Pasture Beef at Isabelle Farm Stand

Isabelle Farm Stand is open for the season! Located in Lafayette, Co on east Baseline Rd. (near Hwy 287 & Baseline Rd.), it offers an array of seasonal farm produce, handcrafted items, locally produced meats, cheeses, jams, pickled things, and more. The term “farm stand” understates the selection and atmosphere of Jason and Natalie Condon’s spacious rustic market. This neighborhood gem is more reminiscent of an old time mercantile. In addition to seasonal farm fresh produce, shoppers will find handcrafted bees wax candles, hand-carved wood cutting boards, unique kitchen textiles, and a small collection of farm antiques. Although the selection of kitchen accessories is irresistible, it’s the food that impresses. On my last visit to the stand, pasture raised fajita beef caught my eye. That’s what’s for dinner tonight!

20130626-080803.jpg20130626-080819.jpgJason and Natalie have a long established relationship with Boulder county rancher, Jim Roberts. Roberts’ cattle are pastured raised. His ranch is just east of Isabelle farm. Being good neighbors, the Condon’s sell Jim’s delicious beef to their CSA members, and now to the general public, at the farm stand. Stop in during store hours to peruse the wide variety of meat cuts. All cuts are frozen, but thaw quickly, and grill well.

20130626-081201.jpg20130626-081207.jpgAt Isabelle Farm, they say, ” Lafayette isn’t as far away as you may think it is, 8 miles east of downtown Boulder.” Look for the big Monitor-style pine barn with the red steel roof.

Beef Fajita Ingredients: (serves 4-6)
1 lb beef fajita meat
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced (optional, I didn’t use)
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 juice of limes
1-2 jalapenos, seeded & chopped (optional)
3/4 tsp. Cumin
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
ozuké pickled things Kimchi, Citrus & Ginger, Ruby Calendula

In a bowl combine all ingredients. Cover and marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. If time permits, marinate overnight in the refrigerator. After refrigeration, be sure to bring marinated ingredients to room temp before grilling. It is important to bring beef, chicken, & pork to room temp before grilling. This will ensure cooking at desired temp. Fire up your grill on med-high. Place in grill basket. Toss ingredients with tongs to ensure even cooking. Heat up corn tortillas on grill or stove top. Assemble with all your favorite toppings including zuké pickled things. Try these recipes for naturally fermented pico de gallo or tomatillo salsas too!

Ancient Family Recipe with pickled things

Erika’s ‘ancient family recipe’ wowed my palate at a potluck dinner recently. It was a tender brisket served over gluten free pasta. Although she brought other delicious food, it was the brisket that left a lasting memory. Several of us topped the dish off with some citrus & ginger pickled things. It was divine, and so delicious that I was caught scraping the pan clean with my fingers at the end of the night. I had to have that recipe!

As soon as I got my hands on her ancient family recipe, I thawed my Lasater Grasslands brisket and prepared a feast of my own. Because this beef dish is slow cooked, you should plan ahead.  However, the simplicity of the recipe is a time saving way to prepare a hearty meal for your family or a gathering. In fact, the original recipe recommends preparing it ahead of time, refrigerating, and reheating before serving. Yipee!

Brisket with Citrus & Ginger

Heat over to 350°. Brown brisket on all sides (I actually cheated, and did not do this part) Place meat in a large baking dish, arrange onions on top. Combine chile sauce & water, pour around meat. Bake, covered, allowing about 45 min. per pound. Baste meat occasionally (I didn’t do this part either-call me lazy). About 45 min. before meat is done, add beer, continue to cook until done.
Serve with noodles and top with citrus & ginger pickled things

The recipe calls for chile sauce, and one of the best chile sauces I know is available at The Bit & Spur Restaurant & Saloon in Springdale, Utah – just outside Zion National Park (available by mail order too). Their chile sauce is a sweet & smoky chipotle pepper ketchup they call ‘Red Chile Ketchup’. The rich tomato taste and zesty undertones make it a great marinade, as well as a satisfying dipping sauce. Visit the Lasater Grasslands Beef website for their monthly sales, and get yourself a case of Red Chile Ketchup so that you too can enjoy Erika’s ancient family recipe!