There is nothing like a good Farmer’s Market. Fresh produce in brilliant color, the smell of warm baked bread and pastry floating through the air, sizzling hot off the grill barbecue and artisans selling their treasures and crafts. Weekends in spring and summer are made for the Farmer’s Market. Or at least that’s what I think. And that’s what I keep telling Ranger Craig (just in case he forgets 🙂 )
One Sunday in June, the Bennett Crew and I headed up to the Roslyn, WA Farmer’s Market. Roslyn, Washington was once known on television as Cicely, Alaska. Our very own Roslyn was the backdrop for the TV series Northern Exposure. Little did I know back then (in the early 90’s) that someday I’d actually live down the highway from that cute little town.
It was a beautiful sun filled day and while browsing the market I met beef ranchers from Heirloom Cattle Company. The Peplow family raises grass-fed beef in Eastern, Wa on organic native grass pasture. By this point, I was completely overcome with excitement.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see my two gals quickly wandering away hoping no one would know we’re related. I do get a little beside myself when it comes to local, organic, naturally raised, or grass fed. Those few words can light me up like a Christmas tree.
After my enthusiasm toned down a bit and I was able to rein myself in, I had the chance to talk with Rancher Peplow about his beautiful cattle ranch. Heirloom Cattle Company raises grass-fed cattle with no antibiotics, hormones, or grain; “The result is natural high quality beef that protects the environment”. A Healthier alternative, especially for those sensitive to grains.
Before we said goodbye, Rancher Peplow kindly gave me a package of his grass-fed beef brats to test. And test we did. Ranger Craig grilled them up and we ate every last bite. Pure, clean flavor with melt in your mouth texture. Delicious!
It was a great day at the Roslyn Farmer’s Market. We always leave a market with our arms loaded, bellies full, and huge smiles on our faces. Well, most of the time that would be me, but I think the Bennett Crew has a good time too.
Old Fashioned Swiss Steak
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown
I highly recommend trying this recipe with grass-fed beef. I used a grass-fed round steak, pounded out a bit to tenderize. A cube steak is also a great cut of beef for this recipe.
- 2 pounds round steak or cube steak
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (*for a gluten free version, skip this step and just pound out the steaks)
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil, vegetable oil or bacon drippings (I used grapeseed oil)
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (love this stuff!)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Season the steaks with salt and pepper.
Place the flour* into a pie plate or shallow dish. Dust the pieces of meat on both sides in the flour mixture. Cover the meat with plastic wrap and pound out the steaks until they are thinner pieces. Then dredge the pounded slices through the flour on both sides once more and set aside.
Add enough of the oil to just cover the bottom of a 4 to 5-quart Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the steaks to the pan, being careful not to overcrowd. Cook until golden brown on both sides, approximately 2 minutes per side. Remove the steaks to a plate and repeat until all of the steaks have been browned.
Remove the last steaks from the pot and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Next add the tomatoes, paprika, oregano, Worcestershire sauce and beef broth and stir to combine.
Return the meat to the pot, submerging it in the liquid. Cover the pot and place it in the oven on the middle rack. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is tender and falling apart.
This dish is fabulous served with creamy polenta, brown rice, pasta, garlic mashers or egg noodles. Yum!