This is a simple but magical beef steak marinade that truly tenderises and infuses the steak with flavour, transforming good value steaks into “wow!”. It injects enough flavour that the steak can be eaten plain without sauce or even butter but does not overpower the flavour of the beef, which would be a travesty!
Use this beef steak marinade when you aren’t splurging on prime-grade steaks. It works great on any cut of beef suitable for grilling!
I got a hankering for a big, juicy steak.
As it happened, last Friday was abnormally warm considering it’s the middle of winter – 25C/ 80F. Perfect grilling weather. So I tottered into my local village (breaking in new heels), planning to go all out and get a thick top-of-the-line 45 days dry aged Rib Eye. Tied Dozer up outside the butcher and went inside.
As I eyed off the steaks, I heard a pathetic wail from outside. Yes, Dozer. Wailing because I’m inside with all the juicy meat and he’s tethered to a pole.
One little howl and he draws a crowd like moths to a flame. Patting and consoling, cooing to him.
But it worked. Because I paused. And realised that it would be inevitable that I would cave and give him some steak because he’s been somewhat depressed lately, being sidelined due to injuries.
And there was no way I was sharing a prime grade rib eye with him.
So I got a normal T-Bone. And decided to doll it up with a marinade. 😉
The Serious Stuff About Steaks & Marinades
Now that I’ve had my moment of Dozer fawning, I can get down to business!
Fact: Steaks are like wine – the more you spend, the better they are. Juicier, more flavour, more tender, no random bits of sinew throughout.
Fact: Steak Marinades can make steaks more tender and inject flavour into them. So you can seriously transform an every day beef steak into something that tastes as good as a premium cut (in my humble opinion).
Fact: It’s easy to make marinades that infuse flavour into meat. But it’s harder to make marinades that enhance without adding too much flavour into the steak. You want the steak to taste mainly of (gasp, shock horror!) BEEF. Not overwhelmed by marinade flavour.
Fact: Many beef steak marinades will flavour but won’t actually tenderise meat. In order to tenderise beef steak, you need either a tenderising ingredient (typically something acidic) and/or salty liquid to act as a brine to retain moisture. I use both. Soy sauce as the brine element and balsamic vinegar as the tenderiser. So there’s a double effect – tenderising PLUS keeping the beef plump and juicy. 🙂
I promise you, this Beef Steak Marinade makes the beef so juicy and adds enough flavour that you do not need a sauce or mustard on the side.
But because steaks are a bit of a treat in my world, I couldn’t resist going all out and making a little herb butter to accompany the steak.
Oh – and baked potatoes. And grilled corn. (And a few sad stalks of asparagus I dug out from the bottom of the fridge).
Who’s in the mood for a STEAK DINNER now? 🙂 – Nagi x
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- 2 large steaks (I used 2 x 400g/14oz t bone steaks) (Note 1)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic (1 large garlic clove)
- 1/2 tsp onion powder (or sub with garlic powder)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (Note 2)
- 1 tbsp oil (I use olive oil, but any oil is fine)
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Black pepper
Mix together mustard, garlic and onion powder. Then mix in remaining ingredients.
Place beef in a ziplock bag with Marinade and marinade overnight (12 - 24 hours).
Remove from the fridge 1 hour before cooking to bring to room temperature. Shake off excess marinade.
Heat skillet (or BBQ) on high heat until is really hot - you should see wisps of smoke. Add oil - it will heat almost instantly. Add steaks and cook the first side for 2 minutes, then turn and cook the other side for 1 1/2 minutes (for very medium rare). (Note 3)
Remove from skillet onto a WARM plate, cover loosely with foil and set aside for 5 minutes.
Serve with baked potatoes and corn! I couldn't resist herb butter - see recipe in notes.
1. Choosing steak: Use this for any good value grilling cut of steak, not prime cuts. Typically, most steak cuts purchased in supermarkets are what I would consider good value steaks. Basically, the more you pay, the better the steak!
And remember, it's not just the steak cut that determine quality. There are different grades for the same cut of steak. Rib Eye at my butcher costs almost twice as much as it does at the supermarket. I would never marinade the one from the butcher!
Make sure you use a GRILLING steak. Any cut of steak suitable for grilling is great for this.
2. Soy sauce - use an all purpose, normal soy sauce. I use Kikkoman. Do not use light soy sauce (too salty), tamari or dark soy sauce (too much flavour)
3. The cook time for steaks differs drastically depending on size, thickness, and denseness of the beef. I used 400g/14oz t-bone steaks that were about 2.5cm / 1" thick. For medium rare (edging on rare which is how I like it), it was 2 minutes on each side in a stinking hot skillet.
It's better to under than over cook steaks. You can pop the steak back in the skillet if it's a bit rare for your taste, but you can't undo and overcooked steak!
4. Herb butter: 100g / 1 stick unsalted softened butter, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (I use any combo of parsley, thyme, oregano, dill chives. Use rosemary sparingly, basil can go brown so I don't use it, sage and tarragon are a bit distinct for my taste). Mix together, place on baking paper to form a log. Roll up then twist ends tightly repeatedly until it forms a neat log. Refrigerate until firm, cut to serve.
5. Nutrition per serving for a 400g/14oz T-bone steak (~300g/10oz exc bone), excluding herb butter.
LIFE OF DOZER – We shared one steak. The homeless man at the dog park got the other. He really enjoyed it too!?