The ranch is a busy place. Meals often have to be easy as well as flexible. We have always made it our tradition to feed whoever is around at lunch.
That may mean just a few or up to a dozen. Our open door policy means we at times have to throw a few more beans into the pot or at other times have lots of leftovers. Adding more is easy but the creative use of leftovers can be fun but a challenge.
Such was the case yesterday when I fixed rib eye steaks with mashed cauliflower and roasted butternut squash. We had a short group around the table. It may have been because they HAD to eat the cauliflower and squash with the beef or no beef, Momma’s rules.
Well, this is a meat and potato crowd and my bent of good veggies are good for you are less than enthusiastically received at times.
At any rate, we had lots of leftover steak today. Do I use it as steak sandwiches topped with caramelized onions and cheese on a toasted hoagie bun? Yum.
Or, steak soup with potatoes, tomatoes and veggies in a beefy broth? Yum again.
But I had on hand some beautiful local beets that I was dying to use. I love them and yet my crew is less excited when they are on the menu. What I chose was a steak and beet salad topped with blue cheese.
Here are the ingredients I used:
Left over grilled grass-fed beef steak
6 medium to small beets
½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup olive oil
½ cup maple syrup
2 t Dijon mustard
¾ cup roasted walnuts
1 Tbls butter
½ cup green onions (red onions work too)
4 oz. good blue cheese
This is how I put it all together:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Trim the beets and place each individual beet into aluminum foil, placing on a pan and pop in the oven. Set the timer for 1 hour. While these cook you can work on the other ingredients.
Prepare the dressing which consists of the vinegar, oil, maple syrup, mustard, and salt/pepper to taste. Whisk until well combined and place half in a bowl.
Pour the other half into a small container. I use a small antique pitcher for this small amount of homemade dressing. I love using things from my grand-mothers. I treat them carefully but they give me more joy in use than in a cabinet. I guess they make me feel close to the memories of those precious people.
Anyway, take the cold beef out and slice the steaks across the grain very thin. Put these slices back into the container and leave covered but at room temperature.
Roast the walnuts with a tiny bit of butter in a sauté pan until golden and set to the side with the other ingredients. Take the wedge of blue cheese and crumble it into a bowl, set aside.
Rough chop an ample amount of romaine lettuce and slice the green onions or red onions and place both in large bowl.
When the beets are tender (test with sharp knife) remove from oven. Open the foil and let cool 10 minutes. Peel and slice.
I cut the beets into quarters and then slice. Place the sliced beets into the bowl of dressing (half) and toss to coat all the beets. The warm beet is easier to peel and absorbs more of the dressing.
I like to do all this prep in the morning and assemble the salad at dinner (lunch to some of you folks). That way the beets get time to absorb more of the dressing.
Add the beets along with the dressing in which they had been marinating to the bowl with the lettuce and onion. Toss to mix.
Then add the crumbled blue cheese and roasted walnuts, gently tossing just a bit to combine. Plate this to individual plates then add the sliced steak to the top. I serve with the remaining dressing to be added if desired.