Firsts

by Rebecca Robison

We had a weekend of firsts. Firsts deserve to be celebrated! One grandson shed his training wheels for his first solo ride. Another grandson lost his first tooth, while their dad graduated with his (first) bachelor’s degree. My daughter had her first root canal and was happy to be celebrating that it was over.  Being a group of sun worshippers, we were happy campers when the sun decided to join our party of “firsts”. It was our first sunny Saturday in weeks! That gave us good reason to have our ‘first’ BBQ of the season. So we literally dried off the BBQ after weeks of rain and roasted a Double R Ranch Co. Center Cut Roast for a great summertime BBQ Beef Salad.  It was perfectly delicious.

It was a first for some of our guests to savor the flavor of this exceptional beef, and to see a roast prepared on the grill this way. I have included the recipe because it’s a keeper! My favorite way to serve this salad is buffet style with all the ingredients in separate bowls so guests can dress it the way they like. It makes for a casual, colorful and impressive presentation. If you have never grilled a whole roast on the BBQ, let us know how your ‘first’ attempt turns out. I bet you will be thrilled with the results!

Don’t forget dessert! We had some beautiful nectarines that were refusing to ripen, and firm fruit is best for grilling. Slice the fruit in half, remove the pits and roast them until they are slightly charred on both sides. It’s so easy, it is ridiculous! Grilling brings out the sweetness and juiciness of fruit. Drizzle with a bit of honey and top with ice cream, a killer combination.

BBQ Beef Salad
1 head Iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup Jicama, peeled and cut into julienne strips
1 ½  cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup canned sweet corn, drained, or fresh corn cut off the cob
3-4 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
½ cup green onions, sliced
6-8 corn tortillas, sliced thin into two-inch strips and fried (see below)
1- 2 lbs beef, seasoned with dry rub (recipe below)

Ranch and BBQ Dressing
Toss first six salad ingredients together, reserving the cilantro, green onion and tortilla strips for the top. Rub roast with the dry rub and grill on medium to medium high heat, (30-35 minutes) turning often until internal temperature reaches 135 degrees using an instant read thermometer. Remove from grill and tent with foil. Roast will continue to cook to 145 degrees. For medium doneness, roast to 145 degrees. (See Double R Ranch Co. website for more complete video instruction) Thinly slice roast and place 5-6 slices on top of each salad serving. Top with cilantro, green onions and crisp tortilla strips.

Tortilla Strips (can be made in advance)
Stove top method: heat 2 inches of oil in a skillet and fry in batches, not overcrowding the pan. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

Dressing
Mix ranch and BBQ sauce. 2-1 ratio (2 cups ranch, 1 cup BBQ sauce)

Dry Rub
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon *Yakima Applewood Smoked Salt, or kosher salt
1 tablespoon each of dried thyme and dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, chopped fine

Mix ingredients together and rub the mixture on all sides of the beef, rubbing well to cause some friction

*NOTE: See the Double R Ranch Co. website for more on these great salts.

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