Florida Beef Ambassador Report

It’s your Florida Senior Beef Ambassador here, Ryan Beany. February is full of amazing opportunity for BEEF. From National Wear Red Day and Valentine’s Day all the way to Carnival and Mardi Gras, I hope you’re eating beef and spreading the word.

February is National Heart Attack Awareness month with February 3rd being the official day. Be sure to wear red and support the beef industry by telling others about the FCW’s BOLD Program. BOLD stands for Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet and is a program aimed at heart health and lean beef by presenting a new way of thinking: lean beef can be part of a solution to one of America’s greatest health challenges. The BOLD study, conducted by researchers at Pennsylvania State University, discovered eating lean beef daily as part of a heart-healthy diet lowered LDL or “bad” cholesterol by 10 percent, which was just as effective as the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. This research provides convincing support that nutrient-rich lean beef can be an everyday part of a heart-healthy diet.

Participants following BOLD diets consumed up to 5.4 oz. of lean beef daily, and at the conclusion of five weeks, experienced a 10 percent drop in LDL cholesterol as well as a drop in total cholesterol levels. The BOLD results were comparable to the gold standard of heart-healthy diets, the DASH diet, which was also consumed by study participants for comparison.

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and I would suggest cooking a nice, juicy steak for that special someone in your life to show them how much you truly love them. Perhaps try a chili-rubbed steak with maple-bourbon butter to really show the fire and spice in your heart. To begin, you grind 1 tablespoon of cacao nibs into a powder using a spice grinder, combine with 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika, and a few grinds of black pepper, and use a fork to whisk the spices together. Next, remove 2 8-ounce ribeye steaks from the fridge and pat them dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle both sides generously with the spice mixture. Use your hands to rub the spices into the meat. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 8 hours. To prepare the butter, whisk 1 tablespoon of bourbon and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup together. Combine this with the butter in a small bowl and use a fork to begin mashing the liquid into the butter. As the butter softens further, move from mashing to whisking. At first, it may not seem like the liquid will mix with ½ a stick of softened butter, but keep going until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Scrape the butter onto a square of wax paper, roll it up, and twist the ends. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve the steaks. Place a pan or cast-iron skillet on the stovetop on high heat and for approximately 5-6 minutes or until a drop of water evaporates when dripped. Add a splash of oil to the pan and swirl to coat the bottom. Place the steaks in the pan, cook for 30 seconds, then flip them to the other side for 30 seconds, and place the pan in the oven under the broiler on high. Cook for 2 minutes in the oven and flip the steaks again to cook for 2 more minutes. At this point, the steaks are medium-rare. Cook in additional 1-minute intervals for more well-cooked steaks. To serve, slice the steaks against the grain into thick slices and arrange on a plate, add a pad of the maple-bourbon butter over top, and enjoy.

Lastly, for those of you participating in Mardi Gras and Carnival, celebrate with some Crawdogs! These easy to make delicacies are delicious and great for any party you may be hosting. First, coat the cold cooking grate of the grill with cooking spray and preheat to medium or 350°F to 450°F. Next, brush all beef hotdogs with Creole mustard and the inside of your split buns with melted butter. Place hotdogs on cooking grate turning occasionally, until slightly charred, for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer hotdogs to the side of the grate, away from heat, and place buns, buttered side down, over the heat. Grill buns until golden brown or about 30 seconds. Then, heat 2 cups of Crawfish étouffée in a saucepan over medium to low heat just until warm. Place hotdogs in buns, and spoon 1/4 cup étouffée over each hotdog. If desired, top with fresh jalapeño slices, diced red onion, and plum tomatoes.

In the next month, please focus on spreading the word of beef in heart-healthy diets using the BOLD Program, cook your Valentine a steak, and celebrate in the Mardi Gras and Carnival celebrations. If you ever would like me to come to your county to present or even help out at your county association’s event, please get in contact with me. I’d be happy to help.

Ryan Beany
Florida Beef Ambassador

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