This year, I want to plant some Rosemary bushes in the back yard. I love the smell of Rosemary. It will be a few years until I can “harvest” clipping for skewers. In the meantime an early morning stroll through the farmer’s markets is always a joy.
I’ve been cooking with fresh Rosemary for years. (Who hasn’t?) I’ve even used the smaller Rosemary “twigs” to thread appetizers or dress up plates – especially during the holidays (gives that “Christmas” pine tree feel to a variety of pretty plates). It wasn’t until last summer that I used Rosemary (the larger stalks) as a “skewer” for some yummy marinated “turf”. The flavor of the Rosemary inside the meat is unbelievable! Oh my goodness – this was so delicious.
The first time I made this Surf and Turf combination, I had planned to saute the shrimp as an accompaniment to the meat. But I had some Rosemary stalks left over after threading the marinated meats – it seemed a shame to toss them. Since then, I simply planned to thread everything onto the Rosemary skewers. By threading the shrimp early on, it took a step out of the grilling process (for better timing) and allowed the Rosemary to better flavor the shrimp.
Portuguese Marinated Surf and Turf on Rosemary Skewers
2 teaspoons coarse salt or to taste
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
3 bay leaves plus extra for grilling (need fresh bay leaves, not dried)
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds beef sirloin, rib-eye, or beef tenderloin, cut in 2 inch cubes
Fresh Rosemary stalks for skewers
1 lb large shrimp, peeled, tails intact
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 Cup Fresh Rosemary, chopped
Stand Rosemary stalk one at a time on a plate, tip up. Grasp top firmly and strip bottom 2/3 of Rosemary needles to create skewers. Set skewers aside. Gather needles to use for this recipe and for future use.
Using a mortar and pestle, combine the salt and garlic, mashing the two until the garlic becomes a paste. Mix in the bay leaves, pepper, wine vinegar and lastly, the olive oil.
Put the meat cubes in a shallow non-reactive bowl and dump the seasoning paste over the meat.
With clean hands, turn the meat to coat thoroughly on all sides. Let stand for 2 to 4 hours or even overnight in the refrigerator. While meat is marinating, soak skewers at least 30 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare shrimp. Slice limes in half, squeeze juice over raw, peeled shrimp. Sprinkle with fresh Rosemary and toss to coat well. Thread shrimp onto Rosemary skewers, wrap and keep in refrigerator until ready to grill.
When ready to cook, thread the cubes of meat alternating with a bay leaf, onto the skewers. Grill over medium-heat (beef tenderloin requires less cooking, 5-6 minutes for medium-rare, sirloin or rib eye will require a little more grilling time). Grill meat approximately 5 inches above the flames. Adjust cooking time as needed for desired doneness. Transfer meat to large serving platter, tent with foil to keep warm.
Grill shrimp skewers for about 2-3 minutes, turning as needed. Plate shrimp skewers along side meat and serve.
Enjoy the perfect “Surf & Turf” combo on a warm summer night supper.