This is a sponsored post on behalf of Ontario Corn Fed Beef. Thanks for supporting the brands that help to keep the Crumb test kitchen running! All opinions are entirely my own, as always.
And just like that, it’s fall. At least, that’s what my calendar says, though I’m still refusing to accept that summer is well and truly over.
Sure, I may have packed away my light summer dresses and put on a pair of socks this morning for the first time in months, but it’s going to be strawberries and peaches and corn in my kitchen for at least a week or two before I’m willing to finally move on to squash and apples and pears.
That includes chowing down on big fat bowls of this Southwest-inspired take on the classic Cobb salad, which features all my favourite summertime flavours – colourful cherry tomatoes, buttery avocado, sweet corn niblets, and as a crowning touch thin strips of juicy medium-rare steak fresh off the barbecue. A creamy sriracha-spiked ranch dressing ties it all together.
I opted for a thick, beautifully marbled strip loin steak, which I seasoned very simply with a southwest-style spice rub to enhance (rather than overwhelm) the rich, full flavour that Ontario Corn Fed Beef is known for.
Oh, and this beautiful hunka hunka meat came home with me a few weeks ago, after I spent the day with the crew from Ontario Corn Fed Beef learning about all the hard work and high standards that go into raising their certified beef.
Our itinerary for the day went from fork to farm, starting off at the meat department at Zehr’s in Barrie, followed by an amazing steak dinner at the Georgian Downs, before moving on to spend the afternoon touring a feedlot and a breeding farm to meet some cows. Not my usual Saturday, to say the least!
Along the way, we met some very happy, well-cared-for cattle, and a lot of people who are seriously passionate about good beef, including John from Ontario Corn Fed Beef, Steve from the Zehr’s meat department, farm manager Paul and his team at Shaus Land and Cattle, and farmer Bob and his family at Gilbrea Farm.
(And lest I forget, a shout-out to Meghan from Grain Farmers of Ontario, who came along for the ride to talk to us about corn and who was a great source of grain-related trivia.)
Ontario Corn Fed Beef is sold exclusively here in Ontario at Loblaws, Zehrs, Real Canadian Superstore, Independent and Valu-Mart stores.
Look for the OCFB sticker when you’re buying beef – you’ll know you’re getting great tasting, high quality AA or AAA grade beef, and that you’re supporting your local Ontario farmers while you’re at it.
I’ll be working some more with Ontario Corn Fed Beef over the next few months, and while I’m sad to see summer is on its way out, I’m also excited for the possibilities that the cold weather brings. I’m dreaming of roast beef, beef stew, pot roast, and heck, maybe even more steak… after all, the end of summer doesn’t mean the end of barbecue season. It just takes a little longer to preheat the grill, is all.
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
- 1 tsp lime juice
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 lb Ontario Corn Fed strip loin steak
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground chipotle
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 6 cups roughly chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 hard boiled eggs, cut into wedges
- 1 small ripe avocado, rougly chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup corn niblets, thawed if frozen
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 3 strips bacon, crisp fried and crumbled
- ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
- Chopped cilantro, for garnish
- In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, sriracha sauce, lime juice and salt until combined. Pour into a jar and chill until ready to use.
- Preheat a lightly-oiled gas or charcoal grill to medium-high (or use a lightly oiled grill pan set over high heat). In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, chipotle, salt and cumin. Pat the steak dry, and season generously all over with the spice blend.
- Grill the steak over direct heat for 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare, or keep grilling to your preferred level of doneness. Transfer to a cutting board, and let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting into thin slices.
- To assemble the salad, make an even layer of romaine on a large serving platter or salad bowl, and drizzle with about half of the dressing. Arrange the remaining ingredients on top of the lettuce, then drizzle with the remaining dressing and finish with a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.