Popular in Portugal’s Madeira Island where its namesake wine is produced, these kebabs were traditionally skewered on branches of bay laurel, grilled over a wood fire, and accompanied by a round of local bread called bolo do caco. While you might not readily find bay laurel branches, you can serve this delicious grilled beef on the crusty bread of your choosing—slices can be rubbed with garlic, grilled for under a minute on each slide, and then brushed with extra virgin olive oil before serving.
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, best quality available
- 3 tablespoons Madeira
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Coarse kosher or sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
- 2 dried bay leaves, crumbled
- 2 pounds beef tenderloin or top sirloin
- Rustic bread, grilled with olive oil, if desired, for serving
In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the vinegar, Madeira, garlic, and a teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Whisk until the salt crystals dissolve, and then whisk in the 1/3 cup of olive oil. Stir in the dried bay leaves.
Trim off any excess fat or silver skin from the meat and cut it into 2-inch cubes. Add the cubes to the marinade and stir gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally.
When ready to cook, preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Brush and oil the grill grate. Drain the meat cubes and discard the marinade. For a good sear, pat the cubes dry with paper towels and then thread them onto 4 to 6 metal skewers. Season with more salt and pepper. Grill the meat 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until done to your liking. Transfer the skewers to a platter or plates. Drizzle with olive oil and let the meat rest for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with the grilled bread, if desired.
Yields 4 to 6 servings.