100% Local Meal – Pan-seared London Broil With Sautéed Swiss Chard and Spring Onions and Maple Glazed Spring Carrots

It has been so inspiring to walk around the farmers’ market on Saturday mornings.  I like seeing all the beauty around us, but, it is even more fun to play with the vegetables, meat, and dairy and create meals for our family.  The best part about these meals is that I can picture the fields, I know the farmers’ faces and strong hands. The added bonus that with local amazing food like this, I can feed my family AND support my local economy! This local support not only bolsters community and keeps the market going, but ceases the need to support food shipped from thousands of miles away on trucks. 

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Who knows when that bag of carrots was picked, but it obviously had to be picked weeks ago (AT LEAST) in order to be cut, cleaned, bagged, tagged, and shipped. The carrots we see for sale at the farmers’ market are picked and washed that morning or, worse case, the night before! Often in farm stands, the farmer will back the truck up and unload in front of me.  Fresh, ripe, foods are meant to be picked and eaten in the natural cycle of harvesting. Fresh and ripe with the best flavors and peak nutritional value for your money instead of sitting in plastic slowly deteriorating.

Since I have taken on the role of meal planner and cook a majority of our meals, I like to try and get some ingredients from the market every week. I have been taking steps to use the bounty of summer whenever possible, so the challenge recently for us was to try and make a whole meal from the market. This is a great step away from processed foods, from being dependant on the grocery store, and from automated food products.  It means more work overall, more planning, and getting creative.  We are interacting with our food and can tell the story about our food.   Every step closer to the farmer and the soil, is a step in the right direction in my mind.

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Many meals lately are salad based because we finally have enough of our own lettuce.  We took another step away from the store and started using fresh onions and peppers this week in our taco night. And next week we can probably add fresh pico de gallo salsa as the tomatoes are plumping on the vine!  Some other attempts have been interesting and new flavors are emerging from our grill and stove top.  This meal reminds me of something I have ordered in a restaurant but made up myself and it was surprisingly easy.

Join us and try some local fresh vegetables and fruits, meat, and dairy from your local farm stand or market!  There is so much satisfaction in extending that mighty dollar locally!  You can eat 100% locally and make amazing things!  Here’s a recipe to get you started! You can find everything in your grocery store but it is ALL AVAILABLE locally sourced for a delicious, fresh, filling meal.

Pan Seared London broil with sautéed Chard and Spring Onions and Maple glazed Carrots

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INGREDIENTS

1 giant bunch of carrots, roughly a pound

1 teaspoon homestead rendered lard (or oil, butter, cooking oil of choice – but try lard!)

 1 giant bunch of rainbow chard or 3 pounds of chard

1 teaspoon homestead rendered lard (or oil, butter, cooking oil of choice – but try lard!)

2 medium spring onions, or one large onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

2 cloves fresh spring garlic, crushed with a knife or finely  diced

2 pounds london broil, or your favorite cut of steak for searing on the stove top

Optional: Side salad greens, mixed baby greens, or lettuce

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  1. Steak: Bring the steak to room temperature and remove  connective tissue if necessary.
  2. Heat a large, cast iron skillet to medium high heat. Place the steak in the hot pan with a teaspoon of lard or whatever you like to use to oil your pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, check before flipping to make sure it has nicely browned. If you have a steak only an inch thick or less, you can take the skillet off the heat and just let the steak sit for several minutes in the skillet Our London Broil was thick so we checked with a thermometer reading in the fattest part of the steak and made sure it was 145 °F (62.8 °C) and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes as the USDA recommends with beef.
  3. Slice steak against the grain on a bias. Looks fancy this way!
  4. Chard and onions:  Cut stems and ribs from chard discarding any tough pieces.  Then dice stems into 1-2 cm pieces ( I went with the thickness of my pinky finger for size). Put diced stems and ribs into a large skillet or pan to cook with onions and lard. Stir occasionally, until onions and chard stems/ribs soften, roughly 8-10 minutes.  Add garlic and stir in to soften and smell fresh garlic releasing…mmmm.
  5. Stack up the chard leaves and roll lengthwise into cylinders and cut crosswise into inch wide strips. Add to the pan with onions and chard stems/ribs and garlic IN BATCHES. One big handful and then mix it around, then another handful, etc, until they are tender 5-7 minutes.
  6. Carrots:  Remove carrot tops and chop into thin slices.
  7. In your favorite pan, bring the lard to a medium heat and toss in the chopped carrots. Stir to coat in lard, and cook for about 4 minutes keeping the carrots moving.  Add your tablespoon of maple syrup, stir and cook 1 minute. Serve warm.

    NOTE: You can add fresh herbs after the carrots are done in the pan, see what suits your palate. We have done maple thyme carrots, maple dill carrots, and the possibilities are only as endless as your garden or taste buds.

Enjoy!

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