Lets Talk About Marinades, Baby… lets talk about you and me

One of the things that I discovered later in my life is that some of my favorite foods come from the “cheap cuts” of meat. Pulled pork is made from lean pieces near the shoulder. Sausage is originally made from shoulder scraps (with some fat thrown in). Osso bucco is from the shank.

There are a few ways to make these lesser cuts delicious. One is to cook for a LONG time is some yummy liquid like beer or wine (as you do with pulled pork and osso bucco. Short ribs are almost inedible unless they are braised for a long time.

Dinner last night was one of those “lesser cuts” of meat, London broil. Despite what you might think, the London broil is not actually particular cut of meat, but a name that’s applied to the method of cooking a cut that is very lean and not very tender (just so we’re all on the same page here- lean is bad… fat is where the flavor is). London broils are perfect for another method of turning throw away pieces in to a great meal, the marinade.

Now I have no idea how a marinade works. I’m not Alton Brown. I’m just a guy from Queens that knows a couple of simple facts. 1) Marinades make things good and 2) if your marinade contains beer or wine, it makes it awesome. Proof that alcohol makes everything better.

I put together this quick marinade in the morning before work. I threw it in a vacuum sealed bag (how we got a vacuum sealer is a story for another post), but any Ziploc would have done the trick, threw it in the fridge and started my day.

1 garlic cloves- smashed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup red wine (don’t use anything too good here. I always use some of Queensborough Cellars’ finest
1/4 cup olive oil

When I got home, I started up the grill (yes, it is November and it was like 45 degrees, but we use the grill year round), but could have also done this under the broiler in the oven. I threw the steak on for around 3 minutes on each side then took it off and let it rest for 5 minutes. By the way, making sure that your meat rests is HUGE. I would say that, along with taking it off at the right temperature, it is one of the most important things about cooking meats. I sliced it up pretty thin, and that was it. We had it with some sautéed broccoli and roasted sweet potato fries.

The marinade above is my standard marinade. Sometimes I try to get fancy, depending on the meat and the sides. I’ll add some more soy, and substitute toasted sesame oil for the olive oil if I want a more Asian taste. I’ll add honey to sweeten it up (awesome for grilling pork roasts). I’ll add some peppers and spices if I want it to have a kick. In my mind, marinades are really hard to screw up. They are perfect for your mad culinary experiments. I’ve marinated things using base liquids like beer, coffee, and even Dr.Pepper. Cheers.

Bonus: Today for lunch… leftover steak sandwich with melted mozzarella

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