Fire up the grill, not fireworks, for the Fourth of July

Boulder County Farmers Markets

To wield the grill tongs at a Fourth of July barbecue is to possess great power. And with great power comes great responsibility. While pyrotechnics might be an important Fourth of July tradition in other places, we like to focus our summer holiday traditions around food and firing up the grill. This holiday, be the grill master who whips up delicious local fare for carnivores and vegetarians alike. You’ll be the hero your friends and family didn’t know they needed.

A lot at steak

So with grilling undoubtedly the preferred method of summer cooking, we reached out to Mom for her advice for a foolproof recipe to show off the high quality beef available in Boulder County.

She recommends skirt or flank steak for this recipe. And we recommend buying your beef from our markets from Boulder Beef, Boulder Better Wagyu or Centennial Cuts. Or online at from Buckner Family Ranch.

Season your steak by rubbing it with salt, pepper and cumin before slapping it on the grill. Easy, peasy. While the steak preparation is simple, the sauce to go with it is a “dress to impress” situation. For the sauce you will need 1 bunch of washed cilantro, 1 minced garlic clove, juice from 1 lemon, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Combine and pulse in a blender until sauce like.

Hakurei turnips are a common sight at markets in the late spring and early summer. While they are scrumptious raw, they are also a great veggie option to throw on the grill. (Colleen Johns / Courtesy Photo)

Turnip the heat

To add some veggies to the mix, we’d suggest some grilled hakurei turnips. These turnips are sweet, earthy and versatile. The only preparation you need is to wash and cut the turnips in half. Then coat the turnips in olive oil, salt. and pepper. Make some room on the grill, in between those sausage links or steaks, and grill the turnips until they are soft and lightly charred. Once off the grill, sprinkle with herbs (we like dill and parsley), and you’re good to go.

More chill, less grill

But just in case the grill isn’t your preferred method of cooking, or maybe you’re headed out on a holiday picnic and need to prepare ahead of time. Rest assured, Jenn Melichar of Boulder Beef has a deliciously simple recipe for Shredded Beef Burritos. Boulder Beef is a family-run operation that has been raising cattle in Longmont for more than 25 years.

Here’s what you need to do: Cook a chuck roast in a slow cooker for 6 to 8 hours, preferably a roast bought from Boulder Beef so you know exactly who the cow was raised by and where it grazed. Shred the roast and add to a And top with your favorite mix of salsas, guacamole and sour cream. And top with your favorite mix of salsas, guacamole and sour cream.

When it comes to group gatherings and holidays, the food we serve and eat is perhaps the most important part of the party. If you have guests you want to impress or a family member who always brings the favorite dish that you want to one up, shop local for the best quality.

When it comes to simpler preparations, like grilling, the flavors of your ingredients shine through strongly. Local vegetables are nutrient dense and harvested right before you purchase them, contributing to better flavor. Local meat that is pasture-raised and grass-fed has superior. Bring the local flavor to the party for guaranteed applause.

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