Grilled Garlic Butter Filet Kebabs/Toppling Goliath “PseudoSue”/Bionic Cavemen “Reactor”
We had to chuckle after we looked at how tonight’s pairing came together. Meat on a stick cooked over fire, a beer named after a T. Rex and the latest album from local Chicagoans Bionic Cavemen. We were getting downright prehistoric and didn’t even plan it. What we did plan on having, however, were Surf and Turf kebabs until we realized we used up all the surf for a dinner earlier in the week, so these garlicky, buttery filet kebabs were born. Tender chunks of filet are rubbed down with our (Not So) Gentle Butchers Rub, then skewered intermittently with tricolor peppers, baby bella mushrooms and sweet onions before being grilled over high heat and basted with roasted garlic butter. The beer we chose to pair up these babies with was the pale ale PsuedoSue, a collab beer that Iowa’s Toppling Goliath brews in partnership with the Field Museum here in Chicago. In the music category, as we mentioned earlier we were spinning the latest from Chicago’s very own Bionic Cavemen, “Reactor”.
Grilled Garlic Butter Filet Kebabs – Full disclosure, skewering kebabs may be one of our least favorite cooking skills, right up there with mashing potatoes, so normally we’ll just grill the small cubes of meat and veggies right on the grill and skip the skewer altogether. That being said, there is something undeniably visually pleasing about meat and veggies sharing carefully planned real estate on the same stick, showing off a rainbow of flavors. Today we start by cutting yellow, orange and red peppers as well as sweet onions into squares all roughly the same size.
Next up we move on to the star of the show, the filet, which we cut into cubes about the same shape as the peppers and onions. We liberally season these with our (Not So) Gentle Butcher’s Rub, alternatively you could use some black pepper, garlic and salt. Or, order up a bottle from us for next time!
We just to need grab the baby bellas out of the fridge now, which are already the perfect size, and get to skewering. The order doesn’t really matter but we went with mushroom, steak, red pepper, onion, yellow pepper, onion, orange pepper, steak, mushroom. Make a bunch of these and throw them in the fridge until ready to grill.
About 45 minutes before you’re ready to grill, we’ll need to get the garlic roasting in the oven by simply cutting the tops off two bulbs of garlic, drizzling extra virgin olive oil over the top, covering tightly in foil then baking at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes until browned and completely softened.
Now let’s get grilling. Over hot coals we place the kebabs over direct heat.
It’s time to baste. We melt a stick of butter then mash the two cloves of roasted garlic into it and season with lots of black pepper. Spoon/brush on the garlic butter each time you turn the kebabs.
As you’re turning the kebabs, if the fire’s too hot and things are getting too much char too quickly, just move the entire kebab over to the cool side, cover and let the steak cook through to desired doneness. If you’re looking for medium-rare like we were, the entire time over direct heat should work perfectly. That’s all she wrote folks, serve this over rice, with a salad or whatever else suits your fancy, but these do just fine as an entire meal on a stick.
Toppling Goliath PseudoSue – How can you not see a large purple can with a huge green T. Rex on it in the beer section and NOT buy it? Simple answer? You can’t. So our first beer from Iowa’s Toppling Goliath is their PsuedoSue pale ale, a collaboration with Chicago’s Field Museum. The beer pours a cloudy light orange with a frothy head. The aroma is amazingly tropical; full of mango, papaya and grapefruit peel making for a veritable liquid fruit salad. Flavor-wise, PseudoSue is pungent with a sharp, bitter hop bite right off the bat before the fruity flavors hit briefly only to finish strong again on the finish with a large wallop of hoppiness. It’s a fantastic beer; a deliciously easy drinking, full flavored hop bomb.
Bionic Cavemen “Reactor” – It’s been almost a year since we’ve seen these guys live with our friends in Dead Feathers and walking into an art school with a pocket full of Crown for a BYOB art/music show featuring the work of the super talented Maria the Wolf. Fast forward a year and the guys in Bionic Cavemen have a new album out called “Reactor” and it slams full of doomy, punk psychedelia. The opening track is “Self Made Man” which starts off slow and brooding then fuzzes out with an awesome groove and some huge vocals. “Lover” is one of the best tracks on the album bringing to mind the angst-ridden grooves of The Giraffes paired up with the distorted fuzz of Kyuss. Things start off pretty huge of “EOW” with a thundering drum beat highlighted by the liberal use of cowbell before settling into a southern-fried rocker reminiscent of Artimus Pyledriver. “10-4” has a cool vibe, musically the tune chugs along like a raging locomotive with the vocals in charge of slowing it down and trying to control it. The result is a slow, prodding outlaw rock headbanger that we kept cranking up louder and louder. After the brief, chill acoustic instrumental interlude “Midnight Tonight”, the dark rocker “Alone” kicks in showcasing some incredible fretwork on the bass guitar. “Train” is another great track with a killer groove that settles into funky, grungy Mother Love Bone territory. On “Black Diamond” (no. not THAT “Black Diamond”) the tuning drops down even further, the vocals are delivered with even more of a sneer and the whole thing takes on whole new level of angst while still staying locked in the entire time. Another brief acoustic instrumental “Lilac” sets the stage for the album’s closing track “Crown” which is ironically the heaviest song on the album. The whole album is great, very much like a fuzzed out, dirtier version of The Giraffes which is alright in our book.