Two Mile Ranch Market – bringing the farm to your table
Article and photos by Lisa Crockett
Farm to table dining was once available to most diners only at upscale restaurants. But this food philosophy that embraces all things fresh and locally-grown, is a passion at a new market in Greenwood Village, which supplies home cooks with tasty foods at competitive prices.
Two Mile Ranch Market features beef from Two Mile Ranch in Sterling, Colorado. Cows at the ranch are raised free-range style (though they are “grain finished” – fed corn silage in the final days of their life – to provide a tastier final product.) Meat is dry aged in the store to enhance the flavor, and expert employees will even give you advice on how to cook your purchases.
“I spent years selling beef to restaurants and I decided I wanted to find a way to sell this restaurant-quality meat directly to consumers,” said Jon Pauling, the owner of both the Market and the Ranch. “This is about supporting the local economy. A store like this is good for consumers both economically and in terms of their health.”
But there’s more to the Market than just steaks and hamburgers. Where possible, the Market sources locally-produced goods like Colorado eggs and milk and tasty treats from Denver-area bakeries. On the day I visited the Market, fresh asparagus, squash and mushrooms grown in Colorado sit aside other fruits and veggies in the produce department. During colder months, produce is generally shipped in from out of state but as the growing season progresses, the ratio of local to non-local goods shifts dramatically.
“Where possible we favor local products and organic products,” said Joseph Kellogg, the assistant manager of the produce department. “We do carry some conventionally-grown products when we can’t get local or organic, though, so that people can conveniently get all their shopping done here and not have to make a trip to another store.”
You can also pick up pantry items, some from local companies and some from national companies, like crackers, cereal, coffee and tea, and baking supplies. There are also several shelves lined with local jams, salsa, honey, sauces and bottle fruits, vegetables and pickles.
For a quick and satisfying meal, Kellogg recommends grilling your favorite cut of steak with a simple dry rub or even just salt and pepper. For a flavorful and attractive side dish, he recommends tossing cubed butternut squash, garnet yams, and purple and white potatoes with olive oil and rosemary and than baking in a foil-covered dish at 425 for about 20 minutes. Drizzle the veggies with melted butter and put under the broiler to crisp for just a moment or two.
For something a bit more elaborate, try the grilled skirt steak tacos with roasted poblano rajas, recommend by the ever-helpful Nanette Ferguson in the meat department. It’s a great way to really showcase the flavor of the meat. (See recipe below).
Two Mile Ranch Market is in the Cherry Hills Marketplace Shopping Center, 5910 S. University Boulevard. For more information , visit
Grilled Skirt Steak Tacos with Roasted Poblano Rajas
Recipe courtesy of Two Mile Ranch Market
2 medium white onions, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon cumin, preferably fresh ground
1 pound beef skirt steak, trimmed
3 medium poblano chilies
Vegetable or olive oil
12 corn tortillas, warmed
Fresh lime wedges
In a blender or food processor, combine half of one of the onions, garlic, lime juice, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Puree until smooth, then smear the puree over the meat and marinate in a non-metal dish for at least an hour or up to eight hours.
Heat a gas grill to medium-high or light a charcoal fire and let it burn just until the coals are covered with gray ash and very hot. Either turn the burners in the center of the grill to medium-low or bank the coals to the sides of the grill for indirect cooking. Set the cooking grate in place, cover the grill, and let the grate heat up for about five minutes.
Grill the chilies on the hottest part of the grill, turning occasionally until the skin is blistered and uniformly blackened all over, about five minutes. Remove chilies from heat and cover with a kitchen towel.
Brush onion slices with oil and grill in a cooler spot on the grill until softened and browned. Rub blackened skin off the chilies, slice and season with salt and pepper.
Remove the meat from the marinade, shaking off any excess, and grill on the hottest part of the grill turning only once, about two minutes per side for medium rare. Slice the meat across the grain and serve with onions and chilies, wrapped in a warmed tortilla.