One interesting thing about exploring Native American cuisine is that it encourages me to use certain ingredients more. I am using way more juniper berries than I used to, now that I have a better idea of what to put with them. After tonight's success with the hazelnuts, I'll probably do that again too. \o/
4 juniper berries
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Turn the George Foreman grill ON.
In a mortar and pestle, crush 4 hazelnuts. Brush the hazelnut crumbs into a small bowl and set aside.
Crush together 4 juniper berries, 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt, and 1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage. Add the hazelnut crumbs back into the mortar and mix thoroughly.
Coat the steaklets with the hazelnut mixture, pressing gently to stick the crumbs to the meat.
When the light goes off, put the steaklets on the George Foreman grill and cook for about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
Hazelnuts come from the American hazelnut (Corylus americana) and related species elsewhere in the northern hemisphere. When crushed, they make an excellent coating for meat, turning sweet and crispy when cooked. You can forage for wild ones or buy them.
If you are cooking a very lean meat like venison, you can brush it with hazelnut oil before adding the hazelnut coating to add healthy fat and prevent the meat from drying out.
Juniper berries from Juniperus communis or related species are technically soft fleshy cones which are dried for use as a spice. They have a resinous, peppery flavor that goes well with meat. Pick your own or shop for them.
The sage family includes a variety of wild sages native to America, along with the better-known garden sage or Salvia officinalis from the Mediterranean. Wildcraft some sage or buy it. You can also grow your own, including native species like white sage.
Sea salt has many more minerals and other benefits compared to table salt. Many varieties are available.
I used a relatively thin beef steak that had been tenderized with a mallet, leaving behind many small slits. These lacy cuts of meat are ideal for seasoning blends because the slits hold onto the crumbs. Any other small, thin cut of beef should also work as will similar meats like bison or venison.
This recipe is sugar-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free by ingredients. If you are allergic to tree nuts, consider sunflower seeds or other seeds as a substitute for the hazelnuts.