Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cooking the Cow: Easy steak for a crowd

Grab a round steak and try this marinade from Dinner a Love Story.

Here are my steaks, which will defrost in the marinade over the next few days. A delicious meal, half made, in the fridge, feels like such a luxury. Even if I've done the prep myself. 

I used garlic chives because they grow like weeds in our yard. And garlic + garlic? Why not?

Because our steaks are grassfed, they can be tough. A long marinade and short cooking time can help with that. Grill until rare (we've found this is 3-4 minutes a side), rest five minutes, and then slice as thinly as you can. A serrated knife works well.

A tangle of steak slices on a big platter, just red at the hearts, will wake up the most jaded barbecue guests, as we found when three of our steaks were devoured in about as many minutes.

We serve this with grilled veggie salads and pan of crispy Greek potatoes.

Leftovers are fantastic in sandwiches or cut up into slivers for fritattas, chilequiles, omelets...

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cooking the Cow: Flank Steak (or Round Steak)

We took a pre-marinated flank steak camping at Patrick's Point. Spicy meat, campfire, and cold ocean air made it sublime. But fajitas are pretty good at home.

Recipes for fajitas often call for liquid smoke in the marinade—but we grill over charcoal. Plenty of smoke flavor in the meat, in our clothes, in our hair...

I like to marinate meat by mixing the ingredients in a big plastic Ziploc and adding frozen cuts. I do this a couple days ahead, and the meat marinates as it defrosts in the fridge or (if camping) in an ice chest. Not necessarily subtle, but easy and delicious.

And I love to spend 15 minutes on the weekend to have a weeknight dinner in the bag. Literally.


1/4 cup lime juice (add some zest for more flavor)
2 T. olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 t. soy sauce
1 t. salt
1 t. taco seasoning from Trader Joe's (or chipotle pepper powder or chipotle in adobo)
1/2 t. ground black pepper

1 flank steak (or top round steak, skirt steak, or other large slicing steak)
2 red bell peppers, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
olive oil

In advance:
  • Mix marinade ingredients (first 7) in a bag. Add frozen steak and defrost in the fridge.
  • Slice onions and bell peppers into another bag. Add salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste. Store in the fridge until ready to cook.
To cook:
  • Pull the steak out of the marinade and grill over high heat. (You should be able to hold your hand over the coals for less than 3 seconds.) The timing depends on the thickness of your steak, but a flank steak goes about 4 minutes a side for medium. (Unless you try to cook over a campfire grill that is a foot away from your heat source, as pictured.)
  • Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes. This is a good time to grill your onions and peppers.
  • Slice steak thinly, against the grain. 
  • Serve with the grilled vegetables, salsa, sour cream, avocado, tortillas or lettuce for wrapping...