Beef and Sweet Potato Hash {LiveWell 2013 in Chicago}

Beef and Sweet Potato Hash - www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com

I recently attended the LiveWell 2013 Conference in Chicago, as a guest of the Beef Checkoff. It was there that I was reunited with a cut of beef that has dropped off my radar over the years, the top sirloin. During the conference I enjoyed this specific cut, deemed heart-healthy by the American Heart Association, prepared many different ways. I had forgotten how good it is, and how versatile. And one of my favorite top sirloin dishes from those two days in Chicago was this Beef and Sweet Potato Hash. I just had to share it with you!

(Read past the recipe for more about the LiveWell 2013 Conference…)

Beef and Sweet Potato Hash - www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com

This hash is extremely easy to make, and packed with wonderful taco spiced flavor. It’s going to be on my menu this winter whenever I’m needing a warm and cozy weekend breakfast.

Omaha Steaks

I want to give a shout-out to Omaha Steaks for sending me a couple gorgeous boxes of beef. I used the top sirloin in this hash (excellent!), and we can’t wait to enjoy the prime rib roast, too!

Beef and Sweet Potato Hash - www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com

This Beef and Sweet Potato Hash is both savory and sweet, with a variety of colors and textures. The original recipe doesn’t call for red bell pepper, but I wanted a little more veggie and color, and knew it would make the dish more enticing to my family. Adding red bell peppers to any dish around here seems to up its likelihood of disappearing faster than normal.

I think any good plate of hash requires a couple eggs. So get crackin’ and choose your favorite method of preparation. Also, don’t skip the super simple sour cream + hot sauce concoction. It’s a perfect match for this hash.

Beef and Sweet Potato Hash

Yield: 4 servings

Cook Time:21 minutes

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2” cubes

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

2 T. taco seasoning mix

1/3 c. water

1 T. vegetable oil

12 to 14 oz. beef top sirloin, cut into 1/2” cubes, lightly sprinkled with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 c. sour cream

2 tsp. Frank’s RedHot sauce

Chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, combine sweet potato, onion, red pepper, and taco seasoning. Add water and stir to combine. Cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender and water has almost evaporated, stirring once. Stir in oil and continue cooking, uncovered, 4 to 6 minutes or until sweet potato is tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally. Add beef and continue to cook 5 minutes or until beef is cooked to medium/medium-rare, stirring occasionally. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water, if needed, to avoid sticking.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream and hot sauce.

Garnish hash with cilantro, as desired. Serve with sour cream mixture. And a couple of eggs always complete a plate of hash!

Adapted from Beef It’s What’s for Dinner by Beef Checkoff.

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Live Well WelcomeThank you to the Beef Checkoff for inviting me to LiveWell 2013!

LiveWell the Wit

While attending the LiveWell 2013 conference, we stayed at the very stylish hotel, theWit. As its name suggests, this hotel seeks to amuse. From the birds softly tweeting through the hallway speakers during the day (owls by night) to the funny and/or thought provoking quotes found in the guest rooms and public spaces, the subtle zaniness of this hotel provokes a smile. Located in Chicago’s theater district, it is situated for easy walking to the Magnificent Mile and Millenium Park.

LiveWell The Sable

I was drawn to a couple friendly faces as soon as I arrived. It was fun to catch up with Lauren from Lauren’s Latest and Shaina from Food For My Family while we enjoyed appetizers at Sable Kitchen and Bar. The local artisan cheeses and short rib sliders in a root beer glaze were delish.

LiveWell Kari Underly

Then we moved on to Mastro’s Steakhouse for the main course and dessert. The petit filet was tender and flavorful. And the sautéed mushrooms…oh my. Pass that bowl again, please! Our evening ended with a spectacular trio of desserts. Mastro’s signature warm butter cake, absolutely stuffed with butter, definitely lived up to the hype, as every one of us went back for seconds.

Kari Underly, a third-generation butcher, joined us for our evening meal and also demonstrated cutting beef. Kari is passionate about the craft of meat cutting, and quite entertaining. Time with her was all too short. I was so happy to receive a signed copy of her book “The Art of Beef Cutting”, full of gorgeous photography and straightforward instructions. It’s a work of art that was nominated for the 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards.

LiveWell breakfast and umamiThe next morning began with breakfast atop the famed rooftop at theWit. I enjoyed my beef and sweet potato hash with hard boiled eggs outdoors on a patio with peek-a-boo views of the Chicago River, Lake Michigan, and Millenium Park.

Then we heard from Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, PhD, RD, a professor at Rutgers who helps others adopt positive food and fitness behaviors. Dayle Hayes, MS, RD spoke next about her passion for improving the quality and nutrition of school meals.

The middle photo in the collage above is of Executive Chef Dave Zino (center), Anne Burkholder (right) and her daughter Megan (left). Earlier, Anne and Megan shared about raising cattle for beef on their family ranch in Nebraska. And during lunch, Dave talked about different beef choices and preparation methods, and walked us through an umami flavor experiment. Umami, the fifth taste, is derived from the Japanese word for delicious, umai. It is described as meaty and savory. We tasted our beef separately with ingredients that were bitter, sweet, sour, and salty, and then tried them blended for an umami effect.

LiveWell The Chopping BlockNext we headed to The Chopping Block, a beautiful recreational cooking school facility outfitted with a gourmet retail store. Professional chef and cooking instructor Sara Salzinski welcomed us and talked about the importance of kids having a basic knowledge of cooking so they can participate in putting nutritious and delicious meals on our table.

Then Jennifer Marx, professional food photographer, shared her knowledge of capturing food and telling stories with her camera lens. Check out her beautiful work here.

Our time together culminated with a team cooking event, with each team being challenged to create a twist on a traditional dish, and to incorporate beef. Laura from Real Mom Kitchen (above, right) was on my same team, and took charge of grilling some veggies for our jalapeño popper dish challenge.

LiveWell Team Jalapeno Popper

“Team Jalapeño Popper”, from left to right: myself, RJ from Cook Like a Dad, Amanda from Mommy of Two Little Monkeys, and Laura from Real Mom Kitchen. On the right, our rendition of jalapeño poppers that incorporated perfectly grilled top sirloin.

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Other bloggers who attended LiveWell 2013:

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Thank you: A big thank you to the Beef Checkoff for inviting me to LiveWell 2013, and for getting top sirloin back into my life! Thank you also to Omaha Steaks for providing the beautiful top sirloin for this recipe.

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Disclaimer: All expenses for my attendance at LiveWell 2013 were taken care of by the Beef Checkoff. Omaha Beef provided the top sirloin for this post’s recipe. I was not compensated to write this post. All opinions are my own.

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