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Nolan Ryan Beef Hits Home Run

Nolan Ryan Beef
By Lori Grossman

In Texas, he′s known simply as "Nolan." One of the best pitchers of all time and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, native Texan Nolan Ryan set many records during his amazing career. What most of us didn′t know is that he is a cattle rancher, too. These days, he′s president and part owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team and head of Nolan Ryan Beef.

I first discovered Nolan′s beef when I was searching for ground meat that wouldn′t make me sick. Like many people, I′m sensitive to food additives and preservatives, so I have to check ingredients and ask lots of questions. I had been suffering from headaches pretty often, so I checked what I had been eating to see if I could find a possible cause. When I narrowed it down to the ground meat, I explained my problem to the meat market manager and asked what had been added to the meat, if anything. He took me aside and admitted that the meat had been "gassed" to keep it fresh longer. Case solved!

I found Nolan′s 90 percent lean ground sirloin at a local Kroger and used it in my mom′s meatloaf recipe. I hadn"t had meat that tasted that good since the last time I ordered meat from a small neighborhood meat market back in San Antonio. And, best of all, no headaches!

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Nolan′s beef is available in three product lines: Premium Reserve All-Natural (what I buy), Guaranteed Tender All-Natural, and Signature Beef Products. Cattle in the Premium Reserve program are born, raised, and harvested in the U.S. -- no imported beef. The cattle are born and raised on grass pastures by the momma cows. At around seven months of age and 500 pounds in weight, they are moved to other grass pastures until they reach about 750 pounds. Then, they′re moved to specially selected feed lots and fed a 100 percent vegetable (grain) diet that is checked for any traces of pesticide. The cattle are harvested at a weight of about 1,250 pounds.

The Premium Reserve All-Natural beef cattle receive no additives, growth hormones or antibiotics – ever. The Guaranteed Tender All-Natural beef cattle also receive no feed additives whatsoever, and no hormones or antibiotics within 100 days of harvest, and the beef is tested for antibiotic residue. Also, all Nolan Ryan beef contains no preservatives of any kind. To me, this is the most important information. You′ll find any or all of these substances in so many food products these days that it′s hard to avoid them. If you′re sensitive to them, or have a child who is, finding meat free of additives is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. So, if you have allergies or sensitivities, try Nolan Ryan Beef. You′ll find information on where to shop for Nolan′s beef products following the recipes.

Once you have the meat, it′s time to get the grill going. Even some of you grillmeisters out there can pick up a tip now and then. If you′ve ever had to guess whether or not a steak was done, here are some of Nolan′s tips.

Doneness is easiest to gauge when you use a meat thermometer near the end of the expected cooking time. Use an instant-read thermometer if you have one. Insert the thermometer from the side into the thickest part of the meat. Make sure it isn′t touching fat or bone or poking all the way through.

Constantly poking the steak or cutting with a knife to check the color can result in lost juices and a dry steak. Practiced grill masters can tell how done meat is by pressing with their finger. The firmer it is, the more done it is. After it′s done, let it rest for five to ten minutes. On the grill, juices are forced to the center of the steak, so if you dig in right away, the juices will puddle on your plate. Resting gives the juices a chance to redistribute throughout the meat, giving you a juicier steak.

Grilled Steak and Potatoes

Perfect for the meat and potatoes-loving men in your family.
  • 2 pounds medium-size red potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 medium-size plum tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup oil-cured olives
  • 1 small lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons unseasoned meat tenderizer
  • 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning salt
  • 1 2-pound beef top round or sirloin steak, about 1-1/4 inches thick
About 1-1/4 hours before serving, prepare your outdoor grill for barbecuing. (At the end of this recipe, I′ll give directions for oven broiling in case the weather turns nasty.)

Cut potatoes into 2-inch chunks. In a 4-quart saucepan over high heat, add the potatoes with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender. Drain potatoes and set aside until cool enough to handle. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with canola oil. Thread potatoes on four 15-inch-long skewers.

While potatoes are cooking, seed and dice the tomatoes. Remove pits from olives and coarsely chop. Grate peel from the lemon. Squeeze enough juice to equal 1 tablespoon. In a small bowl, toss tomatoes, olives, lemon peel and juice, parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

In a cup, mix meat tenderizer and lemon-pepper seasoning salt. Rub both sides of steak with the mixture. Place steak on grill and cook, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes for medium-rare or until steak is the desired doneness. After steak has cooked for 5 minutes, place potato skewers on grill with the steak. Cook, turning skewers occasionally, until potatoes are lightly browned and heated through.

To serve, arrange steak and potatoes on a large platter. Sprinkle tomato mixture over potatoes. Makes 8 main-dish servings.

Directions for oven broiling: Prepare potatoes and tomato mixture as you would for outdoor grilling. Preheat broiler if manufacturer directs. Place skewered potatoes on rack in broiling pan. With broiling pan at closest position to the heat source, broil potatoes 8 to 10 minutes, turning once halfway through broiling time, until potatoes are browned. Remove potatoes to a large, warm platter. Season steak as above. Place steak on rack in broiling pan. With broiling pan at closest position to heat source, broil steak about 15 minutes, turning once, for medium-rare, or longer until of desired doneness. Serve as above.

Porterhouse is an expensive cut, as you′ve probably noticed the last time you ate at a steakhouse. Do try this recipe, though. It′s just the thing to serve at a cookout celebrating an anniversary or birthday.

Porterhouse with Red Wine & Rosemary Marinade

  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed with garlic press
  • Steak
    • 1 1-1/2-inch thick porterhouse or T-bone steak (about 1-1/2 pounds)
    • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
    In a small bowl, stir all marinade ingredients together. Set aside.

    Place steak in large self-sealing plastic bag. Pour marinade over steak, turning to coat. Seal bag, pressing out excess air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to marinate, or refrigerate up to 1 hour, turning once.

    Remove steak from bag and discard marinade. Place steak on grill over medium heat and cook 15 to 20 minutes for medium-rare or until of desired doneness, turning steak once. Thinly slice steak and serve with lemon wedges. Makes 4 servings.

    The great thing about Nolan′s beef is that it is so versatile, besides being free of all those nasty additives and preservatives that you find in so much of the regular grocery store meat these days. I love the taste of Nolan′s sirloin, especially in these steak tacos.

    Grilled Steak Tacos with Poblano-Mango Salsa
    Try these tacos the next time you tailgate. This is just one of the delicious recipes on Nolan′s website.

    • 1 pound Nolan Ryan's All-Natural top sirloin steak, cut 3/4-inches thick
    • 2 medium poblano peppers
    • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 medium mango, diced
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 8 small corn tortillas (6 to 7-inch diameter)
    • Fresh cilantro sprigs (for garnish, if desired)
    • Lime wedges (for garnish, if desired)
    Place peppers and onion slices on grid over medium, ash-covered coals (or over medium heat on a preheated gas grill). Grill, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until onion is tender and pepper skins are blackened, turning occasionally. Place peppers in a zip-top plastic bag. Close the bag. Set peppers and onions aside.

    Meanwhile, combine garlic and cumin and press evenly onto the steaks. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered and turning occasionally, for 13 to 16 minutes (or over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, for 8 to 13 minutes) for medium-rare (145°F on a meat thermometer), or medium (160°/F) doneness. Remove and keep warm.

    Remove and discard skins, stems, and seeds from peppers when they′re cool enough to handle. Chop peppers and onion. Combine chopped vegetables, mango, chopped cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

    Place tortillas on grid. Grill uncovered for 30 seconds on each side or until heated through and lightly browned.

    Carve steaks into slices. Season with additional salt, if desired. Top tortillas with equal amounts of beef and the mango salsa. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, if desired. Serves 4 to 6.

    Enjoy some of Nolan′s tasty beef at a backyard barbecue or while tailgating before a football or baseball game. If you can′t find a grocery store in your area that carries Nolan Ryan Beef, you can order online in the continental United States. Go to nolanryanbeef.com to find ordering information, stores that carry Nolan′s beef, plus more great recipes and grilling tips.

    Happy tailgating -- and Go Rangers!

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