A few years ago, my parents began purchasing “Happy Cow” from a local farmer. I’m not entirely sure why this started, but ever since, my family has received an annual order of various cuts of meat from half a cow, which typically lasts my family for about a year. The Happy Cow is great because it’s ethically raised and grass-fed, so it is high-quality meat that, in our opinion, tastes better than commercial beef. Of course it’s also great to support local farmers, and even though half a cow may seem like a lot, in the end it saves my family money since we’re buying in bulk. (If you’d like to read a little more about the health and cost benefits of Happy Cow, feel free to check out this piece I wrote about it last summer.)
Since my parents had some extra Happy Cow (and I’m always on the lookout for free food ;)), they were ever so kind to bring me some when they came for my graduation in May. Of course, the hamburger was used immediately since summertime is prime grilling season. However, it has taken me a little longer to go through the rest, but not because I don’t like it. I’m just not used to eating steak, a food typically not allowed for in a recent college grad’s budget. I wanted to put it to good use though and began wondering what I could make that didn’t involve me just eating an entire cooked steak by myself.
And then I came across this recipe for Chevre and Mango Steak Bites. I knew I was going to tweak it a bit, using a different cut of meat and swapping mint leaves for basil leaves, but I was excited. I liked the idea of making a steak appetizer, plus I love mango, and the steak bites are kind of adorable, aren’t they? The process does take a little while, but that’s because the steak chills in various ways for about an hour and 15 minutes. Beside that, it’s pretty easy! Slice the steak, spread it with some goat cheese, place a basil leaf and dried mango piece at the end and roll it up. Mine stayed together fine, but you could always use a tooth pick to secure them if necessary. I really enjoyed these, and I’m happy I have found a new way to eat steak and share it with others!
Mango Goat Cheese Steak Bites
Recipe adapted from Sunset.com
- 1 rump steak
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine
- salt and pepper
- About 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup (4 to 5 oz.) packed fresh goat cheese
- 1 basil leaf per bite (You will probably need between 20 and 30, or less if you split the leaves so that they’re smaller)
- 1 dried mango piece per bite, cut into 1/4- by 1-inch sliver.
- Marinate the steak for at least a few hours or even overnight. Combine steak, olive oil, red wine and as much salt and pepper as you like in a bag.
- Remove steak and trim excess fat. Sprinkle with more salt and/or pepper.
- Cook steak until it’s firm to the touch but still quite pink inside.
- Transfer steak to a plate and allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes.
- About 45 minutes before slicing the steak, put it in the freezer. This will make it easier to slice thinly.
- Cut steak across the grain as thinly and evenly as possible. For the entire steak, you will probably end up with between 20 and 30 slices.
- Measure accumulated meat juice and add enough milk to make 2 Tablespoons and pour into a bowl. Add goat cheese and mix with a fork until it becomes a smooth paste.
- Lay out one strip of steak. Spread enough goat cheese across so that the steak is completely covered but not so much that you will not be able to roll everything together.
- Lay 1 basil leaf (you can rip the basil leaf to make smaller, if desired) and 1 mango piece at end of strip and roll to enclose.
- Repeat for the rest of the steak strips. Allow steak bites to stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before serving and enjoy!