I know that I usually write about geekery and tech here, but I do occasionally walk away from my electronics and live in the physical world. This is categorized, appropriately, as a “good thing”. Certainly my girlfriend, friends and family appreciate it. So I thought I’d share with you something from my adventures in meatspace.
I love to cook. I don’t set aside time for it often enough, but I love preparing an elaborate meal that will be enjoyed by others. I collect recipes and cookbooks, although I only rarely refer back to them. Most of my cooking is more like improvisational theater based off of a half-remembered premise rather than a scripted scene, and I rarely record what I come up with, preferring to rely on memory and creativity when I revisit a particular dish. That being said, I did whip up a steak marinade last night that was delicious enough to share with others. It’s not the most elaborate or original recipe in the world, but quite good.
Please note, measurements are not exact, as I’m just estimating on some of them. When I’m cooking I tend to go with “what feels right” rather than a numerical value. I made this marinade for two thick-cut steaks, a ribeye and a New York strip. You may need to adjust the amount of marinade depending on how many steaks you are preparing. You will certainly need to double this if you intend on doing more than two steaks at a time.
Also note that you will want to have at least two bottles (I prefer the widget bottles) of Guinness on hand for this recipe: one to include in the marinade and one to drink while you grill the steaks.
- 4-5 cloves of garlic (minced very fine, or through a garlic press)
- 5-6 Tbsp of brown sugar
- 7 Tbsp of soy sauce (or more to your taste)
- 1 12 oz. bottle of Guinness
Mix the marinade ingredients together in a glass dish or bowl that will be large enough to hold the steaks, but small enough that the marinade will actually cover them. If the marinade doesn’t cover them completely, you can occasionally flip the steaks to ensure that the meat gets fully soaked.
If you wish, you can grind some sea salt onto each side of the steaks and rub it into the meat before placing them in the marinade, but that is a personal choice. I personally like to do it, although I doubt it has a huge impact on flavor after you factor in the marinade itself. Be careful not to overdo it though, just use a little salt. After all, the soy in the marinade already provides plenty of salty goodness.
If you are not going to have time to marinate the steaks for at least 3-6 hours, you can pierce the steaks repeatedly with a fork before placing them in the marinade to help it soak into the center of the meat. This is a bit of a cheat, but if you only have about two hours of marinating time available, it will help. The steaks will increase in tenderness the longer you marinate them, so if you can, try to let them soak for at least four hours. Also, unless you have some highly advanced immune system or just decide to tempt fate, always marinate your meat in the refrigerator.
When you are done marinating the steaks, grill them to your personal definition of perfection. Personally, I prefer to have steak that is prepared medium to medium-rare, but feel free to char them to smithereens if you prefer.
Serve the steaks with your favorite sides. Personally, I don’t think you can go wrong with some potatoes and broccoli, but use whatever you prefer. If you still have some left, drink Guinness with the steaks, or lieu of that, a nice red wine.
As I said, it’s not an especially elaborate or unusual recipe, but it is quite delicious. I know that I will be playing with variations of this marinade for some time to come.