…with Sherwood Acres Beef! Jon Bednarski from Sherwood Acres popped by The KY Proud Kitchen for a visit, bringing along some locally raised and truly delicious flank steak and strip steak. We also kept some of his burger patties, Italian sausage, and beef breakfast sausage to use in recipes down the road.
I so enjoyed chatting with Jon about his life in farming, as this is his second career and he has completely devoted himself to providing the local area with an alternative to mass-produced beef. He started raising cattle when he realized just how far our food travels to end up on our plates. Jon raises Belted Galloways, a black and white breed from his home state of Vermont. His cattle are steroid-free and primarily grass-fed in rotational pastures, resulting in a leaner, but more flavorful meat.
To highlight Jon’s steaks, I prepared two fairly simple recipes. The first calls for marinating flank steak, which is exactly what this lean, tough cut of meat needs. Flank steak is great for feeding a crowd, as it slices beautifully into tender strips–just be sure to slice it thinly and across the grain. Strip steak is my absolute favorite cut, as it reminds me of family steak night in our house growing up. Basting it in butter is a simple restaurant trick that gives it an extra layer of flavor and luxury. Get some local beef this weekend and treat yourself to a homemade steak dinner.
Marinated Flank Steak Salad
- 1 flank steak (about 1 ½ lbs)
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper
- Freshly grated black pepper
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 3 oz arugula (about half a bag or 4 handfuls)
- ¼ red onion thinly sliced
- 1 small cucumber, diced
- 1 cup cherry, grape, or small heirloom tomatoes, halved
- 2 scallions, sliced, green parts only
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Cilantro, for garnishing
To make the marinade, combine the garlic, ginger, red pepper, black pepper, vinegar, sesame oil, vegetable oil, and soy sauce. Reserve about 3 tbsp of the marinade to use later as a dressing. Place the flank steak in a resealable plastic bag and pour the remaining marinade on top. Marinate for at least an hour and optimally, overnight in the refrigerator.
To cook the flank steak, position an oven rack on the highest rung, set the oven to broil, and place the flank steak on a broiling pan. Broil the steak about 4 inches from the top of the oven for about 4-5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes on the other side, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the steak registers about 135 degrees. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice the flank steak thinly, on a bias, against the grain.
Toss the arugula, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, scallions, and cilantro with the reserved dressing and top with the sliced flank steak. Garnish with additional cilantro.
Butter Basted Strip Steak
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 strip steak
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- 1 cup small fingerling potatoes, halved
- 1 small onion, sliced
Heat the vegetable oil in a stainless or cast iron skillet over high heat. Season the steak well with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes on either side. Turn the heat down to medium, removing the pan from the heat briefly to cool it down so that you don’t burn the butter. Add the butter, garlic, and dried herbs and baste the steak by tilting the pan and spooning the melted butter over the steak repeatedly. Cook until a meat thermometer registers 135 degrees for medium rare.
Transfer the steak to a plate and place the potatoes in the skillet, cut side down. Cook these on medium heat until crisp and cooked through. Add the onion and cook until soft and caramelized. Slice the steak thinly and serve with the potatoes and onions on the side.