Start a New Labor Day Food Tradition with a Celebration of Natural, Healthy Ingredients Like All-Natural, Grass Fed, La Cense Beef®

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Chef Peter Hoffman of Savoy Restaurant offers Labor Day grilling ideas created exclusively to highlight this summer’s hottest trend in steaks and burger.

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While Labor Day was originally established to honor workers, the holiday today is more popularly celebrated as the last gasp of summer.

But despite the strong association of food with summer, especially the increased availability of natural and healthy ingredients, there is surprisingly few food traditions associated with Labor Day beyond just firing up the grill.

This Labor Day, start a new food tradition by making the holiday a true celebration of natural and healthy foods. And while you’re enjoying the late summer bounty of fruits and vegetables, don’t stop there. Extend the theme to the grill, replacing the run of the mill, mass-produced, supermarket grain-fed beef with this summer’s hottest trend in steaks, ribs and burgers -- all natural, grass fed and grass finished beef.

Consumer demand for grass fed beef is expected to grow at a rate of 20% a year for the next decade, so find out what all the excitement is about and celebrate Summer 2006 with the newest brand of grass fed beef, just introduced this season -- La Cense Beef.

La Cense Beef is produced from select Black Angus cattle raised in a humane, stress-free environment on the pesticide-free pastures of the La Cense ranch in Dillon, Montana. La Cense cattle feed exclusively upon the natural bluebunch wheatgrass and plants found on the 88,000 acre La Cense ranch and are never given hormones or proactively provided with antibiotics. La Cense Beef is dry-aged for 19 days and then hand cut and trimmed to enhance tenderness and round out flavor. La Cense Beef is lower in calories and cholesterol than grain fed beef and higher in Omega-3 fatty acids, CLA and beta carotene.

To get your new Labor Day tradition of celebrating natural and healthy foods started, La Cense Beef is offering free shipping on four newly introduced Summer Specials -- a Burger Party Pack, a Roast Medley, a Steak Medley and a BBQ Sampler. The Summer Specials are available via the La Cense Beef website, http://www.lacensebeef.com, through September 8th.

La Cense Beef offers a truer, more authentic beef flavor than grain-fed beef. So to help you fully enjoy the gourmet taste of this natural and healthy product, Peter Hoffman, the La Cense Beef master chef and owner of Savoy Restaurant in New York, has developed these exclusive Labor Day recipes:

Chef Peter Hoffman’s La Cense Beef ®Grass Fed Burgers with Tangled Pepper and Onion Relish

Serves 6

6 La Cense Beef® Steak Burger Patties

Burgers are a simple item to grill, but a few points of care are important.

1. Season the meat with salt and pepper 30 minutes before putting on the grill. This allows some time for the salt to penetrate into the patty.

2. Make sure your grill is hot. No more than a count of three of holding your hand 4”-5”over the heat.

3. And don’t play with your food by pressing and patting the burgers with a spatula. This squeezes the delicious fat out and does not hasten the cooking time. Spatulas are for flipping- nothing else.

2 red peppers

1 poblano pepper

1 large yellow onion peeled and cut in ½” thick slices

1 T. balsamic vinegar

½ t. salt

2 T. of fresh basil

Fresh ground black pepper

¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

For the relish, you can grill the peppers and the onions on a very hot fire before grilling the burgers. The basil adds a sweet and very fresh flavor to the relish, but you can use ½ t. of dried oregano if you can’t find basil or if it’s out of season. Peppers are easy to roast and the blend of char and sweetness is irresistible.

Place the peppers on the hot fire and watch them char to blistered and mostly black. Rotate to get all the sides charred. The poblano will blister faster and has a thinner skin, so be careful not to overcook it. Tongs are the tool of choice for handling the peppers. Remove to a board and allow to cool a bit. Peel the peppers removing the skin. Little bits of char remaining are fine. They add to the flavor. Open the peppers and seed them, also removing the stem. Cut in strips. Place in a bowl. Meanwhile brush the onion slices with a bit of olive oil and place on the grill allowing them to get a thick browning before flipping. If they start to break up on the gill, fear not. They will all get tossed in the relish and don’t have to hang together. Toss in the bowl with the peppers. Add the oil, vinegar and salt and then toss in the roughly chopped basil. Taste for final seasoning and place in a bowl to serve. Sprinkle with a bit more basil to garnish. Slip a tangle of the relish between burger and bun and enjoy the dripping deliciousness of outdoor cooking!

Chef Peter Hoffman’s Rosemary Marinated La Cense Beef® Flank Steaks with Tomatoes and Black Olive Dressing

Serves 6

2 La Cense Beef® flank steaks

1 T. olive oil

2 T. fresh rosemary chopped

1 t. coarsely ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic minced

1 t. salt

Mix the oil with the rosemary, garlic, salt and the pepper. Rub onto the steaks and allow them to marinate overnight, if possible. Well in advance of cooking them, bring the flank steaks to room temperature and allow them to marinate further. Cooking steaks at room temperature is far preferable to throwing cold meat on the grill. It’s a more gentle method of cooking and will deliver juicier meat if the meat is already warm before the cooking begins. Flank steaks tend to be uneven in their thickness, so have part of the grill over an area without coals so that the thinner side of the flank steak can be removed from direct heat while the thicker side continues to cook. Three minutes on each side for medium rare should suffice. Let the meat rest 10 minutes before slicing. This allows the meat time to relax and the juices to circulate back into the meat. Slicing meat before it has properly rested sends the juices dribbling onto the cutting board, rather than where we really want them -- in the meat itself. Don’t rush the resting phase. Have a slug of beer and wipe your brow. Slice the meat, sprinkle with a bit of salt and arrange in a radial pattern around the plate. Top with the tomato salad and sit at the table talking about the good things in life.

The dressing for this is summery and thirst quenching, especially as a topping for the juicy grilled beef. While the sauce is cooked in a pan, you can place the pan over the grill so that you aren’t cooking in two places at once.

3 T. extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic

6 anchovy filets

¼ t. crushed red pepper

2 T. red wine vinegar

¼ cup pitted black olives roughly chopped

1 T. flat parsley chopped

2 large juicy ripe tomatoes cored and cut into big chunks

Get a cast iron pan hot over the grill. Add the oil and then add the anchovies. Break them up with a spoon, and when you begin to get anchovy aroma add the garlic and the crushed pepper. Don’t allow the garlic to brown. Add the vinegar and the olives and remove from the heat. Toss in the parsley. Add the chunks of tomato and toss with the olive dressing. Taste for salt, although the anchovies should supply the needed balance.

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Bill Daddi
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