At this time of the year, nothing makes for a better light snack than bacon wrapped steak fingers! These ones were made using a lean rump roast to finger size, but they work equally well with hot dog sized sirloin strips or tenders. We typically either serve them as appetizers, or with potato salad and a dessert. With only 3 ingredients and a short prep time, they are sure to please. These have turned out to be really popular at our summer barbecues, especially when served with a variety of fondues.
When I make steak dogs, they are served in buns, and for an added treat often topped with chili and cheese, or garnished Sonoran Style. I typically make steak fingers 2 to 3 ounces with 1 strip of bacon, steak dogs 4 ounces with 2 strips of bacon. All things considered, these easy to prepare and versatile goodies are a fun way to dress up an inexpensive cut of lean beef, and for those who want to go upscale, try doing this with ribeye and thick cut Applewood or hickory smoked bacon!
Any Rub, Garlic/Chili Pepper
Cut steak or beef into strips roughly the size of standard hotdogs. For a more substantial meal, go for bratwurst size.
Once the meat is cut, fork tenderize it and sprinkle all four surfaces with the your rub or spice blend of choice. Wrap each piece in bacon and secure with 2 toothpicks. This works best if both toothpicks are lined up on one surface, but they will be removed once the bacon has cooked enough to stay wrapped.
Heat your grill to around 250 degrees. I like to use a grill pad or tray rather than grill directly on the grill rack, it keeps things neater. Once the grill has reached temperature, place the steak fingers on the grill toothpicks up.
Leave each steak finger on the grill long enough to sear the bacon well, then turn and do the same on all four sides.
Then, turn the grill down, close, and check frequently. This particular batch is well done as we like them that way. If you prefer medium rare, I suggest using precooked bacon and a lower heat, or searing the steak fingers naked, wrapping in pre cooked bacon, and completing the cooking to the level you like.
I have also found with longer or thicker ones that skewering them makes them very easy to turn, and also creates an excellent presentation.
Altogether, this batch took just about 5 minutes at 250, and another 6 or so below 200. For those who prefer more lightly cooked bacon or less well done meat, average cooking time for a 2 ounce steak finger will be right around 8 minutes. If you use precooked bacon, I highly recommend not preheating your grill above 200 and watching them carefully, or precooking the steak, cooling, wrapping in precooked bacon and grilling just long enough to form the bacon around the steak.
Serving Size: 2.5 ounces
This is using the rump roast, fattier cuts of meat will add calories.
As fingers, serve with bowls of different barbecue sauces and hot dips, onion flowers, potato salad or mixed garden salads. Another good side would be roasted vegetable skewers. As steak dogs, serve Sonoran Style, or top with chili, cheese and sour cream. I have also served these in buns with sautéed onions and peppers, barbecue sauce and sharp cheddar cheese.
To go upscale with a twist, heat up some ghee with the spices of your choice, and use top quality ribeye or Bison meat, or a good game meat. Fork tenderize and brush with the seasoned ghee, working the ghee into the meat. Use a thicker cut of bacon, a lower heat, and a cast iron rack tray or insert on your grill. Some spice options other than a rub that work well are Italian seasoning, grated parmesan and garlic, or a good quality lemon or citrus pepper and smoked salt. Adding a touch of honey to the ghee with chipotle seasoning brings out the flavor in the bacon.
For tough cuts of meat or to add flavor, marinades work very well for these. Fork tenderize and marinate for up to 8 hours before wrapping and cooking. Some marinades I have used successfully in the past include orange ginger, Italian salad dressing, chipotle seasoning and lime or lemon juice and grapefruit juice with salt and citrus pepper.
So there you have it, an extremely simple and nutritious low calorie appetizer that is versatile enough to make a filling meal on a hot summer night. So go fire up that grill and chill!by Tracy Hollander