Top 5 Plants You Need in Your Garden if You Love Steak

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Meet the Meat Garden. Packed with robust flavor, this garden bounty pairs great with Omaha Steaks.

{As Omaha Steaks first Chef in Residence, I get to provide an insider’s view into setting up the space, outfitting the kitchen, planting the garden, and setting up some of the programming. Follow along for sneak peeks, recipes and stories from behind the scenes…}

When deciding what to cook, I think about every aspect of what goes on the plate — from the type of salt that I use to season and finish a dish to creating the perfect accompaniments. Really, all of that starts in the garden. Recently, I planted a garden for Omaha Steaks.

Love meat? Love to garden? How do you plant a garden for meat lovers? I recommend planting these five things:

1. Go Green

I picked hearty, robust flavorful herbs that can be used in both pre-cooking and seasoning and also pack lots of flavor when added to a sauce. In my Omaha Steaks garden, I planted crimson, sweet and spicy basil, garlic chives, thyme, marjoram, caraway, rosemary, and tarragon. All the classic hearty herb flavors that pair so well with steak. I like to plant herbs that flower to feed the bees, the hummingbirds, but more importantly, to have edible buds for garnishes and subtle hints of herb flavor. While I was cleaning and feeding the bed, I found a few stems of edible, wild purslane growing in it. I simply moved it to its own corner to flourish. With velvety leaves that taste like pineapple and lemon, purslane makes a great addition to salad.

Pro-tip: Snip herbs with about 4 to 5 inches of stem, rinse under cool water and shake off excess water before using or store like cut flowers in about an inch of water. Pull out what you need and the rest will stay fresh. Just be sure to change the water every other day.

For an added burst of flavor, let that perfectly grilled steak rest on a bed of freshly picked herbs like thyme, rosemary and tarragon. The heat from the steak will bloom the herb flavor onto your meat.

Omaha Steaks Garden Green Goddess Dressing


  • 3 tsp combined Chopped garlic, chives, tarragon, thyme, and marjoram
  • 1/4 cup Sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice
  • 1 small clove Garlic finely grated
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • Whisk or blend ingredients together
  • Taste and adjust seasoning


Variations: If you like ...
A spicy dressing, add a roasted jalapeño;
A lighter dressing, replace the mayonnaise with avocado purée;
A less creamy dressing, skip the mayo and sour cream and substitute oil and   vinegar (one part vinegar to 2.5 parts oil)         

2. You say Tomato.

It’s summer and steak and tomatoes just seem a natural fit for a quick and easy meal, so tomatoes had to be one of the central crops in a meat lover’s garden. I picked a short bushy tomato variety called Valentine Tomatoes… they are heart shaped. Because Omaha Steaks is the original Heartland butcher, these tomatoes were a must. Other varieties include Sugar Rush Tomatoes for sweetness and Green Zebra Tomatoes, an heirloom variety, because they have a good amount of acidity that pairs well with meat.

Pro-tip: Tomatoes are best stored at room temperature and will continue to ripen on the counter.  Pick tomatoes from the plant when near to fully ripe and store on the counter. Pick only what you will use in a day or two. If you find yourself with a large amount of tomatoes, try this easy cooked garden salsa recipe as a great topper for steak tacos.

Omaha Steaks Garden Salsa


  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1-2 Jalapeños, whole but remove stem top
  • 1 White onion, quartered
  • 1 handful Cliantro leaves
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Juice of one lime


  • Add tomatoes, jalapeño and onion to a medium sauce pan and cover with water.
  • Place on medium heat and bring to a boil. 
  • Turn off heat and let “steep” for 10 minutes (tomato skin should be split and jalapeños should have changed color a bit.) 
  • Strain the tomato, jalapeño and onion into a blender base with a splash of the cooking liquid. 
  • Add lime juice, cilantro and salt. 
  • Blend until desired consistency. (Pulse for chunky and Blend for smoother.)  

3. Like it Hot?!

I can’t think of a more flavor-packed compliment to steak than peppers. Sautéed with onions, pickled, or raw and crunchy, peppers are a solid garden necessity. I planted several varieties of peppers ranging in heat from a mild purple beauty bell pepper to the hottest habañero. The other pepper varieties are Dragon Thai, Cherry Hots, and Tam Jalapeño.

Pro-Tip: Don’t be afraid of using habañero or other spicy peppers. Their sweet-leaning fiery spice makes a great infusion for vinegars, alcohol, and syrups. Don’t believe me? Try this flaming hot margarita:

Flaming Hot Margarita

Servings: 2


  • 4 oz Your favorite tequila
  • 2 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 2 oz Habanero infused simple syrup*
  • 0.75 oz Orange liquor


  • Add all ingredients to a ice filled shaker. 
  • Shake hard and strain into two rocks glasses over ice. 


*To make habanero infused simple syrup, bring 1 cup each sugar and water to a boil, add habanero pepper, cover and let sit until cool. Stir and strain. Store in the fridge. 

4. Aw, kale yah.

Kale belongs in the garden as a vegetable option that can be eaten in a variety of ways. Red leaf kale, when eaten raw, has a slightly spicy taste and firm texture making it a great green alternative for slaws and salads. It’s great when served with bold ingredients like blue cheese, cranberries and walnuts. It’s equally delicious sautéed with a bit of olive oil, crushed red pepper, and salt or creamed like spinach.

Pro-Tip: Rub kale leaves with a thin coating of oil, season with kosher salt and fresh pepper and grill until wilted and the leaf edges are slightly charred. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice for a no fuss side dish.


5. Sweet Summer Notes.

Rhubarb and Lavender were planted with summer, sweets, and cool cocktails in mind. You’ll have to check back after the rhubarb harvest later in the summer. It’s not quite ready yet.

Stay tuned for more updates and sneak peeks from the Omaha Steaks Garden…

Top 5 Plants You Need in Your Garden if You Love Steak

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About the Author: Renée Rigaud Everett is Omaha Steak’s first Chef in Residence. Renée’s life-long passion for cooking began as a young child when she would watch and emulate her mother and her grandmother soaking up all their secret recipes like a sponge. She obtained her degree in Culinary Arts from the Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago and has worked at several Chicago area restaurants. Renée is also a former culinary arts instructor for a nationally recognized culinary arts college and competed on season one of ABC’s reality cooking show, The Taste. In October 2013, Renée joined the staff of Belcampo Lodge in Belize as the Chef and Culinary Director.  After 4 years of continuous kitchen leadership abroad in Belize, Renee is ready for he next chapter of culinary adventures. We are excited to have Renée as Omaha Steak’s first Chef in Residence.
Top 5 Plants You Need in Your Garden if You Love Steak