepare recipe as directed above, adding 3 tablespoons white vinegar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon with ingredients in step 2. Serve over hot cooked elbow macaroni. Garnish with chopped white onion, sour cream and shredded Cheddar cheese, as desired.

For more great recipes to celebrate EVERY day, visit the checkoff-funded Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. website.

The American Heart Association has put its heart-healthy mark on beef

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Posted by: on February 24, 2011

Thanks in part to a partnership with the Beef Checkoff Program, the American Heart Association has listed three beef cuts as part of its Food Certification Program. This program places the association’s heart-check mark on food packages to helps healthy consumers over age 2 identify foods that meet criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol.

The three beef cuts that met the American Heart Association’s criteria for extra lean and now are certified to display the heart-check mark include:

— Boneless Top Sirloin Petite Roast (select grade)
— Top Sirloin Filet (select grade)
— Top Sirloin Kabob (select grade)

The American Heart Association’s heart-check mark is the one of the most trusted icons on food packaging today – and it continues to resonate with health-conscious shoppers, even in a challenging economy. In fact, more than 83 percent of consumers have an aided awareness of the heart-check mark, and nearly 75 percent of primary grocery shoppers say the heart-check mark improves the likelihood that they’ll buy a product.

This certification allows retailers to display the heart-check mark on fresh case beef packages, promoting the health benefits of a serving of these particular beef cuts to their customers.

To learn more about receiving the American Heart Association’s certification, please visit www.BeefRetail.org.

Kitchen Tips for a Great Meal!

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Posted by: on January 6, 2011

Ever been intimidated while cooking in the kitchen? The last thing you want is a ruined meal after spending all your time and efforts working hard for a tasty meal!

Not only have we been there, but we have practiced the art of cooking and want to help relieve the pressure, so when it’s time to whip up another delicious meal, there’s less stress and more enjoyment!

Here are some simple tips to follow that will make cooking with beef even easier.

  • Don’t pierce or turn your steaks with a fork. Precious flavorful juices will be lost.
  • Do use a long handled tongs for steaks and spatulas for burgers.
  • Don’t be tempted to press down on burgers—it releases juices and creates flare-ups. (Here’s what you need to master The American Classic instead!)
  • Don’t worry that you’ll use the wrong cooking method. Check our Cooking Guidelines to match beef cuts to your favorite cooking method
  • Do try a beef cut in your grocer’s meat case that might be new to you. The Interactive Meat Case is the perfect tool to help you do it right!

Now that you know a few of our best do’s and don’ts, why not try a new recipe like Garlic-Herb Cheeseburger (pictured above) or  Steak Kabobs with Wild Rice and Mushrooms?

Make sure to visit the newsroom on BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com for more cooking tips, grilling secrets and delicious recipes.

Happy Cooking!

Breakfast Recipe: Beef Breakfast Burrito

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Posted by: on December 7, 2010

Have you been following our new breakfast series? We’ve shared ideas for breakfast beef rolls and tasty breakfast pizza. Now try this great breakfast burrito, featuring our favorite lean protein: beef!

Beef Breakfast Burrito
Total Recipe Time: 20 to 25 minutes

12 ounces ground beef (96% lean)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/3 cup reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese blend or shredded Cheddar cheese
4 medium spinach or plain flour tortillas (10-inch diameter), warmed
Salsa

Lime-Cilantro Cream (optional):
1/2 cup reduced-fat dairy sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

  1. Combine Lime-Cilantro Cream ingredients in small bowl, if desired. Set aside.
  2. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef with bell pepper, onion, chili powder and cumin; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into small crumbles and stirring occasionally. Remove from beef mixture from skillet; keep warm.
  3. Combine eggs, water and 1 tablespoon cilantro in medium bowl. Spray same skillet with cooking spray. Pour into skillet; cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes or until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Season with salt, if desired.
  4. Stir in beef mixture and cheese; cook 1 minute or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  5. Spoon beef mixture evenly in a row across center of each tortilla, leaving 1-inch border on right and left sides. Fold right and left sides of tortilla over filling. Fold bottom edge up over filling and roll up; cut diagonally in half.
  6. Serve with Lime-Cilantro Cream and salsa, as desired.

Makes 4 servings

Cook’s Tips:

  1. Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160ºF. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.
  2. 1 cup egg substitute can be substituted for beaten eggs. Omit water. Continue as directed in step 3.

Breakfast Recipe: Beef Breakfast Pizza Olé

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Posted by: on December 2, 2010

Having guests over for the holidays? Surprise them with a fun, new way to celebrate breakfast and try this recipe for Beef Breakfast Pizza Olé. You’re going to love the flavors. Cheers!

Easy breakfast recipe, quick breakfast, fast breakfast, breakfast pizzaBeef Breakfast Pizza Olé
Total Recipe Time: 40 to 45 minutes

1 recipe Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage (recipe follows)
1/2 cup salsa verde
1 package (11 ounces) thin-crust refrigerated pizza dough
3/4 cup diced seeded tomatoes
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded Mexican blend cheese
4 eggs
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
Salsa verde

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage. Stir in salsa verde.
  2. Meanwhile, unroll dough on greased baking sheet. Pat or roll evenly to 14 X 10-inch rectangle, pinching together any tears, if necessary. Bake 8 minutes. Remove from oven and top evenly with beef mixture, tomatoes and cheese. Make four “wells” in beef mixture and crack one egg in each “well.”
  3. Continue to bake in 425°F oven 13 to 18 minutes or until desired doneness of egg is reached. Remove from oven; sprinkle with green onion. Cut into four wedges. Serve with additional salsa, as desired.

Basic Country Beef Sausage: Combine 1 pound ground beef (96% lean), 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add beef mixture; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally.(Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed beef sausage. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.)

Makes 4 servings

For more great recipes, visit Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.

Easy recipe: Beef for Breakfast

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Posted by: on December 1, 2010

Easy breakfast recipe, quick breakfast, fast breakfast

We know breakfast is an important meal for our daily diet, and research tells us how important it is to include a quality protein in our first meal of the day. Instead of reaching for a donut, or a bowl of sugary cereal here’s a recipe you’ll love that gives you the protein you need and tastes great, too! This recipe will make 8 rolls, and these can be made ahead of time and frozen for busy mornings or guests! See the cook’s notes below!

Beefy Breakfast Rolls
Total Recipe Time: 1 to 1-1/4 hours

1 recipe Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage (recipe follows)
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
3/4 cup diced onion
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
1 package (13.8 ounces) refrigerated pizza dough

Choose your toppings
Warmed jalapeño pepper jelly or a cream cheese drizzle accent the flavor of these breakfast rolls! Recipe below.

1. Prepare Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage, cooking mushrooms and onion with beef and spices. Add spinach to skillet; stir to wilt spinach. Set mixture aside 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is cooled completely, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese.
2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Unroll pizza dough on flat surface; pat or roll dough evenly to 14 x 10-inch rectangle, pinching together any tears, if necessary. Spread beef mixture on dough, leaving 1/2 inch border on short side furthest from you. Starting at closest short end, roll up jelly-roll style, pinching to close. Slice dough into 8 pieces using serrated knife and careful sawing motion; place cut-side-up on greased baking sheet.
3. Bake in 425°F oven 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove buns to cooling rack. While still warm, drizzle with melted jalapeno pepper jelly, if desired.

Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage: Combine 12 ounces ground beef (96% lean), 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage, 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 3/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add beef mixture; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 1/2-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. (Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed beef sausage. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.) Makes 2 cups crumbles

Cream Cheese Topping: Combine 1/4 cup softened reduced-fat cream cheese and 1 tablespoon milk in small bowl, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over warmed beef rolls. Mix with jalapeno pepper jelly for more kick.

Cook’s Notes:

  1. Baked buns can be frozen in 2-bun packages for 3 to 4 months. To reheat, place 2 frozen buns on microwave-safe plate. Microwave at MEDIUM (50% power) 45 to 60 seconds or until heated through. Let stand 30 seconds.
  2. To serve with just the jelly (no cream cheese topping), place jelly in 1-cup glass measure and microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 45 to 60 seconds or until melted, stirring once. Let stand 30 seconds.

This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B12, selenium and zinc; and a good source of fiber, vitamin B6, iron and choline. For more great recipes, visit Beef. It’s What For Dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Posted by: on November 22, 2010

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, most of us are gearing up for family time and lots of food! If you’re like me, Thanksgiving dinner usually means a turkey hangover and a mountain of leftovers like mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberries. We’ve got just what you need to make those leftovers into something new and different, and all you need is beef!

Not sure what to do with those leftover mashed potatoes? Use them to top a simple Beefy Shepherd’s Pie. Need to finish up those cranberries? They’ll taste perfect with this yummy Beef Tenderloin with Easy Cranberry Balsamic Sauce recipe. You can even serve the remaining sweet potatoes with this recipe for Espresso-Bourbon Steaks with Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

And don’t forget to say thanks to the many farmers and ranchers who make this feast possible! If you’re looking for more holiday tips, roasting guidelines or recipe ideas, check out BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

Enjoy those leftovers!

Happy Haunting with Halloween Recipes

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Posted by: on October 25, 2010

No matter what your plans are for October 31, be sure you serve your own family a healthy, hearty dinner before the festivities begin. Our easy Halloween-inspired recipes will have your little munchkins (and adults) ready for a night of trick or treating, family gatherings, and other activities you might enjoy!Spooky Sloppy Joe recipe

Try our Monster Mash Meatball Soup with black olive bats, Parmesan cheese ghosts and creepy croutons. Or make a family favorite scream-worthy with Spooky Sloppy Joes topped with spiders, broomsticks and jack-o-lanterns. Either choice is sure to delight a “kid” of any age!

For more information and tips on cooking methods, as well as hundreds of delicious beef recipes, visit the checkoff-funded BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. Of course, keep your loved ones safe this Halloween by checking out these handy safety tips! Cheers!

Autumn flavors and recipe ideas

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Posted by: on October 18, 2010

Fall is here and we’ve got some recipes to match the lovely leaves and crisp temperatures!

As the leaves start to crunch underfoot, it’s time for some dinner ideas to warm you up and satisfy your appetite! We’ve got just what you’re looking for!

Autumn Beef and Cider Stew makes the most of in-season sweet potatoes and cranberries in a delicious one-pot meal. Find a delightful use for fall squash with Beef Picadillo-Stuffed Acorn Squash or Nuevo Chipotle Beef in Butternut Squash Boats. Or pack a lunch of Mu Shu Steak & Apple Wraps, bursting with seasonal flavors.

For more information and tips on cooking methods, as well as hundreds of delicious beef recipes, visit the checkoff-funded BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

Comfort foods on the grill

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Posted by: on September 27, 2010

Beef Tri-Tip recipeDo you hate putting your grill away for the winter? You don’t have to! Sure hamburgers seem more like a spring, summer and fall meal…but what about the comfort foods we all love to eat during the winter months?

Have you tried something adventurous on your grill? Like a beef roast or brisket? Of course these favorite cuts make a hearty cool weather meal and often provides a second meal through leftovers. In last spring’s 19th annual Weber GrillWatch survey, 24 percent reported beef roast as the food they’d most like to know how to cook on an outdoor grill.

Be sure to try your hand at grilling a beef roast, with these helpful tips!

  • For best results, select roasts that are uniform in shape.
  • Foods take longer to cook in cold weather. Keep grill lid closed to avoid loss of cooking heat. But no matter the season, use a meat thermometer or instant-read thermometer to accurately test doneness.
  • Indirect grilling, placing beef away from the heat source, is a good way to cook large, thick cuts like roasts. This allows the center to cook properly without overcooking the exterior.
  • When the roast’s internal temperature reaches 135 ° (medium rare) or 150 ° (medium), remove from heat, tent loosely with foil and let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Temperature will continue to rise to desired doneness (145 ° medium rare; 160 ° medium).
  • Season the roast with a rub for a new flavor experience. Rubs are blends of herbs, spices and other seasonings that can be applied several hours or just minutes before cooking.
  • Here are some great recipes to try!

And no matter what season it may be, here are some good safety tips to follow when you’re grilling year-round:

  • Make sure grill your is in good shape and hasn’t been damaged in any way by inclement weather.
  • Set the grill on a solid surface, not on top of snow or ice.
  • If it’s dark outside, purchase a grill light, rather than move the grill closer to the house or another structure for better lighting.

For more great information about grilling, visit Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.

Busy Back-to-School Dinners

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Posted by: on September 21, 2010

Here is a family dinner idea you actually have time to fix! Somewhere between getting the kids out the door in the morning and putting them to bed, I always struggle finding time to make dinner. That’s why I like these simple base chili recipe and four flavor variations, because no matter what our schedule is, I can make sure my family has a tasty and filling meal every night.

This five-ingredient Beef Chili Five Ways recipe allows you to pick the chili style that your family likes best. It might be the Cincinnati version served atop macaroni noodles or the Italian version, spiced up with fennel. No matter which version you chose, it’s destined to be a family favorite.

Start with these simple ingredients to make your chili base:

1 pound ground beef (95% lean)
1 can (15-1/2 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 to 14-1/2-ounce) reduced-sodium or regular beef broth
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 tablespoons chili powder

Start with this basic cooking method, altering it based on the variation you choose from the ideas below:

  1. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings.
  2. Stir in beans, broth, tomatoes and chili powder; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes to develop flavors, stirring occasionally. Garnish with Toppings, as desired.

Choose from these variations to make this a family favorite:

  • Moroccan Variation: Prepare recipe as directed above, adding 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and 1/4 cup chopped pitted dates or golden raisins with ingredients in step 2. Serve over hot cooked couscous. Garnish with toasted sliced almonds, chopped fresh mint and Greek yogurt, as desired.
  • Mexican Variation: Prepare recipe as directed above, adding 1 tablespoon cocoa powder with ingredients in step 2. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and corn tortilla chips, as desired. Serve with corn tortillas.
  • Italian Variation: Prepare recipe as directed above, adding 1-1/2 teaspoons fennel seed with ingredients in step 2. Before removing from heat, stir in 3 cups fresh baby spinach. Cover; turn off heat and let stand 3 to 5 minutes or until spinach is just wilted. Serve over hot cooked orecchiette or cavatappi, if desired. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and pine nuts, as desired.
  • Cincinnati Variation: Prepare recipe as directed above, adding 3 tablespoons white vinegar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon with ingredients in step 2. Serve over hot cooked elbow macaroni. Garnish with chopped white onion, sour cream and shredded Cheddar cheese, as desired.

For more information and tips on cooking methods, as well as hundreds of delicious beef recipes, visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. Happy School Year!

How about a Strawberry BBQ Bacon Burger?

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Posted by: on September 20, 2010

The Sutter Home Build a Better Burger contest has named the top finalists for creating the best burger recipes. The final judging will take place later this week, on September 25. For now, enjoy trying this recipe, for a Strawberry BBQ Bacon Burger, created by Jaeger Stoltz from Seattle. Or maybe this recipe for Americana Smokeshack burgers, with a special “Barbecue Bacon Jam” makes your mouth water.  Click here for a complete list of finalists and their winning recipes.

Strawberry BBQ Bacon Burgers

Strawberry BBQ Sauce
1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dark molasses
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Burgers
2 1/4 pounds ground chuck (20% fat)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
12 strips thick-cut smoked bacon
6 brioche hamburger buns, split

Strawberry Salad
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 cup chopped or torn fresh basil leaves
Remaining sliced strawberries from making sauce
4 ounces gorgonzola or or other blue cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of salt
Vegetable oil, for rubbing on the grill rack
6 thick slices Gruyere cheese

Directions
To make the sauce, place 2/3 of the strawberries in a blender; reserve the remaining berries for the salad. Add the tomato paste, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to the blender and pulse until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the mixture into a fire-proof saucepan and place on a gas grill over medium-high heat. Add the molasses and brown sugar and bring to a slow boil, stirring often, then remove from the heat, cover with foil, and keep warm.

To make the patties, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix together well while handling the meat as little as possible; this prevents it from becoming too dense. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form into patties leaving a slight indention in the center of patties; this allows the final product to be more equal in thickness when finished. Set aside until grilling.

Cook the bacon in a fire-proof skillet on the grill over medium-high heat until browned. Drain on paper towels to remove excess grease. Set aside.

To begin preparing the salad, combine the onion, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside at room temperature to quick-pickle the onions. Combine the greens, basil, and remaining strawberries in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until assembling the burgers. Keep the crumbled cheese chilled until assembly.

Heat the grill to medium-high. When the grill is ready, with a paper or cloth towel, rub the grill rack with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Place the patties on the rack and cook until done to preference, 3 to 5 minutes. The top of the patty should look like it has cooked a little. Flip once and cook another 3 to 5 minutes. Do not push down on the patty because this will release the juices. Top each patty with the BBQ sauce then a slice of the Gruyere cheese, cover the grill, and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove the patties from the grill and place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, top each bun bottom with a patty and two strips of the bacon. Lightly drain the pickled onions, add to the mixed greens along with the crumbled cheese, and toss to combine. Drizzle the salad with the olive oil, sprinkle with the salt, and toss again lightly. Pile a handful of the salad on the top of each bacon-topped patty; if a few bits fall off, there is no problem—these are little treasures for later. Spread a little more BBQ sauce on the toasted sides of the bun tops and place on top of the salad.

Makes 6 burgers
Suggested Wine Pairing: Zinfandel

Celebrating nutrient-rich beef!

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Posted by: on September 16, 2010

Did you know National Cheeseburger Day is coming up Saturday? That’s right, I just found out that September 18 is a day to a favorite meal for many!

Not only does the beef we love taste great, it also gives us the nutrients we need to be healthy! Beef is naturally nutrient-rich. In fact it provides 10 essential nutrients in an average of only 154 calories per 3-ounce serving. Lean beef packs more nutrients per bite in fewer calories so it’s easier on the waistline than empty-calorie foods.

Here are just a few of the many “hidden” nutrients packed into your burger (and all the other beef cuts you love):

Selenium: As an excellent source of selenium, one 3-ounce serving of beef provides 41 percent of your daily needs. Recent studies have found adequate intake of selenium may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancers.

Choline: As an essential nutrient for humans, choline plays a vital role in cognition and long- and short-term memory functions. Beef provides 17 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for choline.

Zinc: Beef provides 33 percent of the DV for zinc, as much as 10 cups of cooked, sliced carrots! Zinc is essential for proper growth and health and also plays a key role in healing wounds.

Vitamin B12: Essential for proper brain and nervous system function, vitamin B12 is only naturally available from animal foods. Beef is an excellent source, providing 37 percent of the DV.

Healthy Fats: Yep, you read that right. Half of the fatty acids in beef are monounsaturated, the same type of fatty acids found in olive oil and championed for their heart-healthy properties. In addition, approximately one-third of the saturated fat in beef is stearic acid. Studies have shown that stearic acid does not raise blood cholesterol levels like other saturated fatty acids do.

If you’re tired of the typical burger and ketchup, change up your cheeseburger with a few of these recipes:

The Garlic Herb Cheeseburger gives your burger a kick, while the Caprese Polenta Burgers can make a great meal for those with sophisticated tastes! If you’re in the mood to celebrate the cheeseburger, but not craving a burger, change it up with Cheeseburger Mac. Visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com to find more delicious burger recipes for nutrient-rich meals with lean beef.

Beef and Mushroom recipes

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Posted by: on September 14, 2010

Beef and mushrooms make quite the tasty combination! Romeo and Juliet, Rock n’ Roll, beef and mushrooms — some things are meant to be together. With September being National Mushroom Month it’s the perfect time to celebrate the classic duo with great beef and mushroom recipes.

Steak kabob recipe, national mushroom month, national rice monthTo kick off the mushroom and beef celebration start with these two-of-a-kind recipes that double as an excuse to enjoy the lovely fall weather while you grill!

If you’d rather take your beef and mushroom pairing inside, you’re sure to enjoy this recipe for Easy Steak Diane.

For more beef and mushroom recipes, check out BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com and learn how to mix and match these two delicious ingredients for any occasion. Happy Pairing!

Healthy Aging Month: Protect Your Muscles

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Posted by: on September 7, 2010

September is Healthy Aging month, which reminds us that it’s important to maintain our health as we get older. Muscles often deteriorate during the later years in a person’s life, so now is an important time to make sure you’re consuming enough protein.

The protein in beef helps to stimulate muscle growth, which is critical to helping older Americans live well and independently as they age. Protein-rich meals is one way to boost the muscle-building process and prevent the risk for falls and fractures in the future.

Scientific research has indicated that eating enough protein-rich food is essential to help protect lean body mass and prevent sarcopenia, a little known yet critically debilitating condition that contributes to muscle loss due to aging. The research indicates that consuming just four ounces of lean beef protein each day can help enhance muscle development by 50 percent.

In addition to building muscle, protein contributes to adequate bone health because bones need enough protein to reach their peak performance. Research indicates that adults between the ages of 50 and 69 who ate more protein-rich foods, such as beef, had fewer hip fractures resulting from osteoporosis.

If you’re interested in learning more, here is some additional info to help you understand how your diet can impact your health:
Power Up For the Good Life with Lean Beef
Lean Protein Can Help People Live Well and Age Vibrantly

For some great recipes to pack in the protein, visit the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner website.

September is National Rice Month

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Posted by: on September 6, 2010

Beef Kabobs, National Rice Month, easy healthy meal, recipeTo celebrate September as National Rice Month, pair your favorite beef recipes with rice. Here is a great recipe for Mojo Beef Kabobs. These taste great when served on a bed of rice!

Ingredients:
1 pound boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick|
1 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper
1 large lime, cut into 8 wedges
1 small red onion, cut into 8 thin wedges
1 container grape or cherry tomatoes (about 10 ounces)
2 cups rice

Additional ingredients for Mojo Sauce:
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Whisk Mojo Sauce ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Cut beef steak into 1-1/4 inch pieces; season with pepper.
  3. Alternately thread beef with lime and onion wedges evenly onto four 12-inch metal skewers. Thread tomatoes evenly onto four 12-inch metal skewers.
  4. Place kabobs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill tomato kabobs, uncovered, about 2 to 4 minutes or until slightly softened, turning occasionally. Grill beef kabobs, uncovered, about 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally.
  5. Cook rice according to directions on package.
  6. Serve kabobs over a bed of rice, drizzled with sauce.

This recipe yields four servings, and is a great way to get your protein and veggies at the dinner table! And for more great recipes, visit Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.

Pepper-Steak Parfait recipe

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Posted by: on August 31, 2010

These steak “parfaits” will turn you dinner into a dynamic dish! With alternating textures of tender sliced beef shoulder center steak, fresh spinach, creamy cheese and a crunchy crostini you’re going to be delighted by what this recipe has to offer. Enjoy!


Ingredients:
2 beef shoulder center steaks (ranch), cut 3/4 inch thick (about 8 ounces each)
2 medium red bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise
6 slices (1/4 inch thick) baguette bread, cut diagonally about 5 inches long
1 clove garlic
Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup chopped Spanish olives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoon shaved manchego cheese
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Marinade & Dressing:
1/2 cup reduced fat prepared olive oil vinaigrette
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Combine marinade and dressing ingredients in small bowl. Place beef steaks and 1/4 cup marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn steaks to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade for dressing.

2. Remove steaks from marinade; discard marinade. Place steaks and bell peppers on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill steaks, uncovered, 9 to 11 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Grill peppers, covered, 7 to 10 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. A few minutes before steaks are done, place bread slices on grid. Grill until lightly toasted, turning once. Cut 1 end off garlic clove; rub cut end evenly over both sides of toasted bread.

3. Carve steak into thin slices; season with salt and black pepper, as desired. Dice bell peppers. Place 1 bread slice upright in each of 6 (1-cup) martini glasses or straight-sided glasses. Layer with equal amounts of spinach, peppers, steak, olives, chopped cilantro and reserved dressing. Top with cheese shavings. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

For more great recipes, visit Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.

Recipes for your Farmers’ Market finds!

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Posted by: on August 27, 2010

We’re nearing the end of Farmers’ Market season, but if you’re heading to your market one last time, be sure to pair your fresh produce with a favorite protein, such as lean beef.

Lean protein is a perfect partner for seasonal fruits, vegetables and whole grains that are plentiful during the summer, making it even easier to enjoy a balanced diet. Build the perfect plate by including nutrient-rich lean beef with fresh produce dishes and salads to help meet Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid recommendations, beef up your high-quality protein needs AND get more nutrients per bite.

Try these simple steps to MEAT your fruits and vegetables this summer:

• Krazy for Kabobs: Kabobs are a quick and easy dinner time solution. Go for a budget-friendly version of “Surf and Turf” by adding cubed Top Sirloin and shrimp to skewers along with chunks of pineapple, onions and tomatoes. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

• Seasonal Salads: Fresh salads are a great way to keep cool during the summer heat. Beef up a traditional Italian Caprese salad by adding slices of grilled Top Round steak to sliced heirloom tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella and basil leaves along with a few drizzles of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

• Great Grains: Turn a delicious grain side-dish into a hearty and nutrient-rich main dish. Cube up a Tri-Tip roast and toss with your favorite grain (such as cooked barley, rice or quinoa) as well as chopped bell peppers, green onions, mangoes, parsley, lime juice and olive oil.

• Protein Packed Pasta: Power up with protein by including Tenderloin slices in a summertime pasta salad. Don’t forget the veggies! Zucchini, squash and fresh peas added to whole wheat rotini and topped with a light Italian dressing make for a simple lunch or supper.

For additional suggestions on pairing fruits, vegetables and whole grains with lean beef, visit the checkoff-funded BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

Learn To Love The Leftovers

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Posted by: on August 25, 2010

Late summer and early fall are busy for a lot of people! Whether you’re trying to a routine with the kiddos back in school or you would rather spend your evenings outside rather than cooking dinner, here are some ideas that will make you happy!

Here are a few ways to maximize your leftovers, which will help you save time AND money.

These recipe pairs work great for dinner/breakfast or dinner/lunch combos, so have fun!

1. Prepare the Pepper Beef Steak with Garlic-Cilantro Butter and have the Breakfast Beef Burritos for breakfast the next day. Both recipes use beef round tip center steaks. Prepare 8 oz. extra when cooking for the pepper beef steak, and you’ll be that much closer to a delicious breakfast!

2. Cook two pounds of beef round tip steaks. Use one pound for a delicious Sesame Soy Beef Stir-Fry dinner and the other pound for a lunch of Beef Taco Wraps.

Don’t Forget Food Safety!
Food safety is important to keep in mind when utilizing leftovers. The way food is stored, the time and temperature it reaches and the way it is served are all important to ensure food safety.

Here are a few tips on food safety:

• Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. If you’re serving a buffet, you can keep cold foods on ice to maintain a temperature below 40°F, and keep hot foods on a hot plate or sterno flame to ensure internal temperatures stay above 140°F.
• As soon as your meal is over or within two hours (whichever comes first), place leftover food in the refrigerator. Allow hot or warm leftovers to cool in the fridge, not at room temperature.
• Divide large amounts of leftovers into small portions. The smaller size will not only be convenient for leftovers, but shallow containers will allow for quick chilling.
• Any leftovers should be covered, refrigerated and eaten within 3 to 4 days – or frozen up to 3 months. Reheat to 165°F throughout. Stir foods during reheating to be sure that all the food reaches the appropriate temperature.
• When in doubt, throw it out. Never taste leftover food that looks or smells strange.

Here are some more great  “Grill Once Dine Twice” recipes you’re going to love! Cheers!

Back to School: Lunch ideas!

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Posted by: on August 24, 2010

Back to school lunch ideasWith the kids heading back to school you’re probably packing juice boxes and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches galore to keep them nourished for a long day of learning! So why not consider a healthy, grown-up lunch menu to add excitement to your day and keep you from feeling that afternoon lull.

By simply adding the Power of Protein to your lunch, you can keep going all day long! The zinc and iron you get from eating beef helps with cognitive development, which is good for students and adults of ALL ages!

If you’re not quite ready to get rid of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, we understand. For a twist on the classic try Beefy PB&J Wrap.

For you sandwich lovers out there, try the Mediterranean Beef Steak Sandwich, or use leftover steak from last night to make Stir-fried Beef Gyros in Pita Pockets. Keep it light and pump up the protein with a Simple Asian Beef Salad or Beef Steak & Roasted Vegetable Salad. These tasty dishes are sure to give you an extra OOMPH to get through those long afternoon meetings.

For a variety of sandwich and salad options or even soup and pizza recipes, check out BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com to satisfy your cravings. Kids are the ones back in school, but you can sharpen your mind and body by enjoying some nutrient-rich beef.

Happy Lunch-ing!

Beef blogger shares stories from the farm

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Posted by: on July 28, 2010

In the beef industry, we’ve got a lot of passionate farmers and ranchers who really love taking care of their land and animals. Need proof? Meet Lance Zimmerman. Lance is from the farm and describes himself like this:

Lance Zimmerman, beef rancher, beef farm

Lance Zimmerman, blogs about his life on a beef farm

“A small-town boy at heart, I spent my summers working fields, fixing fence, and working on 4-H projects. I am the first person in my family to earn a college degree. Now, I want to help consumers and ranchers learn a bit more about what happens on the other side of the pasture gate.”

Lance writes a blog to help share his experience raising beef cattle with those of us who don’t live on a farm. At his blog, titled The Beef U Eat, Lance provides a place to discuss what it takes to feed the world. This venture helps consumers who have a desire to connect with their food, while also highlighting farmers who generally aren’t the type to call attention to themselves.

In a recent post, Lance writes about his decision to wash reusable grocery bags to eliminate bacteria. Now that’s something all food lovers should consider!

Cooking with fresh vegetables

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Posted by: on July 22, 2010

If you’re like me, summertime means cooking out and taking advantage of fresh veggies. I bet I’m not the only one who can relate to having friends and relatives who deliver extra produce to my house and leave me wondering what to fix with my favorite veggies. Whether your veggies come straight from your garden, are produced by friends, or are purchased at the farmer’s market or grocery store, here are some of my favorite ways to highlight fresh ingredients in my kitchen!

Fresh veggies, local produce, vegetables, recipes, healthy cookingDo you have more carrots than you know what to do with? Try these:

Dress up your meals with fresh spinach with these recipes:

If you need inspiration for the asparagus and green beans in your garden, here’s what you need to try:

To learn more about cooking with fresh ingredients all year long, visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. You can search hundreds of recipes by the ingredient you want to use. While you’re there, visit our new Interactive Meat Case, a user-friendly way to learn how to use new beef cuts and recipes with your family!

Happy Bastille Day: celebrate with food

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Posted by: on July 14, 2010

It seems like every day is declared a holiday in some shape or size. The more random holidays include “Clean up your room day,” which my mom would have supported as I was growing up, and even “National Hamburger Day,” which is one of our favorite ways to enjoy beef with family and friends. But did you know today is Bastille Day? It’s a French holiday…so why not celebrate, or shall I say Faire la fête, by indulging in French culture and their passion for food.

Today’s the day to expand your cultural knowledge with some easy and delicious French beef recipes, such as:
Beef Bourguignonne — Pair with a classic French Burgundy Red Wine
Ribeye Steak with Grape Tomatoes and Brie – It wouldn’t be a French meal without a little cheese!
Beefy French Onion Soup – A French baguette or croissant is great for dipping into this hearty soup

Why not give tonight’s dinner a special theme and help your family learn at the same time? For more delicious beef recipes, visit the checkoff-funded BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. Cheers!