Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Best Steak Ever

A friend, P., invited J. and I out to Surrey for a BBQ a few weeks ago. Now, Surrey is a long way from the west end of Vancouver. I don't like driving. J. hasn't been able to drive my car for insurance reasons, and I've been getting sick of it. But, for this trip south and out of the city, the views and getting some fresh farm air makes every minute worth it. Thankfully, P. drove us out in his minivan, and A. was in charge of bringing the meat. We're all on a student's budget, so spending $70 on a good cut of steak is a luxury, and A. made the most of it. 4 minutes on each side on a hot grill, and we were feasting on tender, juicy steak snuggled up to crispy rosemary potatoes and just-wilted mushrooms spiced with caramelized onions. We mumbled our appreciation of a fine meal around cheeks full of steak and potatoes.

We all wanted to know the recipe. A. graciously obliged.

After a game of bocci ball and a big slice of warm apple pie made by a grandmother's loving and experienced hands, I was stuffed so full that it reminded me why gluttony is a deadly sin. It took the hour-plus long drive home for me to even consider looking at food. And my thoughts turned immediately to that steak.

Over the next few weeks I made that marinade for pork loins and for beef steaks, and let me tell you: it is by far the best marinade I've tasted. I am no connoisseur of beef, and I get overwhelmed just by looking at the meat section of the grocery store. But, this marinade worked for A.'s premium-cut tenderloins, and it worked for my value-pack steaks. It seems to work better for beef, and definitely improves when marinaded for over 12 hours.

The Best Steak Ever
according to our friend A.

1 cup worcestershire sauce
1 cup red wine (or balsamic vinegar)
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup stoneground mustard
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly
a few garlic cloves, peeled and smashed lightly
10-12 steaks
salt and pepper to taste

The night before you plan to cook these steaks, whisk together in a medium bowl (preferably glass or ceramic) the worcestershire sauce, red wine, soy sauce, olive oil, and mustard. Add in the steaks, sliced onion and crushed garlic cloves, and make sure each steak is coated in marinade and the onions and garlic are distributed throughout. Cover and refrigerate overnight, up to 24 (or more!) hours.

Just before you're ready to eat, slice up a big pile of mushrooms (any will do, but we prefer white button mushrooms) and have them ready in a large sauté pan.

When you're ready to eat, fire up the grill to medium-high heat. Grill steaks for 4 minutes on each side. Let them rest for a few minutes.

While the steaks are on the grill, take the marinade with the onions and garlic and pour it over the mushrooms in your sauté pan. Cook until the onions are caramelized, the sauce has reduced, and the mushrooms have absorbed most of the sauce. Serve the steaks with a hearty spoonful of the mushroom-onion mix, and snuggle it all up to some rosemary roasted potatoes.

***This marinade recipe can be easily made in smaller batches. The important thing is the equal-parts ratio between the wet ingredients.