The drive to the cabin almost requires medication to drive up and around the winding mountain roads. There are moments when you seriously clutch your friend's hand, who is gritting her teeth and closing her eyes just like you. Oh, but once there, it is another world.
We are three families who have known each other for over two decades. We have grown-up together in our young adult lives, to having children who are young adults themselves. We are a tight group. Simply stated we are family.
Each year, our families come together and put our hectic, crazy daily lives behind us for a few days. We take the opportunity to take in the nature and beauty that surrounds us. We laugh, eat, drink, stare at the scenery, hike on the trails and sleep with the windows open. There is something about sleeping in cool crisp mountain air.
My husband prepared the main entree for a late lunch on our last day in the cabin. He grilled beef steaks that were marinated in a Korean bulgogi marinade. Bulgogi in Korean means "fire meat". The marinade is a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds, scallions and a touch of sugar. If you enjoy Asian flavors this will be one of the best marinade recipes in your file.
The recipe calls for flank steak. We used a flap steak which is similar to flank, and is often referred to as a "skirt steak" or as the French like to call it a "Bistro Steak".
Now, don't think for a second that I could be a mountain girl-NOT! The idea of driving mountain roads, with regular frequency, causes me anxiety. I am also afraid of bears, and these mountains have plenty of bears. I don't need to casually meet up with a mama and her cubs at the mailbox. While walking on the mountain trails I sing Carpenter lyrics and do my best to stay in the middle of the pack, not my usual slow wildebeast lolli-gagging that I do. Still, for a few days each year living on mountain time gives me perspective, and an opportunity to chill.
Bulgogi Grilled Beef
Recipe Adapted from Asian Grills
2 pounds flank steak or other preferred beef cut
3 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
5 tablespoons soy sauce mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 to 4 scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon crushed roasted sesame seeds
1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl, stirring to blend them well. Add the meat and toss to coat the meat well with the marinade. Cover the dish or place in a plastic freezer bag and refrigerate about 1-1/2 hours. To prevent toughness, remove the meat from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling.
2. Grill by direct method for about 10 minutes, or until done, turning once. Remove from heat and serve immediately.