Once upon a time, on a cool Fall evening, in a cozy kitchen, a loving Dad wanted to elevate one of his kid’s favorite snacks, Beef sticks! What seemed like an easy task to start, turned into quite a daunting ordeal, as he struggled to recreate the simple aesthetics of a good Beef Stick. We’ve all heard the adage, “we eat with our eyes”, and unfortunately, this valiant attempt by the dad turned into an awkward looking dinner that doesn’t quite have the visual appeal. Ultimately, his kids were reluctant to taste the Beef Stick recreation, but after some baiting (and bribing), they all agreed it tasted one thousand times better than it looked. It was packed with bold, smoky flavors, and hit all the right tase bud notes. Combined with a crispy air fryer broccolini, this dish is one that will make our family’s weekly dinner menu; as long as I can figure out how to make the beef sticks look a bit more appetizing; yes, that dad was me!
Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Total time: 45 min
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1 lb Italian Ground Pork
- 3 tablespoons of Chicago Steak Seasoning
- 2 bundles of Broccolini
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons garlic salt
When you want to create any dish, it’s important to start with the right ingredients. Quality ingredients are a vital necessity to the taste, presentation and nutritional value of what you consume. For this dish, we used 90/10 Lean Ground Beef. Beef is an excellent source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissue like muscle; 3oz of 90% lean ground beef contains approximately 22g of protein. Beef also contains various essential nutrients, including B Vitamins (B12, niacin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid), iron, zinc, and selenium. Furthermore, ground beef is a great source of healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.
While you don’t have to blend ground beef and ground pork for your beef stick mixture, we did for our recipe in order to add a more rich and complex flavor. Since we used the 90/10 lean ground beef, the Italian ground pork added a little more of fat content that added a nice twist, moisture and tenderness that really elevated the dish.
Knead the Beef Sticks in a Mixing Bowl
Get started by adding 1lb of Ground Beef and 1lb of Italian Ground Pork in a mixing bowl, and start to blend and knead the meats together. For this beef stick recipe, we wanted big, bold and smoky flavors and aromas, so we also added in 3 tablespoons of Chicago Steak seasoning and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. Once you’ve mixed it well, and you’re happy with the texture, take small balls and start rolling them out into Beef Sticks. With the 2lbs of meat total, you can make anywhere from 15-25 beef sticks based on size and length of preference.
Once you have the desired size of your beef sticks, sprinkle with a little salt, and individually wrap them in aluminum foil and place onto a baking sheet. For this recipe, we went with cigar-style Beef Sticks which seemed like a good idea in the moment, but realized later, it’s was a bit visually compromising once cooked.
Cooking the Beef Sticks Two- Ways
Pre-Heat your over to 425 and place on the center rack to bake for 12 min. After the 12 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and place to the side for 3-5 minutes while they cool; this allows more time for the seasoning and flavors to lock in. It’s at this point, you have two options: You can be done with the Beef Sticks, let them cool, and unwrap from the aluminum foil when plating and ready to eat, or, you can heat up your smoker to 225 degrees and get a nice smoke going (we used hickory pellets). Place the beef sticks, still wrapped, in the smoker for 5 minutes and it will add some bold, smokey, flavors that will take your dish to the next level.
Every Superhero Needs a Side Kick: Air Fryer Broccolini
The beauty of this dish is in its simplicity. A good meat dish like Beef Sticks is best accompanied with a vegetable side dish. In order to save time, we put the air fryer to use and made a delicious Air Fryer Broccolini. Very easy and quick, add two bundles of Broccolini to the air fryer, drizzle 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil, Garlic salt, and fresh lemon juice and close the air fryer. Set to 375 degrees for 9 minutes and BOOM! Crispy Air Fryer Broccolini, a nice little char that pairs nicely with the smoky bold flavors of the beef sticks but a lemon flavor that cuts through that boldness and enhances all of the flavors in each bite.
Plating your Beef Sticks and Air Fryer Broccolini
An often-overlooked aspect to any meal is plating; it’s part strategy and art. You want to highlight all of the ingredients, show off each part of the dish and how they come together to create something special. This is also your chance to add those finishing touches. For this dish, plate the air fryer broccolini first and sprinkle a little salt and lemon juice on top. After that, take your “Cigar” size (very aware they could be called, and look like, something other than a cigar) Beef Sticks and plate 2-3 over Air Fryer Broccolini. You can choose to eat part separately, but we recommend taking a knife and cutting a piece of each for one mouthwatering, savory bite.
Making a Great Beef Sticks Recipe
Creating a great beef sticks recipe is a delightful culinary endeavor that results in a satisfying and savory snack. Whether you’re making beef sticks for a quick protein fix, snacking on the go, or to impress guests at a gathering, it’s essential to start with high-quality ingredients. Begin by selecting lean cuts of beef, such as sirloin or round, and grind them finely. Seasoning is key – a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic, and other spices will infuse your beef sticks with rich flavors.
The texture of the beef sticks can vary; you can opt for a coarse or fine grind, depending on your preference. Casing choices range from natural collagen to synthetic options. Stuff the seasoned beef into the casings, ensuring they are uniformly filled. After this, you can choose between smoking or air-drying methods for the beef sticks’ preservation. Patience is essential, as the flavors will develop over time. This section will guide you through the entire process, from choosing ingredients to storing your delicious homemade beef sticks.
Sides to Serve With Ground Beef Sticks
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