Surf and Turf


My surf and turf was inspired by a recipe in one of my latest cookbooks entitled Barbecue, by Stéphane Reynaud.. (Info in this post.)

It’s skewered beef and shrimp in a very interesting marinade. At least, it is very unique to me. The photo in his cookbook came out much better than what my skewers look like, but then, he probably had a food stylist! But it’s this photo that intrigued me about the recipe in the first place. In fact, it’s the first recipe I’m using from his book.


I made three times as much marinade as his recipe called for, because I felt it was necessary. And I also had to make a substitution because I don’t know what “meat extract” is. His “note” claims that Bovril is a good meal extract. What? It sounds interesting, but I’ve never come across it before. So I used demi-glace.

So I’ll never really know what his actual kabobs tasted like, but I can assure you that these, using “my” recipe, came out fabulous. Read ahead and check out this marinade. It’s very interesting!

Surf and Turf

1 pound beef tenderloin or flank or skirt steak*
1 pound shrimp
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons ketchup, yep, that’s right**
1 teaspoon beef demi glace
3 cloves garlic, peeled
Coarsely ground pepper

Slice your beef of choice into approximately 1″ pieces only about 1/4″ thin. Then slice the shrimp in half lengthwise. Place both proteins in a medium bowl.
To make the marinade, combine the olive oil, ketchup, demi glace and garlic in a small blender.
Blend until fairly smooth, then pour over the meat and shrimp. It becomes very orange after blending.
Toss together gently until evenly distributed, then cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, make your skewers by alternating the slices of beef and chicken. Then let them come to room temperature or close to it.

I love the fresh garlic in this marinade.


Start your grill of choice. I’m using the electric one because the cooking time is so short. I cooked each kabob about 2 minutes on each of four “sides” at 400 degrees.
Then I turned off the heat, put the cover on, and let them cook for another 2 minutes. They really smelled good while they were grilling!

After a little rest, I served the surf and turf with some sautéed greens and steamed corn on the cob. Delicious.


* I used beef tenderloin because I had an odd-shaped end left over. But flank or skirt steak would both work well because there’s very little cooking involved. You want the meat to take as long (or as little) time to cook as the shrimp.

** Even though I’ve been making my own ketchup, I used commercial ketchup to more closely mimic the author’s recipe.

verdict: I will definitely use ketchup in more marinades!!! You can’t really tell it’s ketchup, but it probably adds some salt and sugar, as well as tomatoey goodness to the sauce.

29 thoughts on “Surf and Turf

  1. These look delicious!
    Bovril, seriously? Yuck!!! I wouldn’t have used eventhough I can probably find it! I am sure your version was way healthier and it sounds and looks fantastic in any case!

  2. These look good :) Bovril comes in jars and is a bit like Marmite but meat extract rather than yeast. It’s a thick paste. I don’t think it’s used here much now but as a child I was given a drink of Bovril – a teaspoon diluted with boiling water in a mug – in the winter or if I had a cold. It’s also used to flavour sauces and gravies, much like a stock cube. Things like ketchup and Worcestershire sauce have traditionally been added to sauces, stews and marinades in UK – though not so much now.

  3. Nice dish, Mimi. You were better off all the way around using demi-glace, especially if you made the demi-glace. Bullion cubes are a substitute for meat extract. Also, meat extract nowadays has a certain amount of yeast extract and other flavorings in it. Bovril has 43% beef stock, 24% yeast extract, 11.5% salt, 1.3 % dehydrated beef, and roughly 21% combined of coloring, spice extracts and “flavor enhancers,” (Disodium 5′-ribonucleotides), lactic acid, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid, and Vitamin B12. Don’t you want to rush right out and buy some? ;)

  4. Mmm I think this your surf and turf will be on the menu in the next couple of days, and I’ll follow your lead and use demi glacé! Thanks for the simple and delicious idea

  5. Your demi glace was by far a better sub. It’s normally a case of either loving or hating Bovril, and I’m in the latter group! As for ketchup (which I haven’t bought in years) I’ve quite often chucked in a glug of it to a tomato sauce that was otherwise lacking. Okay, pomegranate syrup is preferable in some. I just don’t let on :)

  6. If you’d like to make real meat extract, save the juices after cooking beef sous-vide, bring them to a boil, get rid of the scum that will form, and concentrate the clear juices that will be left. You will obtain a very pure beef flavor.
    I understand that real meat extract is sold in some countries like Belgium and is actually good (and expensive), but from Richard’s comment Bovril doesn’t fit the bill.
    I’ve never really understood the attraction of surf & turf. I’m curious about trying ketchup for a marinade though after your rave :-)

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