Over the years as our travels have whisked us from sea to shining sea, from one continent, breathtaking mountaintop and smoky backyard barbecue to the next, without question my favorite corner of God’s green earth is still a small, Mayberry-esque farming community in the great white, rustic north of Pure Michigan. Huddled only miles from the near-endless pristine shorelines of Great Lake Michigan our family home rests far off the beaten path of a long and narrow country road – a destination every November for loved ones to gather, break bread and celebrate as we enjoy each other’s company, a homemade meal, and the fleeting moments of fall before the onset of a long, chilly winter season ahead.
On this brisk evening our plane arrived just in time to catch the fading colors of autumn and a golden sunset on horizon – undoubtedly, there is no place like home.
3 hours in the air and another 2 traversing bumpy back roads, we pulled into the familiar, long-winding driveway of my childhood home, only to be greeted on doorsteps by family and friends, a campfire billowing in the backyard and beer chest loaded to the brim with cases of ice cold craft brew. And, it is here that our holidays commence, a 5-day weekend starting annually on the eve of Thanksgiving, with this gathering and feast affectionately known as, “Steaksgiving!”
While the trek was long, I gladly volunteered to take the reigns as “Steaksgiving” chef (again this year). Perfect for the occasion and serving a crowd, my inspiration for this recipe was a throwback to a holiday I spent abroad nearly 10 years ago, traveling for weeks from the cityscapes of Melbourne, over Sydney’s Harbour Bridge, to the farm fields and ever-breathtaking mountainscapes of Tasmania.
These gorgeous cuts of Australian grassfed beef filet mignon were infused overnight in an simple bath of smoked soy, brown sugar, roasted garlic and shallots, then paired with seasonal vegetables from the local farmer’s market and paired together on wooden skewers. The ka-bobw were grilled to medium-rare perfection over the barbie, then dressed with an aromatic garden of fresh herbs and served family-style alongside two handfuls of ice cold, craft-brewed amber ale.
Bright and colorful. Fresh and flavorful. Simple and seasonal. Every last bite and morsel devoured. This is live fire perfection.
Amber Ale-Marinated Filet Mignon Steak and Wild Mushroom Skewers
- 2-3 pounds Australian grassfed beef flitet mignon, trimmed and cubed
- 1/2 cup BLiS smoked soy sauce, or regular soy sauce
- 1/2 cup amber-colored ale
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus additional for basting skewers
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 medium-sized shallots, diced
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1/2 head garlic, roasted in oven until golden and tender
- 3-4 cups assorted wild mushrooms, rinsed
- 2 green peppers, chopped
- 2 large red onions, chopped
- Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn, to taste
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, to garnish
- 2 cups homemade chimichurri recipe, or store-bought
- 1 dozen wooden skewers, soaked in water 30minutes before use
Place cubed steak, soy, beer, oil, sugar, shallots, mustard and roasted garlic into an air-tight resealable plastic bag. Combine and ensure all portions of meat are well-covered. Marinate for 8 hours, up to over night. Remove steak from refrigeration 1 hour prior to grilling, discard marinade and rest on the counter until near room temperature.
Meanwhile, preheat the barbecue for direct grilling and medium-high heat.
While the grill is warming to temperature, arrange the marinated beef cubes, mushroom, onion and peppers on the skewers, careful to not overload the ka-bobs. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste.
Grill the skewers with the grill lid open for 3-4 minutes per side, until the beef has reached an internal temperature of at least 125-130F. Remove skewers from the grill, place under a tin foil tent and rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Plate family-style, garnish with parsley and a spoonful of chimichurri per skewer. Serve alongside family, the best of friends and an ice cold craft-brewed amber ale. Cheers!
Now, it’s time for board games, a few dozen rounds of euchre, midnight karaoke, and prepping for a full weekend of family, food, fall fishing and a bit more fun than I deserve at my age. From mine to yours, be blessed, stay hungry and long live the adventure. -David