How lucky am I? My work finds me travelling the country roads of Middlesex County, seeking out quality fare from farms, orchards and markets to develop new recipes to showcase what this beautiful, abundant area of Ontario has to offer.
I had the holiday table in mind when coming up with these recipes. I wanted to think beyond the usual turkey and ham, with a holiday twist of beef or perhaps lamb (poetic, right?). To take the twist another step further, I wanted to switch up the sauce too. Gravy is good, but why not surprise your guests with something different?
I’m pleased to share with you my latest work for Middlesex County’s Economic Development Department: a succulent, grass-fed prime rib, brightened with a piquant herb sauce. You can read my article and get the recipes in their winter newsletter.
The grass-fed beef is from Tom and Julie Field Farms (contact information here) in western Middlesex County. I had the pleasure of visiting with the Fields at their kitchen table, talking farming and food. They raise fully grass-fed beef and lamb, meaning when the animals aren’t dining on fresh grass in the pastures, they’re enjoying hay, it’s dried version. As Tom explained, and my experience eating the prime rib featured in these photos confirms, grass feeding results in a richer, more robust flavour.
So, I’m curious … how do you like to cook your beef? As you can tell from the photos here, mine was medium rare, perhaps leaning toward rare. That’s how I prefer it, but if the offspring came for dinner I’d definitely be finishing it to medium well or even <gasp> well done. No right, no wrong … it’s all about how you prefer it!
I decided to make an herb sauce — my own take on chimichurri —to complement the rich, succulent prime rib. I stopped at Slegers Living Organic Greens just outside Strathroy for some micro greens and herbs. Such a profusion of vibrant greenery! They offer both herbs and greens, with the added benefits of not only being organic but fresh as can be, living in their pots. It was hard to choose, but I came away with several options to experiment with for the herb sauce, which ended up featuring parsley and some oregano.
So, what delights will next grace my table as a result of my travels in Middlesex? Check back in about three months to see the next feature!