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COOK OF THE WEEK - MAY BEEF MONTH

May is Beef Month in Iowa and this week’s Cook Column is celebrating the beef industry of Iowa. Iowa is tied for sixth in the nation for the number of cattle in the state. The cattle industry employs 39,366 directly and indirectly throughout the state and contributes $5.1 billion in business activity to Iowa’s economy. (The Iowa Beef Industry Council)
Anyone who has gone to grocery stores knows that there are many different cuts of beef to choose from; and choosing and knowing the best way to prepare those cuts can be daunting. Here is a quick reference to help with those choices:
Pan broiling: Cook meat or other food quickly in an ungreased or lightly greased skillet. This method is good for flat iron steak, boneless chuck eye steak, rib or rib-eye steaks, porterhouse, T-bone, top loin, strip and cubed steaks, and ground beef.
Pan fry: Fry meat or other food starting with a cold skillet, using little or no fat and pouring off fat from meat as it accumulates during cooking. This method is good for flat iron steak, boneless chuck eye steak, rib or rib eye steaks, porterhouse, T-bone, top loin, strip and cubed steaks, and ground beef.
Stir fry: A Chinese method of cooking uniformly sized pieces of food in a small amount of hot oil over high heat, lifting and stirring constantly with a turner or large spoon. This method is good for rib and rib eye, top-loin, strip, sirloin, sirloin-tip, flat iron, skirt and flank steaks.
Grill: A dry heat method of cooking foods directly over charcoal, gas or electric heat, most often without the use of a cover. The intensely hot grids from the grill rack leave desirable marks on foods with direct contact. This method is good for flat iron, boneless chuck eye, rib or rib-eye, porterhouse, top-loin, strip, sirloin, sirloin tip steaks, ground beef and kabob meat.
Broil: Cook directly under a red-hot heating unit. This method is good for flat iron, boneless chuck eye, porterhouse, T-bone, top loin, strip, sirloin, sirloin tip steak, ground beef and kabob meat.
Roast: Cook meat uncovered on a rack in a shallow pan in the oven without adding liquid. This method is good for rump roasts and ground beef.
Braise: A method of cooking used for less-tender cuts of meat and other foods. The food is first browned, then covered and cooked in a small amount of liquid at a low temperature either on top of the range or in the oven for a long period of time until tender. This method is good for boneless country style ribs, short ribs, chuck (arm, blade, shoulder) pot roasts, boneless chuck eye, skirt and flank steak, briskets, rump roasts, and cubed steaks.
Stew: Cook slowly in a small amount of liquid for a long time, as for stewed fruit and beef stew. This method is good for short ribs, chuck (arm, blade, shoulder) pot roasts. boneless, chuck eye steak, brisket and stew beef. (bettycrocker.com; beefitswhatsfordinner.com)
The following recipes are taken from the “Favorites of Iowa” section of iabeef.org.

Lean Burgers With Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onions (WOW Burgers)
Recipe Type(s): Burgers.
Basic lean burgers:
1 pound 90 to 95 percent lean
ground beef
Egg white
1/4 cup soft bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Steak Seasoning
(coarse ground)
4 buns
Caramelized onion and blue
cheese topping:
1 tablespoon butter
1 large Vidalia or other sweet
onion, cut crosswise into
1/8-inch slices (4 cups)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Salt and pepper, as desired
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
To prepare burgers: combine ground beef, bread crumbs, egg white, and steak seasoning in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into four 1/2-inch-thick patties.
Place patties on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 11 to 13 minutes to medium (160 F) doneness, until no longer pink in center and juices show no pink color, turning occasionally.
To prepare onions, heat butter in large non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onion and brown sugar; cook and stir 16 to 18 minutes or until onion is caramelized (golden in color). Season with salt and pepper as desired. Set aside.
Place burger on bottom of each bun; top with equal amounts of blue cheese and Caramelized Onions. Close sandwiches and serve.

French Onion Beef – Au Jus
Recipe type(s): Roasts, Slow Cooker*.
3 to 4 pound beef roast; boneless
rump, tip, or bottom round
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 package (1-1/4 ounces) dry
onion soup mix
5 cups water
2 large sweet onions cut in 1/4
inch slices
1/4 cup butter
8 French rolls or 1 loaf French
bread, sliced lengthwise and
buttered
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
Lightly brown onion slices in butter. Combine soy sauce, garlic, onion soup mix, onions and 5 cups water.
Place roast in 4-quart casserole or Dutch oven. Add soy sauce/onion mixture. Cover tightly and bake 2-1/2 hours in a 325°F. oven or until beef is tender. Remove roast and allow resting 20 minutes before carving; keeping broth hot.
Slice roast thinly across grain; return slices to liquid. Toast French rolls or bread under broiler. To serve, place hot beef slices on top of bread; sprinkle with grated cheese and broil until cheese is melted. Serve open-face with meat juices poured over each sandwich or closed with a bowl of broth like French Dip Sandwich.
*Slow cooker directions: Place onions in 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 quart slow cooker and top with beef roast. Combine soy sauce, garlic, onion soup mix and 3 cups of water; omit butter. Pour over roast and cook on high 5 hours or low 8 hours. Finish preparation as above.

Speedy Beef Stir- Fry
Recipe Type(s): Fast 30 min. or less, Steaks, Stir-fry.
1 pound beef tip steak, cut 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick (or cut sirloin
steak in to stir-fry strips)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 package (3 oz.) Beef Ramen
noodles
2 cups frozen Oriental vegetable
combination
2 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
Cut beef tip steaks into 1-inch wide cross-wise strips. Combine oil and red pepper; add beef strips and toss to coat.
Break noodles into 3 or 4 pieces; reserve seasoning packet. Add noodles and vegetables to boiling water; return to boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer gently, uncovered for 3 minutes. Drain noodle-vegetable combination and toss with reserved seasoning packet.
Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry beef (one-half at a time) 30 to 60 seconds. Add soy sauce to beef strips. Stir in noodle-vegetable combination and heat until hot. Makes 4 servings.

Sloppy Joe Pizza
Recipe Type(s): Fast 30 min or less, Ground Beef, Kids, Pizza.
This innovative twist on the traditional was based on a recipe from the National Beef Cook-Off® It’s quick, fun and yummy.
Total preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes.
1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup frozen corn, defrosted
3/4 cup prepared barbecue sauce
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
16 ounce Italian bread shell or
prepared pizza crust
6 ounces shredded
cheddar cheese
Heat oven to 425° F. In large non-stick skillet, brown ground beef over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings.
Stir in corn, barbecue sauce, green onions and salt, if desired; heat through.
Place bread shell on large baking sheet. Top evenly with beef mixture; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese melts; cut into 6 wedges. Makes 6 Servings

Quick Asian Beef, Vegetable and Noodle Soup
Recipe Type(s): Fast 30 min or less, Soups, Stews and Chilies.
Total preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes
1-1/2 pounds boneless beef
round tip steaks, cut 1/4 to 1/8
inch thick
2 packages (3 ounces each)
Oriental-flavored instant
ramen noodles, broken up
3 cans (13-3/4 to 14-1/2 ounces
each) ready-to-serve beef
broth
3 cups water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh
ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
16 ounce package frozen
stir-fry vegetable mixture
Stack beefsteaks; cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1-inch wide strips. Set aside.
Remove seasoning packets from ramen noodles; set aside. Combine broth, water, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and vegetables in stockpot; bring to a boil. Stir in noodles; bring to a boil. Cook and stir 3 minutes. Stir in steak slices and contents of seasoning packets.
Immediately remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. 6 servings.

Easy Baked Beef, Bean and Corn Quesadillas
Recipe Type(s): Appetizers, Fast 30 min or less
1 pound ground beef (95% lean)
Salt and pepper
1 cup prepared salsa
1/2 cup canned black beans
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted, drained well
8 small flour tortillas
3/4 cup shredded reduced fat
cheddar cheese or Mexican
cheese blend
Heat oven to 400°F. Brown ground beef in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is not pink, breaking up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
Stir in salsa, beans and corn; cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until thickened and heated through.
Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange 4 tortillas on baking sheet, overlapping slightly, if necessary. Sprinkle half of cheese evenly over tortillas. Spoon beef mixture evenly over cheese; top with remaining cheese and tortillas.
Spray top of tortillas with cooking spray.
Bake in 400°F oven 11 to 13 minutes or until quesadillas are lightly browned and edges are crisp. Cut into wedges to serve. Makes 4 Servings
The COOK OF THE WEEK 3rd Edition Cookbook is available. Cost per copy is $10.70, plus $4.80 shipping/handling. Order a copy today by sending a check or money order, along with name and shipping address, to: Humboldt Independent, 512 Sumner Ave., Humboldt, IA 50548.