It’s always nice during a busy week when you can do one quick preparation and wind up with two meals. I’m not particularly adept at meal planning, and even worse at making effective use of leftovers. So on the rare occasion when I manage to put together a quick dinner that forms the basis of the next day’s lunch I’m happy to share my success story.
One of my latest favorite cuts of meat is the bison flat iron steak. I can buy it at Whole Foods for only $10.99 per pound (substantially less than they charge for bison flank steak, and even a little less than the per-pound price of ground bison). It’s a tender, lean cut of meat that cooks up quickly on my grill, and it’s become a regular part of my diet. Moreover, bison is a very efficient source of protein, so if I’m going to eat red meat I almost always buy bison instead of beef.
I teach until 7pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, so it’s tempting to go out to eat instead of fixing dinner at home. In order to avoid the temptation yesterday I marinated the flat iron steak before leaving for work so I could come home and put it on the grill. That still left the question of side dishes. I decided to keep it really simple and grill asparagus and steam beets.
Usually when I steam beets, I do so whole. I’ve read in several places that you can steam a whole beat without peeling it, and when you’re done the skin should easily rub off. On occasion it’s worked that way, but I usually just wind up with red-stained fingers and still take out my serrated vegetable peeler (since by this point the beet and the skin are relatively soft). The other problem with this is that steaming a whole beet takes up to 45 minutes – after a long day of work I wasn’t willing to wait that long.
To save time I peeled the beets and cut them into wedges (about 1/6 of the beet per wedge) before steaming them and they were done within 15 minutes (about the time it takes to grill the steak).
I often roast asparagus in the oven (just topped with a little balsamic and soy sauce), but since I was using the grill anyway I decided to make a foil packet for the asparagus, balsamic and soy, then grill with the steak.
I made extra of everything and then for lunch today I made a nice salad with the leftovers. Dinner last night took me less than 30 minutes from start-to-finish and lunch today was just a matter of washing the lettuce and assembling the salad. It was a rare success, but one that I hope to replicate again soon.
For the marinade, combine in a a gallon zip-top bag:
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce (I use reduced sodium soy sauce)
- 1 Tbsp. granulated garlic (or 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic)
- 2 bison flat iron steaks (about 3/4 pounds each)
Place in fridge for at least one hour (or even overnight) to marinate. When ready, pre-heat your grill (I have a gas grill) and oil the grates. Grill over medium-high heat for 6-minutes per side for medium-rare. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
For the beets, peel and slice into about 6 wedges for medium-sized beets. Place in a steamer basket over boiling water and cover. Steam for 15 or so minutes until they have reached their desired tenderness (I like mine firm).
For the asparagus, rinse and trim the ends and place on a double-layer of aluminum foil. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Seal the packet well. If possible, grill over indirect heat while grilling the steak. If this isn’t an option, put it on the grill for the last 6 minutes that you’re grilling the steak (more for thicker spears of asparagus or if you like them soft – I like mine fairly crisp).
For dinner, I just served the bison steak with sides of beets and asparagus. For lunch today, I saved the leftovers and then assembled a simple salad:
- red leaf lettuce (cleaned and dried thoroughly)
- sliced bison steak
- goat cheese
You can add whatever other ingredients you like – I thought about carrots and pumpkin seeds but opted for just those ingredients above. For a dressing, I stuck with the balsamic-soy theme I used for the asparagus, so I just drizzled the salad with:
- olive oil
- good-quality balsamic
- soy sauce