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.
Southwest Steak Cobb Salad is Summertime in a Bowl
That includes chowing down on big fat bowls of this Southwest-inspired take on the classic Cobb salad.
It's got all my favourite summertime flavours, like cherry tomatoes, buttery avocado, and sweet corn niblets, drizzled with a creamy sriracha-spiked ranch dressing that really ties everything together.
And of course, I haven't forgotten any of the other components of a proper Cobb, including a big pile of romaine lettuce, crispy bacon bits, crumbled blue cheese and hard-boiled eggs.
The crowning touch, though, is thin strips of juicy medium-rare steak fresh off the barbecue, which is simply seasoned with a Southwest spice blend that accentuates (rather than overpowers) the flavour of the beautiful Ontario Corn Fed Beef.
Choosing the Best Steak for Southwest Steak Cobb Salad
When it comes to salad, my hands-down favourite is strip loin steak. It's great because it's a relatively affordable cut compared to most other grilling steaks, but it's still juicy, tender and full of flavour.
That said, flank, skirt, flatiron or ribeye steak all work just fine - just adjust your grilling time to accommodate the thickness of your chosen cut.
This particular steak was a thick, beautifully marbled strip loin steak that came home with 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.
A Fork to Farm Adventure
My beefy adventure started off at the meat department at Zehr's in Barrie, where the store's meat department told us all about the benefits of beef and taught us how to spot Ontario Corn Fed Beef on the shelf. We also had a little fun with the fridge in their dairy section, which moos whenever you open the door.
From there, we traveled to Georgian Downs Casino for an amazing steak dinner with all the trimmings, including mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables.
And then it was back on the road, to spend the afternoon touring a cattle feedlot to learn about the special feed that's used by Ontario Corn Fed Beef, and a breeding farm to meet some cows and calves. 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.
I owe a big thanks to everyone involved, 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.)
Shopping for Ontario Corn Fed Beef
Ontario Corn Fed Beef is sold exclusively here in Ontario at Loblaws, Zehrs, Real Canadian Superstore, Independent and Valu-Mart stores.
Make sure to check 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.
Cold weather means comfort food, so I'm dreaming of roast beef, beef stew, pot roast, and heck, maybe even more steak... the end of summer doesn't mean the end of barbecue season, after all. It just takes a little longer to preheat the grill, is all.
More Delicious Beef Recipes
Here are all the other recipes I created to show off the versatility of Ontario Corn Fed Beef:
- Chunky Chuckwagon Chili
- Foolproof Never-Fail Eye of Round Roast
- Healthier Ginger Beef Stir Fry
- Soy-Braised Korean Short Ribs
This southwest-inspired variation on the classic Cobb salad uses tender strips of grilled steak in lieu of the more traditional chicken. Could there be a more perfect way to hang onto summer for just a little while longer? I think not.
Sriracha Ranch Dressing:
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
- 1 tsp lime juice
- ½ tsp salt
Southwest Spiced Steak:
- 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
Prepare the Dressing:
- 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.
Grill the Steak:
- 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.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Category: Main
- Cuisine: American