One of my friends sent me a meme a couple years back that said “I love cooking with wine, sometimes it even goes in the food!” Well, this recipe is kinda like that. A bottle of red met its end with this recipe, and some of it even went in the food!
This is Big Poppy. I’m driving, and that thing on my thigh is my Omnipod insulin pump, but none of that is important. Carlos, as he’s know to others, is one of my very dearest friends’ dad, and he was here visiting from El Salvador about 3 years ago. Big Poppy was 87 years old then, and has since passed away, leaving my friend with a huge hole in her heart and some amazing memories. Truth be told, it was at times a very challenging month that he stayed with her. He laid down the law right away about what he was not going to be eating, like no chicken, and no pasta. We all know beef can be expensive, and to a single mom it can be even more challenging. He was also having some memory issues, and sometimes it stressed everyone to suddenly have Grandpa in the house ordering people around and having a schedule and habits that were different. And then there was the Spanglish he spoke… But even with the challenges, it is a month my sweet friend will forever cherish, and the greatest amount of time her boys got to spend with their grandfather from so far away. Being able to have that time, those conversations, the experiences, and the discovery of quirks she never knew existed was a gift that she will hold on to for the rest of her life.
It was probably about half way through the visit when we were talking on the phone and I could tell she was tired and just needed a break. So I invited them out to our house for lunch and a boat ride. Knowing Big Poppy’s menu requests, I made filet mignon with mushrooms and grilled summer vegetables. Let’s just say he was very excited to see a big ole steak on his plate, that carnivore! He scarfed lunch down while flirting like a teenager with me, and telling us hysterical stories. He even ratted-out his own daughter about a couple things to her boys-they LOVED that! When lunch was done he wanted to have his picture taken while sitting in the captain’s chair on our boat. His smile beamed! Then he saw the jetski and wanted a ride. I think my friend had a heart attack right then and there and tried to talk him out of it, but you don’t talk Poppy out of anything. So I put on my swimsuit, grabbed us both lifejackets, and promised her I would’t throw her dad off the back. It was the most special jetski ride I have ever taken. Poppy held on to me for dear life, but he wasn’t scared. He was taking the opportunity to flirt a little more and snuggle. He kept telling me to go faster, but I wouldn’t because I didn’t want to have to explain how he ended up in the water right after I had promised I would return the 87 year old man in one piece. Needless to say, he loved the jetski, and the smile on his face was the biggest I had ever seen. Big Poppy was on top of the world that day. He made sure he had all the pictures printed before he went back to El Salvador so he could brag to everyone and show them the proof.
It was, so I am told, the highlight of his trip. When Big Poppy was in the hospital right before he passed away, my friend went to El Salvador to see him. He told every nurse the story of the jetski and made her show the pictures. He was still so excited about it! Knowing how much that meant to him is something that blesses my soul. That nourishes my heart. He didn’t tell stories about the incredible steak and mushrooms I made for him, and I have forgiven him for that, but that day was so much more than food. When we share a meal with friends or strangers, wonderful things happen. God had His hand in that day, and it is something I will always be thankful for.
Melt in your Mouth Steak
- Steak of your choosing (I used Ribeye and Filet Mignon)
- 1 Bottle red wine, divided (I used a sweet red)
- 1/4 C Worcestershire Sauce (yes, I had to google that spelling)
- 2 pinches of dry thyme (I prefer fresh Thyme and Rosemary, but they weren’t available at my local grocery store)
- Put steaks in a gallon ziplock bag, sprinkle with thyme, add wine and Worcestershire sauce.
- Get out as much air as you can from the bag and kneed it a bit to make sure everything is mixed and coated well.
- Put in refrigerator to marinate (at least 2 hours or up to a day before grilling)
- Grill to your liking- SAVE THE MARINADE FOR THE MUSHROOMS
**About 30 minutes before the steaks go on the grill, I start the mushrooms and peel and slice the potatoes for the grill.
- slice 16 oz of white button mushrooms, or you can purchase the pre-sliced kind
- over medium heat, melt 4 T butter and add 1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
- Add mushrooms to this mixture and stir to evenly coat
- Pepper to taste (don’t salt yet because Worcestershire may be salty enough)
- Lower heat to low/medium low, cover with lid, let slow simmer, stirring occasionally
- When steaks go on the grill PUT THE MARINADE INTO MUSHROOM PAN, stir, cover, and continue to cook mushrooms over low/medium low heat until steaks are done
Seasoned, Grilled Potatoes
- 1 lb Red potatoes, peeled, rinsed, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 4 T butter
- 1T Herbs de Provance
- salt and pepper
Place sliced potatoes in the middle of a long piece of tin foil 18″ long or so. Sprinkle potatoes with Herbs de Provance, salt, and pepper. Cube 4T butter and place over potatoes. Bring sides of foil together over the middle and crimp/roll down. Roll ends inward so butter does not leak out. Place on the grill when you start it, so potatoes can begin cooking. You can also cook in the oven at 425 for 35 minutes. Serve right out of the foil packet.
I tried to get a photo of everything perfectly placed on the plate, but my family couldn’t keep from devouring their dinner, so… Make it yourself and send me your picture-perfect plate in the Comments section.