Grilled Stout Brined Sirloin and Corn Salad with Tahini Pale Ale Dressing

Grilled Stout Brined Sirloin and Corn Salad with Tahini Pale Ale Dressing

I want to tell you a story, one about myself, because it’s all I have to offer right now. Growing up, things were exactly easy. Here are the CliffsNotes: Dead dad, disjointed family, moved a lot, hardly enough money to feed us all. Because of this, I had this idea that racism wasn’t really a thing anymore and even if it was I discriminated against too, since I was poor. Then I moved to LA, and I became a social worker for gang kids, most of whom were on probation, and I realized how stupid I was. It happened slowly, realizations that came over the course of a few years, small incidents that amounted to a huge global shift in who I was and what I believed, something I’ll never stop being thankful for.

 

The first came as I sat on a folding chair in a rec room with a group of other social workers, I was the only white girl. One of them joked about how dangerous it was for a 20-year-old blond-haired, blue-eyed white girl to go running around Compton. Another social worker, a large black guy who had an M.A. in Psychology and had been a bit of a rowdy teenager, replied, “She’s safe. If a pretty white girl gets shot in the ghetto, everyone in the world will know about it by morning. Every kid and cop knows it. If I get shot, no one will give a shit. I’m a target for the cops and the kids. She’s safer than I am.” He was right and everyone in the room knew it. He had a gun pulled on him three times that year, twice by cops and once by a kid. I never had any problems, not one issue, not one gun.

Part of my job was to work with the older kids to help them find employment. I wrote their resumes, taught them how to fill out job applications, dressed them from a donation closet of interview clothes, and taught them how to answer interview questions. I had applications for 6 nearby businesses, mostly fast food joints, none of the business knew about the program, all they saw was a local kid interviewing for a job. Over three years I could plot on a timeline how long it would take each kid to get a job based on their skin color. At first, I figured it was a fluke, but it was such a lasting trend, not one kid was an exception. I worked with three white kids, each of them scared me, the probation sentence they had were earned several times over and they all had sociopathic tendencies. None of them had a work history. They all got jobs in the first two weeks. I wouldn’t have trusted any of them to wash my car, and they were handed over the ability to work a cash register in just one meeting. The lighter-skinned-non-white kids took about a month, and the darkest skinned kids took the longest. They all had the same clothes, the same answers on their applications (I helped fill them all out) and they all answered the questions at the interviews exactly the same. The only difference was their appearance. My favorite kid was smart, he had a solid work history, a calming spirit, and he was so kind. He was living proof that some souls are old, he just saw things in a bigger way than most people did. He also had incredibly dark skin. It took me 8 months to get him a job.

 

There were more, lots of constant reminders that although my life wasn’t easy, it was not made harder by the color of my skin. And even the most privileged black person would have an easier life in this country if they had been born with white skin. This is not ok, it’s not right, but it’s the truth. I had to open myself up to the idea that it was arrogant of me to ever think that just because I personally hadn’t seen or experienced racism that it didn’t exist. I had to accept that I did not know what it was like to live in this world as a black person, no matter how much I thought I knew, or what my experiences where.

The two major changes that came from that seem small, but were actually huge. First, I realized that I do have bias, racist thoughts, and prejudgments. Everyone does, it’s how our brains work, we categorize things and form instant thoughts about everything the moment we see them. We see a dog, we know it’s a dog. We see a chair, we know it’s a chair. Have you ever been surprised to touch something and realize it was much colder than it looked? Because you had already formed an opinion about it. This is normal. BUT I decided that when I had a judgmental thought, I would acknowledge it and correct it. I wanted to have a mind that didn’t prejudge people any more than it had to.

 

Second, I encouraged people around me to correct me if I said something that was offensive or prejudged someone, and I learned the phrase: “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize. Thank you for saying something.” I decided that even if I didn’t know WHY it was offensive, it was enough for me to know THAT it was offensive, and I needed to change the way I thought or talked, even if that change was small.

 

I still have work to do, we all do, but the choice you have is this: do you want to make the world a little bit better, or do you want to fight to keep it harder for anyone who isn’t you. It’s not a hard choice, even if it can be a hard process.

 

So, here is a salad that has absolutely nothing to do with this story. Other than the fact that we all have to eat, food is a great equalizer. Let’s sit down, eat some food, and just listen to each other for a second.

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Grilled Stout Brined Sirloin and Corn Salad with Tahini Pale Ale Dressing

Ingredients

  • 10 oz Sirloin steak
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 12 oz stout beer
  • 1 large bell pepper any color
  • 1 ear of corn shucked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup (80g) sugar snap peas, chopped
  • ½ cup (70g) grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 cups (60g) baby spinach
  • 2 cups (40g) baby arugula
  • 2 oz goat cheese crumbled

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup (74g) tahini
  • 2 tablespoons (24g) lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (24g) apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) honey
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) brown mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt pinch sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup pale ale

Instructions

  • Add the steak to a bowl or a bag, sprinkle on all sides with salt, cover with beer. Cover the bowl (or seal the bag) and refrigerate for 12 hours and up to 24. Remove from marinade, dry well, and allow to come to room temperate (about 30 minutes).
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high.
  • Drizzle the bell pepper and corn with oil.
  • Add the pepper and the corn to the grill, turning and grilling until grill marks appear.
  • Add the steak to the grill, cooking on both sides until medium-rare, 4-6 minutes per side.
  • Remove from grill, slice the pepper, and cut the kernels off the corn.
  • Allow the steak to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small blender, blend until smooth. Add additional beer or water to thin to desired consistency.
  • Add all of the remaining salad ingredients to a bowl (along with the sliced pepper and corn kernels), toss to combine. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing, top with steak.

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