Usually the hubby and I grill our steaks, but we’ve always wanted to try our hand at the steakhouse style of pan frying steaks. Unlike grilling, pan fried steaks form a crunchy outer crust, but remain tender and perfectly cooked inside. Natalie Heim joins us today to talk raising cattle and being married to a farmer in North Central Oklahoma.
North Central Oklahoma
When did you start farming? What brought you into farming?
I married into the farm life. My husband is a 6th generation farmer on our farm.
What chores did you have growing up?
I grew up an urban farmer. We had chickens, and I had a horse. I helped a local neighbor take care of her horses.
By age 12, my husband was working ground , planting and harvesting crops.
Are there any differences between your farm now and when you were a kid?
I’m going to speak on behalf of my husband. When he was a kid they primary did conventional farming. That is where you work the land ( tilling). Now he primarily does not till where he plants crops into ground that still has the stalks and “debris ” left over on it. When he was a kid they only planted wheat. Today he plants anywhere from 4-5 different crops and uses a crop rotational in order to break the weed cycle.
Who farms with you and what are their roles?
My husband is the main person who runs our operation. His dad helps when he can and we have 1 hired hand.
What has been the hardest part of farming for you?
Seeing the weather and market variations that affect crops and income.
What has been the most satisfying part of farming for you?
Seeing my husband carry on his families legacy and being able to live his dream.
What crops (or animals) do you grow and why?
What do you think was the most useful advance in farming such as machinery, genetics, chemicals, etc.?
Crop rotation and no till practices
What is one thing you’d like to get across to the general public about what you do?
I’d like the general public to know the struggles farmers face. We don’t only deal with economic issues but weather. I don’t think the general public knows how hard farmers work and the sacrifices made in order to provide food for the public.
What advice would you give to anyone interested into getting into your field?
Know what you’re doing and have a lot of money.
What is your favorite thing to do with the food crop you grow?
I love eating home grown beef. Knowing the animal had a wonderful life and was treated well.
I used cast iron for pan frying these steaks. I recommend cast iron or a good stainless steel pan for this. You’ll want the pan to be able to get good and hot.
- 2 good quality new york or loin steaks, cut 1-1 1/2 inches
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup peppercorns, crushed with rolling pin
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons oil (peanut or grape)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Slather olive oil over steaks. Season liberally with salt and roll in the crushed peppercorns. Allow to rest at room temperature for about 30-40 minutes.
- Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat until smoking. Add to pan and cook, flipping frequently with tongs until internal temperature has reached 120 degrees (for medium rare).
- Add butter to top of steaks and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and tent with foil, allowing steaks to rest for five minutes before serving.