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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Marinate Me

A perfectly grilled flank steak 
Let's face it, flank steak is tasty but it's not the most gourmet of steaks.  Flank steak is good, but it needs a little something something to make it sing.  This is why there's such a thing as marinade.

My mother was a big fan of dumping an entire bottle of Italian salad dressing on a flank steak and calling it a marinade.  I guess her thought was that she needed to tenderize the thing and Italian dressing tasted good, so why not.  Hey, it worked.  The taste wasn't subtle, but it did the job.

Back before I knew how to cook anything, I too thought a marinade came out of a salad dressing bottle.  In fact, it never occurred to me that I could actually make my own marinade.  Who makes marinade?  Why make marinade when you can buy it?

Well, let me tell you who and why.  I make marinade and you should too.  There are really very few things that aren't made better than by making them yourself.  I hate to sound preachy, but it is kind of a good thing to know what's in the food you eat.  It's also cheaper to make than buying it.

Need I say more?  Better for you and cheaper.  It's a win/win.

This is a pretty basic marinade that I've been using for years.  I have no idea where I originally got the recipe.  I've been playing around with it for as long as I've been making it, so I'm going to take credit for it being my own.

Recipe:  My Own Marinade


1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup Dr. Pepper
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 lime, juiced
1 (2-pound) flank steak, trimmed and scored

In a small bowl mix together the oil, cola, molasses, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic, black pepper and lime juice. Put the steak into a large shallow bowl and pour in the marinade. Move the steak around to assure the marinade is covering the meat. Allow to marinate 2 hours or up to 4 hours in the refrigerator.

Cook on the grill as you normally would.

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