Last night for supper we celebrated the season by firing up the Weber Kettle and grilling some beautiful grassfed beef New York strip steaks. These grassfed beef New York strip steaks are really special because they came from Against The Wind Ranch, which specializes in grassfed Black Angus beef that is raised with such care and dedication that it is Certified Humane. Earning the Certified Humane label is not easy as producers must submit to a level of scrutiny in their animal husbandry that makes many folks uncomfortable. We are glad to support Against The Wind Ranch and their efforts with achieving Certified Humane status for their operation.
Many folks think that grassfed beef is difficult to cook - especially folks with a vested interest in feedlot beef. Hogwash! Cooking naturally lean and naturally tender grassfed beef is a cinch so long as you don't try to incinerate it as you might a much fattier cut. My approach for grilling over charcoal or on a cast-iron griddle is to give the steak a quick sear at high heat on both sides (edges too if it is 2-inches thick) and then about 5 minutes at medium heat on one side and 4 minutes on the other. I test for doneness by holding the steak with tongs and gauging its flexibility. A perfectly medium rare is achieved when the steak droops about half as much as it did when it was raw. Experiment a little, I know you will get the hang of it. We also like to lightly rub our steaks with what amounts to a slightly modified version of this Memphis dry rub. I love the taste of plain pure beef, but I really love the mild zing the rub adds.
No grilled grassfed steak supper would be complete without some potatoes. We like ours roasted in Lucini's chile-infused olive oil. Essentially we parboil the spuds for 5 minutes, drain and pat dry. Then we toss them in the chile-flavored olive oil, season with gray sea salt and black pepper and bake at 450 degrees for around 25 minutes. Yum.
While the potatoes were baking, I lit the charcoal with my trusty chimney starter. These devices come in real handy for getting rid of excess newsprint and leave you with a bed of coals that doesn't taste like a chemical plant. And it only takes about 10 minutes to get the coals going.
Have you ever seen meat this beautiful? This is how the Against The Wind Ranch's New York strip steaks look before getting the rub. This is one of life's most wonderful treats -- perfect for that anniversary, birthday or just to celebrate the season.
All photos and potato recipe are courtesy Karen Keb.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.