At the 14,110 foot summit of Pike’s Peak in Colorado, I reached out my hand to touch the snow white, fluffy clouds that covered the view downslope. All of a sudden, the clouds mysteriously started dancing in the mountain breeze. Then magically, they split unveiling the spectacular view of reservoirs and foothills covered with luscious green trees. At that mind-blowing moment, I thought to myself, “Wow. Timing is everything. Like those moving clouds, things keep changing in our lives. When the window of opportunity suddenly opens up, like this amazing view on a cloudy day, I should seize it and make it mine”.
Mountains are so inspiring. On the peak, I always feel like I could overcome any obstacles in life. Its fresh air, shadow and light also offer such simple pleasures, while its peaceful, calming silence makes me reflect my nature and nourishes my soul in its natural beauty.
Colorado, which encompasses the beautiful Southern Rocky mountains, is a great place to relax, renew and rejuvenate. I love its friendly atmosphere and laid-back ambiance, but dealing with the altitude can be a bit challenging. One way to cope with the high altitude “discomfort” is by increasing the consumption of carbohydrate foods. It is believed that increasing carbs to as much as 70% of one’s total energy intake makes it easier for oxygen to dissolve into the blood at high elevations. With that, locals told me they eat lots of potatoes and pasta along with the steak produced by the many cattle ranches located in Eastern Colorado. Being in love with the beauty of Colorado nature, I am making a braised Rocky Mountain steak in my California kitchen today.
First, rub 2 lbs beef of round steak with some sea salt on one side and sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper on it. Then pound ¼ cup flour into both sides of the meat with a meat tenderizer and cut it into 1 inch strips. Next, heat ½ cup 7th taste mushroom olive oil in a cast iron pot and sauté 2 garlic cloves (crushed), 2 onions (sliced) and 8 oz box of whole mushrooms (washed) for about 5 minutes. Then, add the floured meat and brown both sides of each slice. Next, add 1 chopped tomato (~1 cup) to the pot, 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and ¼ cup full bodied dry red wine and season with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cover and simmer until the meat turns tender. And, stir the pot occasionally to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom. Lastly, sprinkle some fresh parsley before serving it with mashed potatoes.
Though time-consuming, this delicious steak is relatively easy to make. Smokey, tangy and earthy, it has many layers of complexities and very well-balanced flavors. How lip-smacking a slice of juicy steak coated with the fantastic sauce is! Try this recipe from the inspiring Rocky Mountains this weekend. It will delight you, your family, and friends, just like Pikes Peak blew me away with its incredible charm. Happy cooking!