Lessons from my father: pride, beef and recipes

The perfect Father’s Day meal won’t be complete without using this amazing steak rub recipe. - Chad Coleman/Staff Photo
The perfect Father’s Day meal won’t be complete without using this amazing steak rub recipe.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Staff Photo

My father, Marshall, was not the father who taught his kids how to use a tennis racquet or swing a golf club. He did much more; he taught my brothers and me how to throw a football, ride a horse, drive a tractor and know that there are over 800 different varieties of cattle throughout the world.

My father taught us many very important life lessons. He taught us to walk tall with our head high, remember what your last name is, and the truth never changes. He believes in hard work. Nothing was ever handed to him. He received his GED in his 50s and is a self-made man in the beef industry.

The only industry that I have known my father to be around is cattle, whether dairy cattle for milking or cattle for processing. My father has survived the financial ups and downs of any self-employed business man. During the hardest of times when no else believed in him other than my mother and us kids, he would pull his cowboy boots on by their straps and work harder. He has an inner strength and quality about him that very few possess or will ever understand.

Because of his success, my parents have become very philanthropic in their short 70-plus years. They have been recognized worldwide for their charitable contributions commonly known as tzedakah. My father’s latest charitable organization is one that he started. It is called “Erase Hate in Tampa Bay.” This organization is at the grassroots level and is already receiving national attention. Its goal is to educate all people regardless of your religion, sex orientation, color of your skin, accent or where you are from. We are all one; no one is better or worse. It is all about education.

A few things that I can tell you about the beef industry, which is not true of other animal protein industries, are that the packing houses are under the strictest of USDA guidelines. Packing houses are bleached several times a day to ensure the safest and cleanest of standards. Many have white walls and floors very similar to an operating room. When the beef leaves the packing house, it is in its most natural form. There are no dyes, injections, flavor enhancements or shape changes.  Anything that changes the beef from its natural state happens at the processing plant to the customer’s order specifications. The taste of beef is affected by breed, butchery, aging and a host of other factors. But there’s a move to recognize that it also carries its own sense of place.

In my father’s earlier years, he loved to make up marinades and barbecue sauces, so I decided to use one marinade recipe that I know. My father never wrote any of these recipes down. I also added an excellent steak rub, from his great niece, Allison.

Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful fathers, stepfathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers and father figures.

These recipes are printed with permission.

Allison’s Awesome Steak Rub

2 cloves minced garlic

1½ tablespoons coarse salt (kosher salt)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons Emeril’s original essence seasoning (can substitute for red paprika)

2 teaspoons cumin

1 tablespoon black pepper

2 tablespoons espresso powder

Mix together, pierce steak with a fork to create holes for flavor to penetrate beef, and let set for a few hours in refrigerator. Cook to your taste.

Steak rub keeps well in a glass container in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Ribeye Marinade for a 5-pound roast

1 bottle of good seasoned salad dressing mix (make according to directions on box)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon garlic

Pierce the ribeye all over with a fork. The marinade will not penetrate the beef fibers otherwise.

Mix all ingredients, place in a large Ziploc plastic bag or on a nonreactive metal/glass pan, place rib eye in bag or pan and cover with marinade overnight. Grill, broil or roast to your desired wellness.

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