May 25, 2013

Grilled Marinated Beef Kebabs With Clayton’s Organic Beef

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In my head, my family’s ideal living situation would be on a completely self sufficient farm. We would grow or raise our own organic food, make everything from scratch and live off the land. Churn our own butter, grind our own wheat flour, eat freshly laid eggs.

In reality, it makes absolutely no sense for me to have this fantasy in my head. I’m a total city girl. I’m not all that crazy about farm smells. There is no way I could have food animals without naming them all. And I would definitely not want to get up at 4AM to milk the cows. In fact, the only attractive thing about this scenario is the part about knowing exactly where my food comes from and what is (or isn’t) in it.

You’ve probably heard news pieces about pesticides and other contaminants in produce. The Environmental Working Group puts out a list of the Dirty Dozen each year, the twelve fruits and veggies with the most pesticide residue. In addition, with every outbreak of “super bugs,” those bacteria species that have become resistant to all but the most powerful antibiotics, we hear about the risk of what our food animals are being fed or exposed to.

The hard part about eating an all or mostly organic diet is that in many places, it’s difficult to find organic food items. Also, the price is more than conventional food items and it’s sometimes too expensive to eat that way.

ShopRite already has a sizable section of organic produce, and lots of other options throughout the store, so I was pleased to find Clayton’s Organic Beef at my store. ShopRite has an exclusive agreement with the Clayton Farm, which is a certified organic cattle farm in Australia.  In addition to being free of pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics and added hormones, organic beef is also healthier. It has less fat, cholesterol and calories. Now I can have the organic beef, without the cows and the 4AM milking and the fields of waving wheat.

Since grilling season is here, I decided to use Clayton’s flank steak to make kebabs. The meat was tender and easy to cut into small pieces, as well as juicy and flavorful. The dish was a hit all around. My husband even took leftovers to work the next day, prompting many coworkers to pop into his office to ask what smelled so good. The meat was also attractive to me because, while a little more expensive than conventional beef, it wasn’t drastically so. I was willing to pay the little extra to get food that I can feel comfortable feeding to my family.

So if you’re in the market for organic beef, give Clayton’s a try! Here is my kebab recipe to get you started.

Grilled Marinated Beef Kebabs

1 pound Clayton’s Organic flank steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped into large pieces
8 ounces whole mushrooms
10-12 new red potatoes
1 green pepper, seeded and cut into large pieces
salt and pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, or 2/3 tsp dried tarragon

In a small bowl, cover the potatoes with water and microwave for 10 minutes or until tender.

Place the meat, potatoes and mushrooms in another bowl. Combine the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and tarragon; pour over the meat and vegetable mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. You can marinate the onions and peppers if you like, but I left them out to avoid mushiness.

If you are using wood skewers, don’t forget to soak them before use.   Twenty minutes in warm water is usually enough.  Thread the meat and vegetables onto the skewers, reserving the marinade for basting if you wish.

Grill over medium heat, turning the skewers frequently, until veggies are cooked to desired tenderness and meat is cooked through.