Denver Steak / Pinto Beans
Amaltheia Organic Produce - Belgrade
Amaltheia Organic Produce - Belgrade
Good Mama Farm - Harrison
Harlequin Produce - Arlee
Montaña Madre - Missoula
Wickens Ranch - Hilger / Emmanuel Produce - St. Ignatius
Denver steaks are cut from the shoulder, just underneath the blade bone, and are more tender than the rest of the chuck. They're typically well-marbled, and are best grilled or seared over high heat until medium-rare for maximum tenderness, done in as little as 1 min. per side depending on thickness. After resting, slice against the grain. This type of preparation is ideal for salad or tacos.
Grilled Cumin Steak with Fennel & Feta Salad
Recipe adapted from Sarah Copeland, NYTimes Cooking. Serves 2-3. The salad is good by itself, too!
12oz Denver steak (skirt steak would work for this as well)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 Tbs fresh lemon or lime juice
3 1/2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped or pressed (or mince the white/light green part of a green garlic stalk)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 bunch butterhead lettuce - or any lettuce, kale, chard, or spinach - rinsed, spun, and thinly sliced
1 head fennel (~8 oz, or 1/2 a head if large), thinly sliced
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled - or use any cheese you like
Optional salad ingredients: raisins or craisins, salad turnips, green garlic, chopped cilantro...
Pat steak dry with paper towels and marinate in a bowl or resealable bag with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 1/2 Tbs lemon or lime juice, 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil, garlic, and cumin. Coat well and set aside for ~30 minutes.
Whisk together the remaining lemon juice and olive oil with the remaining 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. [If using kale, massage the kale with the dressing to soften it.]
Preheat the grill. Remove the steak from the marinade and let the excess drip off. (A dry steak yields a better sear.) Grill the steak over high heat until nicely seared and cooked to your liking, ~1 minute per side should yield a medium-rare to medium steak. Alternatively, you can broil the steaks in the oven or sear in a hot cast iron skillet. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
To serve, toss the greens with the dressing, fennel, feta, and any other ingredients you like, until well coated. Slice the steak against the grain and serve alongside the salad.
Steak Tacos or Taco Salad
How you want to eat this meal will determine what you need to prepare. See variations below. 1 12-oz steak can serve 2-3 people. To prepare the steak, use the same recipe and method as the Grilled Cumin Steak, adding ~1/2 tsp chili powder to the marinade, and any other seasonings you want.
For Tacos, you'll want some combination of: 6" corn or flour tortillas (warmed), chopped cilantro, tomatillo salsa, avocado, shredded jack cheese or crumbled queso fresco, diced onion and/or green garlic, chopped lettuce, or a slaw made with fennel and/or cabbage, lime juice, salt, and more cumin.
For Taco Salad: toss or layer together cooked pinto beans (canned or cooked from dry), chopped butterhead lettuce, shredded cheese, avocado, tomatillo salsa, any other veggies you want (tomatoes, corn, bell pepper, green garlic or scallions, etc) and top with sliced steak. Serve with corn chips and dressing of your choice (try a version of Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing or whisk together some tomatillo salsa with a few Tbs olive oil, 1 Tbs cider vinegar, more chopped cilantro, and seasoning to taste). Omit the steak for vegetarian taco salad.
Thai Lettuce Wraps
Adapted from The Modern Proper. Serves 4 as an appetizer or side.
1 Denver steak, or protein of your choice (optional)
1 head butter lettuce, separated into lettuce cups
1 large carrot, julienned
1 large red bell pepper, julienned
1/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped plus more to taste
Fresh basil and/or mint, chopped
1/2 C tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbs fish sauce
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced - sub chopped green garlic
2-3 green onions, minced
1 Tbs Thai chili paste, like Sambal Oelek
Optional additions: crushed peanuts, Sriracha sauce, cooked rice, rice noodles, or other grains, etc.
Combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, green onions, 1/4 C chopped cilantro, and chili paste into a dressing. If cooking steak, marinate it in half the dressing for at least 30 minutes. Sear or grill steak as in the Grilled Cumin Steak and after resting it, slice very thinly across the grain. You could also use the dressing for chicken, very firm tofu, or any plain ground meat you want to use, though your cooking methods will necessarily differ.
Arrange the whole lettuce leaves, julienned veggies, minced herbs, and steak (if using), plus any other toppings you want on a platter for everyone to build and enjoy their own lettuce cups.
Additional Recipe Suggestions
More Fennel Recipes, including my favorite Fennel, Beet, & Orange Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette, as well as a lemony fennel & kale pasta
Enchiladas Verdes - chicken or veggie (or improvise with steak)
Lettuce wraps with ground meat: beef, pork, turkey, chicken, or plant-based proteins
I love googling things and finding hits close to home: here's an Edible Bozeman recipe for Hakurei Turnip Salad with Orange & Fennel