I have a confession to make. Among my favourite things in life is rare, juicy steak straight off the grill. Lately – and I’m not just saying this because it’s Stampede time in Calgary – my favourite has been cowboy steak, a thick, bone-in rib steak with the bone partially cleaned (or frenched). Each can satisfy two to three people, depending on size of appetite and what it’s served with. Recently, I had some grass-fed beef sourced by Toronto-based Cumbrae’s from a cattle farm in Cayuga, Ont. It was juicy and full-flavoured with a slightly chewier texture – the way beef used to taste. In addition to Texas grilled potatoes (see recipe below), serve yours with a grilled Caesar salad, which you make by lightly grilling romaine-lettuce quarters (the edges should be tinged brown), some sliced onions and several slices of bread to be made into croutons, then tossing with your favourite Caesar dressing. Cap it all off with local strawberries and cream for dessert.
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Texas-style potatoes and dressing
¼ cup chopped green onions
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp grated lime rind
1½ lbs red potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
4 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cowboy steaks, about 2 inches thick
2 tbsp olive oil
Maldon or other finishing salt
Mix together onions, lime juice, cilantro, parsley, garlic, chili powder, lime rind and 2 tbsp olive oil. Reserve.
Toss potatoes with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper in a grill-proof metal pan. Cover with foil.
Preheat grill to high.
Rub steaks with 2 tbsp oil and season with salt and pepper. Place steaks and potatoes on grill. Cook steaks for 18 to 22 minutes, turning 3 times, or until medium-rare. Shake pan of potatoes every time you turn the steak. Cook potatoes until brown and tender (about 15 to 20 minutes). Check occasionally to make sure they are not burning. Remove steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a bowl and toss with dressing.
Slice steaks parallel to the bone and fan the slices on a serving platter. Sprinkle lightly with finishing salt. Serve the bone alongside the potatoes for the bone lovers.