Ever have a day when you can’t think of a single thing you could fix that all your kids would willingly eat… not including chocolate chips?
I’ll admit it, there are days I struggle with this. I wouldn’t exactly say my kids are picky eaters. They’re just… unpredictable. Some days they eat everything within reach. Some weeks (and I do mean weeks) they only nibble. Some days they rave over hot dogs and I think to myself, We have finally found that one thing that I will always be able to get them to eat, no matter how hard times get. Then, come next week when they haven’t willingly swallowed a morsel for over 48 hours and I am concerned about malnutrition so I break out the hot dogs, they take a couple bites and then spend the rest of mealtime smearing mustard all over the table and taunting me with the reality that it is, honestly, beyond my ability to force them to eat anything.
Same with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches — sometimes these old classics seem promising, like they really might be the ultimate kid food which every kid everywhere will always be devoted to… but in the end, around here, PB&Js fly some days but crash others. Same with smoothies.
But: truth be told, there is one go-to recipe which (to date) has never failed me. The honest-to-goodness guarantee, last I checked anyhow, is that…
The Blake Kids Will Always Eat Steak.
Lucky for our family, one of the benefits of working here on this corporate ranch is that we receive a half a beef, twice a year, as part of our pay. So even though our supply of steak is not totally unlimited (I mean, we definitely run dry in less than six months), we Blakes do get to enjoy steak more often than the average American family does. Accordingly, all our kids have learned at early ages to appreciate a drippy, salty T-bone hot off the grill.
But you know what they love even more than they love gnawing on T-bones?
I learned about steak bites from my blogging (she)ro, Ree Drummond, over at The Pioneer Woman. Steak bites are kinda a no-brainer now that I know about them, but still, I don’t think I ever would’ve served ’em to my family had not Pioneer Woman first told me it was okay to do it. Four or so years later, I save all our sirloins for steak bites.
Here’s what you do:
Trim the fat off a sirloin and cut it into kid-bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a few tablespoons of butter in a (preferably cast-iron) skillet on the stovetop until it’s screaming hot and the butter is starting to brown. Throw in a single layer of steak; allow the steak to brown quickly on one side (just a minute or so), then use a large spatula to flip it over and give it a few more seconds. The steak bites should be seared on the outsides and pink on the inside.
Plate the bites, drizzle the buttery juices (juicy butter?) over, and let your kids sop up the goodness with some bread.
They’ll cheer! They’ll tell you you’re the best cook in the world and that they’re so glad you’re their mom! They’ll lift you to their shoulders and parade you through the house!
Well… maybe not.
But I’m pretty sure they’ll eat it all.
At least they do in my family.
So far anyhow.
© Tami Blake