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Posts Tagged ‘Beef’

68 Days of Gourmet: Day 57

Yes, that is meatloaf in the picture above. Random, I know, but would you believe that Gourmet has a plethora of meatloaf  recipes? Shocking. So I bought ground beef at the store this week with intentions of making burgers topped with pimento cheese but we ended up going over to my in law’s on Monday to watch the NCAA Basketball Championship and had burgers there. That left me in a scramble to come up with a dinner using ground beef and the ingredients in my pantry.

Enter meatloaf. My epicurious.com search of Gourmet’s ground beef recipes yielded a lot of meatball and meatloaf recipes. Since I’d already conquered meatballs for 68 Days of Gourmet, all signs pointed to meatloaf. Most meatloafs use a mixture of beef/pork/veal but I was able to find this recipe using only ground beef. And while this meatloaf wasn’t really a stand out dinner it was extremely easy and economical and the bacon slices on the top definitely jazzed it up a bit.

No more meatloaf talk. Yesterday I ran 3.5 miles with Sullie. Beautiful weather, miserable conditions. The pollen in Charlotte right now is out of control. I’m not exaggerating. Apparently it’s the worst pollen Charlotte has had since they started tracking it in the 90s. Everything is yellow. While I was running I could feel myself breathing in pollen. Not good. Of course I woke up coughing and sneezing this morning. No fun. But in other running news, I did register for the Marine Corps Marathon!

Taught BodyPump this morning and went to a hot vinyasa yoga class this evening at Y2 Yoga. The lovely Sarah Keach was teaching (check out her super fun blog!). I usually can’t attend her class because I teach BodyPump Thursday nights but I switched for Tuesday evening this week and subbed for someone this morning so my evening was free! It was a great class with extremely challenging abdominal work and long holds in standing split. Like Sarah kept telling us, it was only one hour and we could rest when it was over! :)

So happy that tomorrow is Friday! Hope you’ve all had a great week!

One Year Ago: Bacon Wrapped Filet (funny coincidence)

Traditional Meatloaf Topped with Bacon
(Recipe source Gourmet, April 1993)

Ingredients:

1 large egg
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
3 tablespoons ketchup, divided
5 saltine crackers, crushed fine
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground chuck
2 slices of bacon, halved crosswise

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl whisk together the egg, onion, bell pepper, 2 tablespoons of ketchup, saltine crackers, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Add the chuck and blend the mixture with your hands until it is just combined (do not overmix). Form the mixture into an 8- by 4-inch loaf in a shallow baking pan, spread the remaining tablespoon (or a little more) ketchup over it, and drape the bacon pieces across the loaf. Bake the meat loaf in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees (mine took about 40 minutes).

Yield: 4 servings (Gourmet says 2 but this definitely could have served 4 for us. More power to you if you can eat 1/2 pound of beef!)

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Just a quick post to wish you all Happy St. Patrick’s Day and share our dinner with you. We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day one day early because Brandon won’t be home for dinner tomorrow night. I made corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and soda bread. For some reason, I’ve always been a huge corned beef fan and asked for this dinner all the time when I was growing up!

Due to time constraints, I had to make the corned beef in the crockpot. I was leery that it would dry out but it actually turned out pretty well. I think I’ll still prefer boiling it in the future but this worked for a weeknight dinner. I cooked the vegetables and potatoes separately using some of the cooking water for the corned beef when I got home. The cabbage wouldn’t have fit in the crock pot and I knew it would be complete mush if I let it cook all day.

This was my first time making soda bread and we really enjoyed it. It was super simple to make and tasted great. A nice accompaniment to an Irish feast! I opted to use a very basic soda bread recipe – we weren’t interested in caraway seeds and golden raisins. I would describe it as a cross between a biscuit, scone and bread. I enjoyed a slice with butter and jam after dinner!

Corned beef and cabbage will always remain one of my all-time favorite dinners! We can’t wait to enjoy the leftovers.

One Year Ago: Simple Broiled Mahi

Corned Beef and Cabbage
(Recipe source Bakin’ and Eggs)

Ingredients:

1 package corned beef with seasoning packet
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 bay leaf
Enough water to cover
1 small head cabbage
Baby carrots (if desired)
Medium-sized red potatoes

Directions:

Place corned beef in a slow cooker with seasoning packet, garlic cloves and bay leaf. Add water until barely covered. Cook on low for about 6 hours, until fork tender.

Cut cabbage into quarters and place in a large stockpot with potatoes and carrots (if using). Add some of the water from the corned beef plus enough fresh water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, until cabbage and potatoes are tender.

Basic Irish Soda Bread
(Recipe source Bon Appetit)

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used 1 1/2 cups whole wheat and 2 cups of white)
1 teaspoon baking-soda
3/4 teaspoon salt (I used 1 teaspoon)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, plus a couple more tablespoons if necessary

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly flour a baking sheet.
Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Mix in enough buttermilk to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball and turn out onto lightly flour surfaced.  Knead just until dough holds together, about 1 minute. Shape dough into 6-inch by 2-inch-high round. Place on prepared baking sheet and cut a 1-inch-deep X across top of bread, extending almost to edges. Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, 30-35 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 47

This is going to be short and sweet. I am sick for the first time in almost two years and need to get to bed! My throat is so sore but luckily no fever. I made this Thai Beef Noodle Soup on Monday night when the sore throat was first making its appearance. It has great flavor. The ginger and lime juice gave the broth so much flavor. And I’m usually not really into beef-based soups but thought it was perfect in this dish. I had some leftover noodles and whipped up another batch of broth using chicken stock and left the beef out – also delicious.

Needless to say, there isn’t much to report on the fitness front. I taught BodyPump Monday morning but after that the sickness started creeping in. I was really feeling ick by Tuesday. It has taken every ounce of my willpower not to go to a yoga class the past couple days but I know that my body needs the rest and my instructors and classmates would not appreciate my attendance while sick! I’m itching to practice though since I’ve missed my regular Sunday and Tuesday classes. But since I’ve been sick my appetite has been a little off and I’ve struggled to get enough fruits and veggies in. Hopefully a good night of sleep will be just what I need!

Thai Beef Noodle Soup
(Recipe adapted from Gourmet, February 2008)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mild honey
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound flank steak (I used a flat iron steak, much cheaper!)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 large shallots, thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Thai green-curry paste (or more if you want to kick it up a little)
2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus extra slices for serving
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
3/4 pound dried Asian egg noodles

Directions:

Mix together soy, honey, 1 tablespoon fish sauce and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a shallow baking dish. Add steak and turn to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.

While steak marinates, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat until it shimmering. Cook shallots, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes. then cook shallots, stirring occasionally, until browned well, about 8 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and curry paste and cook for another minute. Add add broth and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in lime juice, remaining tablespoon fish sauce and salt to taste and keep warm, covered.

Heat grill pan or large skillet over medium-high heat, then lightly oil. Cook steak, turning once, about 12 minutes total or until internal temperature reaches 120 degrees for medium rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss bell pepper and scallions with remaining tablespoon oil, then grill, turning frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

While steak stands, cook noodles following package directions. Drain well, then add to vegetables and mix well. Divide noodles among 4 bowls and top with 1/2 cup broth. Cut steak in half lengthwise, thinly slice across the grain and serve on top of noodles. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Yield: 4 servings

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 28

Happy New Year everyone! The holidays have been busy for us with lots of family time and traveling. Since we spent Thanksgiving with my family this year, we stayed in Charlotte and celebrated Christmas with Brandon’s family. We rang in the new year in Asheville with The Avett Brothers and then headed to Atlanta on New Year’s Day for yet another Avett Brothers show and to spend the weekend with my family. It was so good to see them! My mom, Brandon and I went to the Georgia Aquarium on Saturday afternoon while my dad stayed home prepping our amazing dinner! He made Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Gumbo. SO DELICIOUS! He made his own seafood stock and made the perfect roux. It was exactly the dark color of Paul’s in the book. It was full of oysters, crab, shrimp and fresh andouille! I roasted up some okra for a side dish and my mom made my favorite banana pudding recipe. Yum! I love going home and enjoying my parents cooking! :)

I was happy to arrive home yesterday and get back in the swing of our normal routine. I attend an incredible hot yoga class every Sunday afternoon at 4. It’s the perfect way to end my weekend and prepare my mind and body for the work week ahead. Since I was a little crunched on time given our afternoon arrival home and wanting to make my yoga class, I was looking for an easy meal. It is freezing here (seriously – lows in the teens, highs in the 30s – that is cold in the South!) and slow cooked meat sounded like the perfect dinner. Our grocery store had chuck roasts on sale so off I went to Epicurious to look for a Gourmet magazine pot roast recipe.

I found this recipe for Oven Braised Beef with Tomato Sauce and Garlic. It only had three ingredients and had received numerous positive reviews. Decision made. You don’t even brown the beef before placing it in the dutch oven! Can it get any easier than that? Off I went to the grocery to grab the ingredients. I threw everything in my dutch oven before I left for yoga and came home to an amazing smelling house!

I was a little nervous because the recipe called for so much garlic but it really mellows out in the oven during the long, slow cook and adds a wonderful flavor. I admit that I added a couple carrots and some onion during the last hour of cooking but it totally wasn’t necessary! I just wanted more veggies. Brandon decided that this should be my “go-to” method for cooking roasts.

I served last night’s roast over mashed potatoes with a salad and french bread. I’m making shredded beef enchiladas with the leftovers tomorrow night.

And now for the announcement:
If you’ve read the “About Jen” section of this site you know that my second love is fitness and nutrition. One of the questions I get all the time is, “How do you cook and bake all that food and stay fit?” Well…I’m going to start sharing that information with you on the blog. Don’t worry, I’m not changing the focus of this blog. It is definitely still first and foremost a food blog but I am going to talk about my nutrition and exercise for the day/week in my posts. If you’re not into it – simply scroll down for the recipe!

In a nutshell, it’s all about maintaining a balance. I’m going to talk about that balance in my posts. I hope I can provide a little bit of motivation and inspiration that you can enjoy delicious food and stay fit!

Let me know what you think in the comment selection below and if you have any questions! Eventually, I hope to add separate fitness and nutrition page to the blog but that’s later in 2010!

And now for the most delicious 3 ingredient roast recipe…

Oven Braised Beef with Tomato Sauce and Garlic
(Recipe adapted from Gourmet, February 2001)

Ingredients:

28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
3-3 1/2 pound boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1 head of garlic, separated into cloves (unpeeled)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional: potatoes, carrots, onions or any other vegetables you’d like to add
Accompaniment: mashed potatoes, orzo or egg noodles

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Generously salt and pepper roast. Place roast in a large dutch oven. Pour tomatoes over the roast and then scatter around garlic cloves.

Cover and bake for 3-4 hours, until roast is very tender and shreds easily. Break into chunks or shred and serve.

Yield: 6 servings

*Note: if you’d like to add extra vegetables, add them when you have about 1 hour left in cooking.

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 15

I saw this recipe in The Gourmet Cookbook as I was putting together our menu for the week. I knew this would be a huge hit with Brandon and I haven’t made meatballs in forever. This dinner was surprisingly quick and easy to put together given that you make your own tomato sauce. I put the sauce on to simmer, assembled the meatballs and stashed them in the fridge while I was doing some things around the house. I put pasta on to boil and cooked the meatballs once we were ready to eat.

Overall, I would have to say that the meatballs were a definite success but I would use a different sauce recipe next time. I loved the combination of veal, pork and beef in the meatballs and they held together beautifully. No falling apart while cooking – this could have been helped too by the time they spent in the fridge prior to being cooked. I found the sauce to be a little too thin. At first I attributed this to my laziness, the recipe calls for pulsing whole tomatoes a food processor. I just stuck some kitchen shears in my whole tomatoes and cut them up so they were more diced than pureed. Then I read the reviews on the online recipe and saw that others had issues with the thin sauce too. I think this could be helped by adding a little tomato paste and maybe using crushed tomatoes instead of whole. Or just use your favorite marinara recipe (see my favorite recipe here) and skip this one all together. Also, if you’re big on sauce and serving this over pasta you may want to double the sauce.

The meatballs are a definite winner though. I recommend using this meatball recipe next time you make spaghetti and meatballs. I’m so excited to use the leftovers for meatball subs tonight! (They were so good I couldn’t resist snapping a photo to share. Yum!)

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
(Recipe adapted from Gourmet, January 2002 and The Gourmet Cookbook)

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (28- to 32-ounce) can whole tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, finely diced, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Shot of red wine (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 cup fine fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 lb meatloaf/meatball mix (mixed ground beef, pork, and veal)
5 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and add garlic and about 1/4 of your diced onion.  Cook for about 5 minutes, until onion softens and becomes transparent. In the meantime, if using whole tomatoes, pulse tomatoes with juices in food processor until chopped. Add tomatoes, oregano, Italian seasoning, splash of wine and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to pot. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes (can simmer longer if necessary).

While sauce is simmering, stir together bread crumbs and milk in a large bowl and let stand 5 minutes until bread crumbs have absorbed milk. Add meat, rest of onion, 3 tablespoons parsley, red pepper flakes and remaining teaspoon salt. Blend with your hands until just combined (do not over mix). Form 2-tablespoon amounts into meatballs. You should have about 20.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Carefully add meatballs and sauté in 2 batches, turning occasionally, until well browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to tomato sauce using a slotted spoon.

Simmer meatballs, covered, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 more minutes. Serve over pasta and sprinkle with remaining  2 tablespoons parsley.

Yield: 4 servings

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beefbolognese

I grew up on good old fashioned spaghetti sauce. One weekend when I was in college I went home and my dad served beef bolognese.  It was incredible! I found myself craving it and asking for it when I came home to visit.

My dad emailed me the recipe a couple years ago and it’s now one of my favorite “comfort food” Italian dishes to make. While I still love basic spaghetti sauce and keep it in the freezer at all times, I’m glad to have this in the repertoire and make it a few times a year.

Beef Bolognese
(Recipe source my Dad)

Ingredients:

1 -3  tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1-2 stalks celery, diceed
1 carrot,  shredded
3-4  cloves garlic, minced
1/4 pound pancetta, chopped
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup red wine
1 cup whole milk
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tablespoon dried
About 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish

Directions:

In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, cook ground beef until browned. Drain and set aside.

Wipe out Dutch oven and heat the oil. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook for about 5-8 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften and onion becomes translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the pancetta and cook for 5 minutes, then add the beef back to the pot. Add the wine and the remaining ingredients and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes. (Note, the longer it cooks, the better it gets. Leftovers are even better).

Serve with cooked  tagliatelle or thin spaghetti pasta . Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Yield: 4-6 servings

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baconwrappedfilet

We went to Bruno’s on Sunday afternoon to get a movie from the DVD Express box. There was a hand written sign taped to the door that read, “Visit our meat department today!” That was all the encouragement that Brandon needed. The next thing I knew we had bypassed the movie kiosk and were checking out the meat department. They actually were having a great sale and one of the things that we came home with were some tasty looking filets.

We have a ton going on this week and last night was our only night at home together for dinner. Bacon wrapped filet on a Tuesday? I’ll take it.

Brandon did this on the Big Green Egg. I thought he did a nice job with the grill marks and it was cooked perfectly medium rare! He used the famous “T-Rex Method” on the steaks. Check it out if you’re not familiar!

Bacon Wrapped Filet
(Recipe source Bakin’ and Eggs)

Ingredients:

2 6 oz filets
4 slices of bacon
Cooking spray
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Rub steaks with olive oil and coat generously with salt and pepper. (Do not put the bacon on at this time.)

You want the Egg really hot to sear the steaks to get the grill marks. Preheat to about 700 degrees (or as hot as you can get a standard grill). Sear steak on both sides for 90 seconds with the lid up. Remove from grill and let rest for 20 minutes. Bring grill temperature down to 400 degrees.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with foil and placing a wire rack over it. Spray rack with cooking spray and place bacon slices on it. Bake bacon for about 10 minutes, turning once halfway through. You don’t want your bacon fully cooked as it will finish cooking during the final grill.

Wrap bacon around steaks, securing with toothpicks or cooking twine. On slice of bacon probably won’t fit around the steak so you’ll most likely need two slices.

Return steaks to grill (with temperature reduced to 400) and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side, until internal temperature reaches 125 degrees for medium rare. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving to allow juices to redistribute.

Yield: 2 servings

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Greek Night with Keftedes

greeknight

We love Greek food and were really craving it tonight. There is an amazing Greek restaurant a couple blocks from our house that we love. Unfortunately, after the holidays we’re on a bit of a budget so we decided to have our own Greek feast at home.

One of my favorite blogs for Greek food is Elly Says Opa! There was a post of her top 30 of 2008 in my Google Reader today and I starred this Greek meatball recipe. It was perfect for tonight.

I served the meatballs with Greek salad, wild rice and hummus with pita bread. It was a great dinner and we have plenty of leftovers. I’ll be making this again for sure!

Keftedes (Greek Meatballs)
(Recipe source Elly Says Opa!)

Ingredients:

1 slice of bread
milk
1 lb lean ground beef
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 an onion, finely diced or grated
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
1 heaping tsp. dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
flour, for dredging
olive oil, for pan frying

Directions:

Place slice of bread in a bowl and pour milk over. Allow bread to soak up milk as you are prepping other ingredients. Squeeze the bread to get rid of some of the milk, and then discard the remaining milk, keeping just the soggy bread.

Add the beef, egg, onion, garlic, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper to the bread. Mix everything together, careful not to over mix.  Then, shape into meatballs–any size you want. Mine were around 1-1 1/2 inch around.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add some olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Dredge the meatballs in flour, shaking off the excess. When the oil is hot, add meatballs and pan fry until cooked through (working in batches, if necessary). Mine took around 4 minutes per side, flipping halfway through.

I placed them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain before serving.

Greek Salad Dressing
(Recipe source my parents)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a jar. Shake and chill. This recipe can be cut in half or quartered for smaller serving.

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steaksandblog

We were seriously overdosed on turkey and while menu planning this week, steak sandwiches sounded great. I got the inspiration for this sandwich from Cooking Light but didn’t follow the recipe much at all when I was cooking. These turned out great and we have tons of steak leftover for lunches.

Also, this recipe will be the FIRST featuring the Big Green Egg – WooHoo!!!

Open Faced Steak Sandwiches with Horseradish Sauce
(Inspired by Cooking Light)

Ingredients:

STEAK
1 lb steak (flank, strip, ribeye – your choice)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tbsp honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp freshly ground pepper

HORSERADISH SAUCE
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
1/4 cup light mayo
1/4 cup light sour cream

SANDWICH
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, sliced thinly
1 cup baby greens
Thick bread slices (texas toast, Italian or French bread – your choice)
Steak, thinly sliced diagonally across the grain
Horseradish sauce

Directions:
Mix together steak marinade ingredients in a bowl with a wisk. Place steak in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over steak. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the steak from the fridge and let come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Place cast iron grate on Big Green Egg (not required, but nice if you want the pretty char marks). Preheat grill to 400 degrees, about 20-30 minutes. Spray grate with nonstick cooking spray or brush with olive oil. Place steak on grill and cook with lid down about 8 minutes per side, rotating 90 degrees after 4 minutes on each side to get char marks. For medium rare, pull steak when the temperature registers 115-120 in the thickest part. Let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing to allow juices to redistribute.

Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Mix together horseradish sauce ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet (I used cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Onions are ready when they have broken down and are a nice golden color.

To assemble the sandwiches lightly toast bread. Spread horseradish sauce on bread and layer baby greens. Place sliced steak over baby greens and top with onions and another dollop of the horseradish sauce.

I served these with homemade oven fries and mixed baby greens.

Check out those grill marks!

Check out those grill marks!

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