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This summer is a hot one! Looking for ways to enjoy beef on the grill without getting weighed down in the heat? There are plenty of light meal options to consider for your family from steak salads, kabobs to sliders. Enjoy Ontario beef without breaking a sweat!

The great thing about a slow-cooker meal is just how simple it is! But there are some things to remember to make sure that your meal makes your family run to the table rather than walk. Here are some great tips for making mouth watering meals.

  1. Always start with a clean and oiled grill. This helps make sure that your steak doesn’t stick, especially if you prefer a lean cut.
  2. Keep it hot! Make sure you crank the heat up on your grill to at least 450°. A good way to check to see if your grill is hot enough to begin cooking is to use the “two for two” rule. You should be able to place your hand two inches above the grill for two seconds. No more, no less.
  3. Seasoning. Steaks don’t require too much, but it is important to brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. The rest is up to you!
  4. Turn Steak Once or Twice. Steaks cook relatively quickly so they generally only need to be turned once. This allows them to be cooked evenly and develop a tender, well-cooked crust. It is also easier to use tongs to flip the steak and avoid punching holes with a fork. Note, if you are cooking with mechanically tenderized steak, as indicated on the package label, cook to medium-rare (63°C/145°F) and flip at least twice.
  5. Have a thermometer handy. This allows you to check and see whether it is done to your personal preference. The cooking time varies for the thickness of the steak, so the thermometer can help you determine if it is rare, medium or well-done.
  6. Let it rest. Let the steak rest for a few minutes before serving. This time will allow the juices to redistribute through the steak, allowing it to become more tender. Then serve and enjoy!

With a passion for Angus cattle, Gord and Pat McArthur began their own beef herd in the late 1970’s. In the beginning, they would sell sides and quarters of beef to friends and family, but it wasn’t until a short venture of running a bed & breakfast in 2007 that the potential to open a farm-gate market truly became apparent. The local food movement in Ontario was blossoming and the requests for naturally-raised meat was increasing. So in May 2009, with their fingers crossed, the couple closed the bed & breakfast and put a freezer in the garage with a small wooden desk and a tin cash box. It was the opening of Heatherlea Farm Shoppe. At that time, their son Don and his wife Melinda came back to work on the farm to grow the family business.

To this day, they continue to run a herd of 60 Registered Black Angus cattle. Their cattle are grass-fed, and are raised without the use of added growth hormones or antibiotics. They finish their cattle on hay, silage, and a small amount of grains so their beef is extremely tender with outstanding flavour.

Over the years, the business has grown to include frozen meats (such as local lamb, bison, emu, and fish), produce, eggs, cheese, dairy, and other locally-sourced fine foods. An inspected kitchen was added to produce value-added products such as scratch meals and baked goods using home-raised and local ingredients.

As demand grew, the McArthur family decided that it was time to expand their business to include a café and a butcher shoppe. A new building was constructed and opened in January 2016, which attracts not only the locals but also people travelling from the Greater Toronto Area. With the addition of the butcher shoppe, the McArthur’s can now provide a true farm-to-fork experience from raising the animals to aging and custom processing.

An idea that grew from necessity to support their family has turned into a full-time shoppe that allows the McArthur's to share their delicious, healthy and local food with their community! Learn more about Heatherlea Farm Shoppe by visiting there website www.heatherlea.ca or check out their twitter @heatherleafarm.