Except for the wolves that sometimes wander into the valley and prey on cattle, it seems a Hereford would be lucky to live out its life on a ranch in Jackson Hole.
Where's the Grass Fed Beef?
There are some excellent reasons to buy your meat directly from a rancher: It supports local ranching families who are an integral part of Jackson Hole's history and future, who may be struggling with high costs of feed and land leases. By buying meat in bundles from a CSA, you are bound to save money. And carnivores can feel good about consuming meat that comes from animals that have been treated well.
Does it matter if the local meat is not certified organic? Many small ranches and farms find it prohibitively expensive to maintain an organic certification, even though they use organic practices. It matters more to me that the animals have been fed nutritious grasses, lived out their lives on pasture, and have been humanely treated and put down.
Lockhart Cattle spend their entire "calf-to-cow" lives in Jackson Hole, although sometimes they are moved to the northern part of the valley to feast on pastures beneath Moran Mountain.
Look for local grass fed beef at the Jackson Hole Farmers Market on the Town Square and in local grocery stores, such as the Aspens Market which features grass fed beef from Robinson Family Farms.
Lockhart Cattle Company beef can be purchased at The People's Market on summer Wednesday nights in Jackson, or directly from Chase Lockhart at 307-730-7424 or email@example.com. Buy cuts individually or bundled in monthly or bimonthly CSA shares.
1 Grass Fed Flank Steak, 3 Easy Dishes
For soup: After 6 hours in the marinade, I cut off a dozen paper thin slices, dried them with a paper towel, and quickly sautéed them in a nonstick pan with a tablespoon of grape seed oil. Served over a broth of mushroom miso soup, with a handful of basil and rice noodles, it was a scrumptious lunch.
For my easy summery Thai salad: I pulled the rest of the steak from the marinade, dried it carefully with paper towels, and fired up the grill. I placed the steak on the hot grill for 3 minutes on one side and 2 on the other, pulling it from the heat just before I thought it was done. (When gently pressed with a finger, the meat should be firm on the outside but squishy on the inside.) I let the steak rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes, then sliced it as thinly as possible against the grain. Half of these perfectly grilled steak slices were tossed with salad greens, basil, shredded carrots, diced jalapeños, sugar snap peas, chopped peanuts and a Thai salad dressing for another lunch.
For tacos: I saved the most rare pieces of the grilled steak—from the middle portion of the steak—for another meal of kimchi tacos. The steak was quickly fried in a nonstick pan and folded into warm corn tortillas with kimchi, chopped cilantro and shredded carrots. If I don't have a jar of homemade kimchi quietly fermenting in the back of my fridge, I buy the Wildbrine brand at the grocery store.
Thai Marinade for Grass Fed Flank Steak
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice wine (or leftover white wine)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- juice from 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 4-5 Kaffir lime leaves, if available
- Mix all ingredients in a gallon sized Ziploc baggie.
- Trim the flank steak of any silver skin and place in the marinade. Squeeze out all the air, zip up the baggie and massage the marinade into all surfaces of the steak. Place lying flat in a rimmed pan, and store in the coldest part of the refrigerator (usually the bottom shelf in the back) for at least 6 hours and up to 5 days. Flip the steak over and massage the marinade into it every day.
Easy, Summery Thai Salad with Grilled Flank Steak
- 1/2 pound of grass fed flank steak, marinated in Thai marinade for at least 6 hours
- 2-3 cups of salad greens
- 2 carrots, sliced into strips with a vegetable peeler
- handful of basil, torn or sliced into strips
- 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and finely diced
- 1/2 cup salted peanuts , coarsely chopped
- 1 lime, cut in half for serving
- handful of sugar snap peas, cut into thirds
- handful of cooked rice noodles, optional
For the Thai dressing:
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 garlic cloved, minced
- 6 tablespoons water
- 2-4 drops of Sriracha (or another hot sauce), to taste
- Place all the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.
- Remove the flank steak from the marinade and place it on a cutting board. Carefully dry the meat with paper towels. Let it come to room temperature as you heat the grill to high. Once your grill is hot, place the steak on the grill for 3 minutes on the first side or until it easily released from the grill grates without sticking and has dark brown grill marks. Flip it over with tongs and grill on the second side for about 2 minutes, or until it is firm on the outside but still yields to light pressure in the middle.
- Remove the steak to a cutting board and rest it for 5 minutes while you prepare your salad fixings: greens, basil, mint, shredded carrots, diced jalapeños, chopped peanuts.
- Using a just-sharpened knife, slice the steak thinly against the grain into ¼-inch slices. Toss the steak with a few spoonfuls of the Thai salad dressing, and add to salad ingredients tossed with more dressing.