Eating Local Over a Fire


Last week I went camping with my friend Sandy in Northern Lower Michigan. One of our favorite things to do on these annual meccas to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is cook over a fire. And I don’t mean hot dogs. Even while camping, we aim to follow the locavore philosophy as much as possible.

Here’s an easy meal we made with vegetables in season: Grilled Steak with Chimichurri Sauce, Asparagus, Garlic Scapes and Potatoes. The produce came from our local farmers market or the garden, and the meat came from my mixed quarter of beef in the freezer. We even found the prosciutto at the Cedar City Market, known for natural foods.

Lots of people who camp know that one of the best ways to cook potatoes is to wrap them up in foil and let them roast over coals. That’s exactly what Sandy and I did. You just have to get them going first because they need at least half an hour to be tender (for 1-2-inch pieces).

Meanwhile, we made the Chimichurri sauce, which also needs to sit for about 30 minutes, and marinated the grassfed t-bone steak from Lubbers Farm in olive oil, salt and pepper. I brought fresh parsley and oregano from my garden for the Chimichurri!

Then we roasted asparagus and garlic scapes–fresh from the Holland Farmers Market–over the coals. This is easiest to do with a vegetable grate. (The National Park Service provides fire pits with standard grill grates at their campgrounds. Our tax dollars at work, and worth every penny!)

After wrapping the asparagus and garlic in prosciutto, we put it back on the grill to get crispy.

Then we grilled the steak about three minutes per side (it was only 3/4 of a pound and–yes–Sandy and I shared one steak) and let it rest a couple minutes under foil after cooking. As with other grassfed meat grilling recipes, it’s important not to overcook the meat because it is so lean.

This is how the potatoes turned out after roasting.

The whole meal from preparation to serving took about an hour. One of our favorite things to do during the process? Drink local wine. Just like at home.

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4 responses to “Eating Local Over a Fire

  1. Oh, my mouth is watering. What a great tradition. what a great combination.

  2. Wow. I love that you go camping and cook the way you do! Makes me miss those days something awful 🙂

    • Our big joke to each other was, “I wonder who else is having t-bone steak with chimichurri sauce tonight?” We do have fun. And we like to eat well. It’s really pretty simple to cook good food and camp. The main trick is to keep the food in the car and away from the bears! Thanks for your comment, Leesie!

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