For beef lovers, few aromas can rival the enticing lure of a flavorful, tender steak expertly grilled. There will be plenty of temptation to go around as the Lowndes County Cattlemen”s Association prepares nearly 3,000 ribeye steaks May 8-9 on grills set up at the Kroger parking lot on Highway 45 North.
The annual steak dinner sale is a popular stop for Columbians on the way home after a day at the office or the retail stores — a time-saving and savory protein- and nutrient-rich meal ready to go.
“From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 8-9, folks can stop by the Cattlemen”s Association trailer and get a wonderful steak dinner to carry out, with a 10-ounce ribeye steak, a baked potato and salad,” said member Nick Clark, of Columbus.
Large pre-orders may be placed prior to May 8 by contacting the Lowndes County Mississippi State University Extension office at 662-328-2111.
Grilling for education
The annual event is the group”s only fundraiser. In the past 11 years, the annual sale has resulted in more than $50,000 in college scholarships for Lowndes County youth.
“We give out several thousand dollars a year,” Clark said. “In the past, we really and truly have done our best not to turn down any applicant.”
Any high school senior planning to attend college in the fall may apply for a scholarship. Applications are available at the Mississippi State University Extension office at 512 Third Ave. N. Aspiring applicants can find out more by contacting the office at 662-328-2111.
Skill at the grill
Cattlemen members are some of the most experienced and savvy chefs in the area.
“As a matter of fact, the last time we entered the steak-cooking contest in Jackson sponsored by the state association, we were grand champion,” noted Clark. “Of course,” he added with a laugh, “that may have been because my wife went down and did the presentation. Presentation is real important.”
Members get plenty of practice at the grill. Steaks, rich in protein, iron and zinc, are usually on the menu whenever the group meets.
“We have about 120 members,” said President Doug Yelverton. “The average beef spread of our members is about 15-20 head to around 300.”
Anyone who supports the beef industry and its producers is welcome to join the association. There are no local dues, although all members are required to belong to the Mississippi Cattlemen”s Association, with dues of about $40 per year.
“We have a lot of affiliate members like bankers and retail people who don”t have cattle,” explained Clark. “For your $40, you get a very informative magazine and help a great industry in the state of Mississippi.
“We hope everybody will come out and support the association”s sale and fundraiser. You”ll have a nutritious protein-enriched meal for a nominal fee, and your money will be well-spent. You”ll be well-fed and somebody will get well-educated.”
The following recipes are provided by the Mississippi Cattlemen”s Association.
BEEF KABOBS WITH PARMESAN ORZO
(Total recipe time: 30 minutes; makes four servings)
1 pound boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick
Two red or yellow bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon prepared Italian dressing
Two large cloves garlic, minced
For the Parmesan orzo:
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta, cooked
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons olive oil
- Soak eight 8-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes.
- Cut beef steak into 1-1/4-inch pieces. Toss beef and bell peppers with 1 tablespoon basil, dressing and garlic in large bowl. Alternately thread beef and peppers onto skewers.
- Toss orzo ingredients in medium bowl; keep warm.
- Place kabobs on grill over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, about eight to 10 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. Serve with orzo.
EASY STEAK DIANE
(Total recipe time: 40 minutes; makes 4 servings)
1 pound beef shoulder petite tender medallions, cut 3/4-inch thick
2-3 teaspoons lemon pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
Chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots or onion
2 tablespoons brandy
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms and shallots; cook and stir three minutes or until tender. Remove from skillet and set aside. Wipe skillet out with paper towels.
- Press lemon pepper evenly onto beef medallions. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in the same skillet over medium heat until hot. Place 1/2 of the beef in skillet; cook about five to seven minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. Remove; keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil and beef.
- Add brandy to the skillet; cook and stir over medium heat until browned bits attached to the skillet are dissolved. Stir in cream and Worcestershire sauce. Add mushroom mixture; cook and stir until sauce is slightly thickened. Add beef and stir to coat with sauce. Sprinkle with parsley, as desired.
GARLIC-HERB-CRUSTED BEEF ROAST
1 boneless beef round rump roast or beef bottom round roast (3 to 4 pounds)
Salt and ground black pepper
For the rub:
2 teaspoons garlic-pepper seasoning
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves, crushed
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon dried parsley leaves, crushed
- Heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine rub ingredients in a small bowl; press evenly onto all surfaces of the beef roast.
- Place roast on rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is centered in thickest part of beef, not resting in fat. Do not add water or cover. Roast in oven one-and-a-half to two hours for medium-rare doneness.
- Remove roast when meat thermometer registers 135 degrees for medium-rare. Transfer roast to a carving board; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes. (Temperature will continue to rise about 10 degrees to reach 145 degrees for medium-rare.)
- Carve roast into thin slices; season with salt and black pepper, as desired.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.