The Hippo


Nov 17, 2019








Ingredients fresh from the farmers market. Emelia Attridge photo.

Sirloin steak tips with onions, peppers and garlic
1 pound of sirloin steak tips
2 small green peppers
1 small white onion
2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of Mrs. Dash (or favorite spice combination)
Salt and pepper
Cut green peppers and onion into small, bite-size pieces and set aside. Cut steak tips into smaller cubes and season with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to skillet on low heat. Add garlic to the skillet and simmer on medium-low heat. Add steak to the skillet, making sure that the steak tips aren’t touching. After steak tips start to brown, add Mrs. Dash or preferred spice combination. When there is enough fat in the pan and the steak tips look about cooked, add chopped onions and peppers. Continue stirring and let the vegetables sweat until meat is cooked well done. Serve and enjoy.
Farmers Market Receipt:
Hurd Farm
Sirloin Steak Tips: $17.99 /lb
Wally's Vegetables
Green Peppers: $2.00 /lb
Small White Onion: $1.50
Garlic: $0.75
Total $22.24
# Items Sold 4

Garlic makes the steak
Finding the fixings at the Salem farmers market


I’m not going to lie, I was kind of geeking out when I purchased sirloin steak tips from Steve Hurd at the Salem Farmers Market. You definitely get a local-community high when you shop at any farmers market (whether you’re buying green beans or soap), but when you buy meat from a farmer, it’s a whole other level of excitement. Maybe it’s because you learn about the cow or chicken, and how that farmer raised it, or because it feels so much more personal than a styrofoam package at the supermarket. Hurd, who owns Hurd Farm in Hampton, said that making the connection with the farmer is part of the farmers market experience.
“You can go to the grocery store you can buy grass-fed beef, but you can’t talk to the guy that raised it,” he  said. “You can meet the farmer and see where it’s coming from.”
Hurd had a huge white board filled with a list of all kinds of naturally raised meats available at the market in Salem that day. One hour into the market, he’d sold out of whole chicken and eggs, which left me with an array of beef and pork cuts to choose from, from T-bones and sirloin to short ribs and roast.
“It’s becoming more popular,” Hurd said. “I still have people say, ‘I didn’t know you sold meat here; I didn’t bring a cooler.’ … Ground beef is always popular.”
All of the meat raised at Hurd Farm is grass-fed, which Hurd said allows for a healthier meat. He said that customers (particularly health-conscious customers) are interested in how the livestock was raised.
The sirloin steak tips seemed like a flexible choice (great for stewing, sauteing, grilling or turning into a stir-fry). Although they were a little more expensive than the steak tips I might have purchased at the grocery store, it’s a reasonable price to pay considering where it’s coming from — not to mention knowing it will go straight back into Hurd’s family-operated farm.
With steak tips in hand, next, I perused some of the other stalls to get some ideas. There were flavored cheeses and herbs that seemed inspiring, but ultimately, I couldn’t ignore the bright colors of the vegetable stands.
Wally’s Vegetables is based in Haverhill, Mass., and is one of a couple other Bay State vendors who participate in the weekly summer market in Salem. One basket filled with garlic caught my eye, which happened to be resting just behind a crate of green peppers. I purchased two small green peppers and one
head of garlic, and picked up a small white onion as well.
Preparing the steak tips was extremely easy. I minced two cloves of garlic and let it simmer in the skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil. I added the steak tips to the skillet and let those brown before adding the peppers and onions. I wasn’t working from a recipe (just my general cooking knowledge), so I was a little nervous that the dish would come out bland despite the garlic. I had already seasoned the steak tips with a little bit of salt and pepper, but when there was just enough fat in the skillet, I threw in a “dash” of Mrs. Dash (the original blend, my favorite seasoning mix, which contains pretty much everything in your spice
cabinet, including black pepper, parsley, celery seed, basil, oregano, thyme and mustard). I tossed in the peppers and onions and stirred.
I wasn’t looking at the time when I was cooking, but it was probably one of the easiest meals I’ve made in a while.
Star Ingredient: Garlic
Late summer is a perfect time to find garlic in the Granite State. Farmers like Naomi Scanlon of Two Sisters’ Garlic in Canterbury harvest garlic in late July.
“It’s many times called the liberty plant, because you plant it Columbus Day weekend and then you harvest it shortly after the Fourth of July,” she said. “The northern garlic, the hardneck [variety], needs the coldness over winter, and the cold usually determines the spiciness, the fire of the garlic.”
Other factors like the soil and minerals can give a garlic harvest varying characteristics, from hot to mild. Softneck garlic grows in warmer climates and is typically what you find in grocery stores, Scanlon said.
“Typically the hardneck is definitely the hotter, the more flavorful of the two. But you cook them the same way. Supposedly the softneck stores longer, but our hardneck up here is storing well into May, sometimes June.”
While you can find garlic anywhere from late July into the spring in New Hampshire, Scanlon said it is most scarce between May and July. The garlic green and garlic scape, often called the first garlic of the season, are other ways you can enjoy garlic in the early summer.
“Many people look for that big bulb, but we have found that we actually like the smaller, the medium bulb, better. The cloves are a little bit smaller, but we think they are most flavorful and will last longer, and have a longer shelf life,” Scanlon said. 

®2019 Hippo Press. site by wedu