This meal was enjoyed on the first night of our first women’s only Boundary Waters trip! After nearly five hours of paddling, portaging canoes and setting up camp we had worked up a voracious apatite. Luckily, we had an energizing meal plan up our sleeves: Montreal antelope steaks, sweet potatoes sauteed with baby kale and thyme. We should mention that BWCA Signature Apple martini’s are the perfect companion to sip while cooking this meal! In fact, each and every year we celebrate reaching our destination every year with a toast and many sips of apple martini.
Montreal Antelope Steaks (camp friendly)
4-6 oz of wild game steak per person
Montreal Steak Seasoning (made by McCormick)
The day before leaving: season thawed steaks liberally with Montreal Seasoning. Put in ziplock freezer bags and freeze flat. If your making these at home, no need to refreeze! After seasoning allow steaks to rest for at least 30 minutes covered in fridge or overnight. Grill over campfire (Annie builds all of our fires). The campfire should be at coal stage-not a raging fire. You can sip on an apple martini while waiting for the fire to burn down. If grilling at home, a charcoal or gas grill will do! We like ours rare; good probiotics. If you are going for rare: it should feel like touching the flesh of your cheek between your jaw bone and cheek bone (the softest spot), If you are going for medium: it should feel like gently pressing on your cheekbone. If you are going for well done: it should feel like your forehead. Tip: if you tent the meat with tinfoil for five to ten minutes after taking off of the fire the meat will retain the juices.
Sweet Potatoes Sauteed with Baby Kale and Thyme
2 large sweet potatoes feed the four of us
1 small onion
1 large or 2 small bunches of kale (Dino kale is the best!)
2-4 cloves of fresh garlic (about 1 Tbsp minced; and it helps keep the mosquitoes away)
2 Tbsp fresh minced thyme
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Coarse ground sea salt and black pepper to taste
The sweet potatoes travel well in the bottom of a food pack because the don’t get smashed, greens and herbs should travel at the top of the food pack. Slice sweet potatoes 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Slice Onions same thickness. combine all ingredients on approximately three feet of tin foil and arrange in an even layer leaving enough tin foil to completely cover, fold over and seal (to form a packet). These need to be cooked on indirect heat or they will burn. If cooking at home, do this in a 400 degree oven for one hour or on gas grill for approximately 45 minutes (depending on the thickness of your layer). When camping, start cooking sweet potatoes 45-60 minutes before you start the steaks. When they are fork tender, remove them from heat, they will stay hot in the packet and the flavors will continue to develop intense sweetness that will melt in your mouth. Salt and pepper to taste.
Sand Lake Apple Martini’s
1 part organic apple juice
1 part white rum
1.5 part “Apple Pucker”
50 foot rope & fish net (optional)
If you are taking these camping, mix all of the ingredients and store in a plastic jug. We like to use a half gallon plastic rum bottle (you can’t take glass into many designated wilderness areas). These are best when ice cold, so if your having them at home shake with ice. When we are camping we find a high rock cliff and plunge the bottle wrapped in the fish net and the rope into the depths of the icy clean water for a few hours…..if you can wait. Most of the time, we can’t wait for them to chill so we drink them warm. It’s all part of the wilderness experience!
An added note- the name “Sand Lake Apple Martini’s” came to be because the first time I (Tiffany) had them was at my parents place on Sand Lake. My uncle Steve made them along with his famous grilled (minimum of 4 hours) hot wings and we enjoyed the wings and martini’s down by the lake. Ever since, my mom and I rush to the lake with apple martini’s on any warm summer night.