Canadian Beef: Bringing families to the dinner table. #makeitCDNbeef @loveCDNbeef

Canadian Beef: Bringing families to the dinner table. #makeitCDNbeef @loveCDNbeef
13 Apr 2016

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Comfort Food for Dinner

Roasts in the oven, rib eyes on the grill, or a sliced flank steak to share… our family loves beef. We cook a variety of meals for dinner, with a variety of proteins. But beef is always the one that we save for a special occasion, a weekend dinner, or any time while camping.

Beef compliments quality family time. Why? Because we prepare it as a family. I am usually on beef prep, unless it is a roast – then Wendy takes over the beef duty.

Wendy roasts potatoes, grills asparagus, and prepares broccoli or corn. The girls prepare the salad and set the table. It’s usually a longer process, which is why we save a good beef meal for weekends or special occasions or camping.

Growing up…

When I was a child, I remember my Dad loving to BBQ. He BBQed everything. He would go out, buy the family steaks, and BBQ them up. He would never ask us how we wanted our steaks – they all came in the same – well done.

Although always burnt, we enjoyed the steaks. We didn’t grown up in a well-off family. Steaks were not something we had all the time. It was a treat for us to be having steaks. So if it was a bit tough or crispy, we didn’t complain. We just used extra BBQ sauce.

It wasn’t until years later that I really got to enjoy a steak that was medium (and now medium rare). I remember it well… Wendy and I (pre-kids) were at a steak restaurant with friends. Everyone was ordering their steak either medium or medium rare. When it was my turn, I ordered well done. One of my buddies turned to me and said “really? All the flavour will be lost.” The waitress then said, “He is right, and we are also our of well done streaks.” That part confused me. “How could you be out of well done?” i asked. “Because the chef cannot guarantee quality, he uses a lesser cut for steaks that are cooked anything over medium well.” Huh. “So basically, if I order a steak cooked medium, I am getting a better cut?” The answer was “Yes”. So I had my first medium steak. Oh em gee. My eyes were opened that day to how a steak should be enjoyed. I truly savoured the beef I was eating.

Over the years, I ate medium steaks, but have since moved to medium rare in some cuts. I enjoy a medium rare flank steak, but Wendy and the girls like their meat medium… which is great for flank steak. If I cook the middle to medium rare (using a meat thermometer), the edges (which are thinner) usually come out medium. Win/win.

Some Beef Stats and Facts

Team approach
• Canada Beef heads up a league of farmers and ranchers from each and every province that work together. They are greater than the sum of the parts as they continue to work towards a common goal.

• The beef industry contributes almost $25 billion to the Canadian economy annually.
• Canada is the 8th largest exporter of beef in the world.
• 35% of Canada’s beef is exported.

Sustainable Farming
• In Canada, 1 in 3 acres of agricultural land is not suitable for growing crops but is suitable for grazing cattle.
• Canadians enjoy around 930K tonnes of beef a year.
• Feeding high energy grains lowers the environmental footprint of finishing cattle.

Flank Steak at Camp

We cook beef at least three times a week while camping. Our favourite is flank steak. I usually prepare this for dinner.

I love that my girls are so helpful in preparing the meals, and cleaning up afterwards. Meal time is family time. “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” ~ Henry Ford

Smoked Brisket

We love slow roasted beef. Brisket has to be my favourite cut of beef. I head over to our local butcher, grab a nice cut of brisket, give it my own blend of dry rub seasoning, and then cook it in our smoke, slow and low, all day… to enjoy for an awesome dinner.

There is nothing like the taste of tender slow roasted brisket. Amazing what you can do with a tough cut of meat that was once considered a poor man’s meal.

Sausalito Hamburgers

When I told my friend Anoop I was going to be in San Francisco, he told me I had to try the burgers at this small joint in Sausalito. He mentioned that he brings his family from Santa Clara up about twice a month just for the burgers. With that kind of recommendation, I had to try them out.

When I arrived at Sausalito Hamburgers, there was a rotating grill in the window, and everyone in line was mesmerized, just watching the grill. The burgers are made fresh each morning from ground chuck. Simply amazing, and worth the drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. While I was not with my family for this trip, eating a freshly grilled burger reminded me of camping with Wendy and the girls.

Beef at Mill Street BrewPub

Last month, I checked out Mill Street Brew Pub in Toronto. The food was fantastic, and the beer was amazing. I was lucky enough to be invited to a Brewmaster four course dinner with Mill Street Brewmaster, Joel Manning.

Smoked beef rib roast, balsamic Rauchbier steak sauce, heirloom carrots and parsnips, and roasted garlic whipped potatoes. The beef rib roast was smoked for 15 hours, and was extremely tender. Head Chef, Jeremy Eidt, knocked it out of the park with this dinner. I was so impressed by this dish, I came home and told Wendy about it, and we are definitely going to try a slow-and-low rib roast in our smoker.

Rotisserie Beef at Swiss Chalet

Last year, I was excited to find out that one of my favourite restaurants, that I normally go to for rotisserie chicken, was going to be adding rotisserie beef to their menu.

Rotisserie Beef on a Kaiser, Rotisserie Beef Dinner, and Hot Rotisserie Beef Sandwich We’ve tried them all, and they are a fantastic addition to Swiss Chalet’s already awesome menu!

slicing the flank steak

Beef Recipes

I have created and prepared many beef recipes, but these two are my favourite – Sour Mash Strip Loin, and Grilled Flank Steak. You can also find many beef recipes at Canadian Beef’s website.

“The Roundup” App

Need help preparing that beef dinner, or choosing the right cut of beef? The folks at Canadian Beef created this awesome app to help you with that.

You can download The Roundup for iPhone and iPad, and Android.


Dinner is on the Table!

Whether we are away camping, or at home, dinner time is family time. A time to unwind, have a great conversation, and enjoy a great meal, prepared by all of us.

We are Craig, Wendy, Rachel and Lauren… and we love Canadian Beef!

Bon Appétit!

Big Daddy

Disclaimer: I am helping to promote Canadian Beef #makeitCDNbeef campaign. All opinions are my own.

If you would like me to review your service, product, or travel destination, send me an email at or find me on “the twitter” at @BigDaddyKreativ

Craig Silva

Craig is a husband, father, team leader, travel and food writer, senior youth group coordinator, designer, brander, community builder, volunteer, and social media strategist. He likes to travel, go camping, go on road trips, watch movies, build stuff, operate the grill, and sing with his band. Craig is a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada. If you are a PR agency or brand and would like Craig to review a travel destination, vehicle, restaurant, product or service, please send him an email.

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