Tim and I are finally having a date night. We are joining friends of ours that are also dairy farmers. Our farm employs a part-time milker, Jen, to help out a couple times a week. Jen is awesome and loves milking cows. This gives each of us at least one night to take off and do something we enjoy. Sometimes dairy farmers brag about not taking vacations or rushing in at the last-minute to see their child born.They see it as a badge of honor to never leave the cows.
I really don’t think that is something to be proud of. Yes, we are dairy farmers, we work hard, we work long hours and most days of the week we are wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt (usually the free ones). The health of our animals is our number one priority, but we are people too. We have likes, dislikes, dreams and hobbies. Tim and I enjoy eating at authentic ethic restaurants. Jon and Lisa love sports (biking, skiing, etc). We all love to travel.
Does this make us bad dairy farmers? No, I think this makes us better dairy farmers. We can go back to our farm refreshed and renewed. Many times we take “vacations” to farming conferences where we can network with other farmers and take in some professional development.
On nights that we are too frugal to go out, Tim and I love to cook. A favorite “date night” recipe of ours is Peppered Beef Tenderloin with Whipped Mustard Butter. I discovered this recipe through a cooking club I subscribe to over four years ago.
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher (coarse) salt, divided
1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns*
1 tablespoon cracked white peppercorns*
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 beef tenderloin steaks (1 1/2 inches thick) (Zweber Farms of course)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1. In small bowl, stir together butter, mustard, honey, lemon peel and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt until smoothly blended and of whipped consistency. Let stand at room temperature.
2. Heat oven to 425°F. In another small bowl, stir together black peppercorns, white peppercorns, crushed red pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Brush steaks with oil; sprinkle with peppercorn mixture, pressing evenly onto both sides.
3. Heat large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add steaks; cook 4 minutes. Turn steaks; place skillet in oven. Bake 7 minutes for medium-rare or until of desired doneness. Serve steaks topped with mustard butter.
TIP *Purchase cracked peppercorns in the spice section. Or, to crack your own, place whole peppercorns in heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Pound with flat side of meat mallet until coarsely crushed.
This meal is best served with a mixed greens salad and a large glass of Organic Valley milk.
EmilyZweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, http://www.zweberfarms.com