There are a lot of good reasons to plant a garden, even if it’s just a hanging patio garden. Working the soil is good for you. Eating what you have grown brings satisfaction unlike any other. Every year I look forward to our tomato plants for three reasons – freshness, goodness and full flavor. If you cannot grow tomatoes, please find a good small farm. Tomatoes that are allowed to ripen naturally, that have not been bred for shipping have a flavor unlike any other.
Every year Hubby and I plant a garden. Tomatillos and hot peppers are the only plants that are repeated year after year. We love making our own salsas and verde sauces. The variety of tomatoes changes from one year to the next. The herbs change, too. I’m still trying to find the right combination of herbs for my clay pots. This year we added a strawberry patch to the mix. Thus far the berries are delicious, so pretty and oh so sweet. The problem is, we haven’t managed to gather enough berries to cook with. Every night, we walk the garden and eat the berries. Maybe next year, but that’s a conversation for another day.
While the actual tomato plant changes with each year, we are consistent in that at least one type grows great big beefy tomatoes – the kind for burgers and sandwiches and now as a bed for grilled steaks. To get the colors, I picked tomatoes in various stages of ripeness. Our giant tomatoes this year are Russian Steak Tomatoes, that reach 2 pounds of goodness. We were concerned growing cold climate tomatoes in the valley, but this has been an unusual summer. We went through a month-long cold snap shortly after planting the tomatoes, and the Russian variety was very happy.
I love the flavor of a good steak. This is a great recipe because the sauce compliments the natural beefy taste of a well-marbled Rib-eye steak. And so pretty on a bed of tomatoes. Now I ask you, what’s not to love?
Grilled Grand Marnier Pepper Steak
4 (8-10 oz) Rib-eye steaks, approximately 1 inch thick
4 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1 Tomato, Beefy Red
1 Tomato, Beefy Yellow
1 Tomato, Beefy Green
1 1/2 cups Grand Marnier
2 1/2 cups Worcestershire sauce
4 teaspoons cracked Black Pepper
1/2 cup Butter
Heat grill or broiler to medium-high. Season steaks lightly with salt. Set aside. Slice tomatoes for steak bed. Set aside.
In a saucepan, heat Grand Marnier, Worcestershire sauce and pepper over low heat. Add butter; gently stir until butter melts. Set aside one quarter of the mixture.
Place seasoned steaks on grill; brush with pepper sauce frequently. Grill steaks for 6 minutes on each side; less for medium-rare or a few minutes more for medium-well. Remove steaks promptly, cover and let rest for 5 minutes.
Arrange one or two of each type of tomato on individual plates. Lay steaks over tomato bed. Divide sauce among steaks. Serve and enjoy.
Note: Heirloom tomatoes are great with this dish. You are looking for large, not perfectly shaped tomatoes with interesting color contrast.