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Jan 24, 2012 11:14 AM

Sauces/marinades for steaks

Hi, I am eating a lot of steak now and I am looking for ways to season/marinade it with marinades/sauces.

I like Rib Eye and Sirloin, but am open to different cuts of meat.

So far, I've just been adding steak seasoning to both sides and cooking in a cast iron skillet for 6 minutes. It's good, but I want some variety.

Can you recommend some great recipes to marinade/season steaks? Preferably, some that don't require overnight marinading, but it's okay that most do.

Wine sauces are okay too... I have the french cooking bible by Julia Child, but I'm not sure where to look for recipes that you add to steaks... (I know some people think it's blasphemy to add anything but salt to a steak).

Thank you so much!

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  1. I don't usually marinade/season good steaks (rib eyes, new york, etc) with anything but salt&pepper... but some thing like a london broil (top flank) I would use an asian marinade:
    soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, green onions, garlic and a little bit of oyster sauce... let marinade depending on thickness for 6 hours to overnight and pan fry (or grill) to medium rare

    1. This is my carne asada marinnade for about 2lbs of flank steak. (oops, forgot to paste :))

      1/3 cup White Vinegar
      1/2 cup Soy Sauce
      4 cloves Garlic, minced
      2 Limes, juiced
      1/2 cup Olive Oil
      1 tsp Salt
      1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
      1 tsp Ground White Pepper
      1 tsp Garlic Powder
      1 tsp Chili Powder
      1 tsp Dried Oregano
      1 tsp Ground Cumin
      1 tsp Paprika

      With flank I like to score the meat in a cross hatch pattern about 1/8th inch deep on both sides, S&P them then put in the marinade in a ziplock. Will obviously work with sirloin and can still score it. then just grill in your cast iron or on the bbq. Can serve in tortillas with taco toppings or guac or aji sauce etc.

      Also love a good steak au poive (pepper steak). course grind/crush a few tbsp of peppercorns and coat both sides of your steak. Sear off in your pan then set aside to rest and make your sauce with butter, brandy, cream and some worster. reduce it and either put steaks back in pan quickly to soak in sauce, or drizzle over. Goes great with roast taters and asparagus. With with filet, rib eye, strip loin etc.

      1. Are you also interested in composed steak butters?

        2 Replies
          1. re: cmm3


            In a medium bowl cream together the following ingredients:

            1 stick butter

            2 T. fresh thyme leaves

            1 t. lemon zest

            1/2. lemon juice

            1/2 t. black pepper

            pinch of salt

            On a sheet of plastic wrap, mold the butter mixture into a snake, roughly 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

            Fold one side of the wrap over the snake and roll up like a cigarette. Twist ends up like a funny cigarette.

            Refrigerate or freeze.

            When ready to use, simply bring to near room temperature and put a 1/2 inch disc of the butter on a plated steak.

            Trust me; you're gonna love it.

        1. I agree with the above regarding not marinating ribeyes or NY steaks, but for something like a skirt steak - the relative flatness and surface to mass ratio, and the make-up of this meat screams for marinades. For me, one of the key parts of a marinade is ACID. I really like incorporating lime or lemon juice and sometimes red wine vinegar. Mix this with some herbs of choice (oregano or parsley or sage or other favorites), some garlic, some onion, and rub in.

          With something with a nice surface-to-mass ratio like skirt steak, you don't need to marinade overnight... even 1 hour will have a significant effect.

          1. To me, it's not that rib eyes and strip steaks taste bad with marinades, so much as they don't have a good mass to surface area ratio for a marinade. If, for whatever reason, you cut a rib eye thin, then it would take a marinade just fine. Foodie blasphemy, but it's true.

            Sauces are a different matter. Use them entirely at your discretion. A little bit of chimichurri can be nice. Nothing wrong with bearnaise or a compound butter served on steak.

            Here's a classic cognac cream pan sauce that tastes good, is easy to make, and can impress:
            You can make it as the steaks rest or as they cook, depending on thickness. Combine in a pan (perhaps the pan you cooked em in) a knob of butter, a minced shallot, and a little parsley. Once soft, remove pan from heat and add a shot of cognac. Burn off the alcohol, then add 1 cup beef stock, 2 T tomato paste, 1 T dijon or brown mustard, a bit of good paprika and rosemary. Reduce by half, then add 1/2 cup of heavy cream and turn off the heat. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste.

            And here is what I call 'Jersey steaks.' It's a modification of the way my dad cooked steaks (he was from Jersey). Thoroughly un-chowish, no snob appeal. But even the most hardened foodies I've served it to have admitted that it's delicious:

            'Jersey Steaks'
            - Preheat oven. Anywhere between 200 and 400 is fine. Lower temp means more even cooking, but it takes longer.
            - Dry steaks surface (at least 3/4 inch thick, preferably 1.5 inches) and salt them.
            - Coat the bottom of a stainless, aluminum, or cast iron pan with high smoke point oil (I use rice bran oil or refined safflower oil) and heat it until it starts to smoke. Once smoking a bit, add the steaks.
            - Cook about 1-2 minutes - this should create a very impressive crust. Then flip. Sear for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then put the pan in the oven and cook to desired doneness.
            - Remove steak from pan and rest it. Pour off all but 1 T of the oil, making sure not to pour off any of the accumulated meat juices with it.
            - Put pan on low heat. Add 2 T A1 steak sauce and a about 2 teaspoons of L&P Worcestershire sauce. Add a mashed clove of garlic.
            - Cook for a minute or so, and then take off the heat and whisk in 1 T of butter. Also whisk in any juices that accumulated as the steaks rest. Drizzle the steaks with sauce.

            I know. A1 sauce? Yep. In the pan, it caramelizes just a tiny bit, and mixes with the meat juices to become far tastier than it is just poured from the bottle. Even if you're not a fan of A1 (and more than a few of the people I've served it to have claimed not to be), you might be surprised.