In those instances when just plain salt and pepper will not do, you need the Best Beef Marinade, and this post will share with you how to make it! It is not extravagant or complicated, but the flavour it imparts is absolutely extraordinary!
I don’t prepare beef very often, but when I do, I like it to be really flavourful. In our home, McKenna is the only one who craves red meat. I’d choose pork over any other protein, and as you know, John.e is a vegetarian! On the rare occasion that I prepare a beef recipe for myself, I simply have to marinate it first.
Sometimes, I’ll prepare a steak for McKenna while John.e and I eat something else. In that case, I don’t marinate it. She’s very picky about steak, and prefers it grilled or fried with just salt and pepper for seasoning. However, if I’m preparing larger or cheaper cuts of beef, I will certainly marinate it first.
LET’S TALK ABOUT MARINATING
When it comes to marinating beef, some of us think that it’s okay to marinate it all day or even overnight. That might work for some marinades, but not all. Let me explain.
If you’re using a marinade that has acidity in it, then I would not marinate longer than two hours. The acid will react with the enzymes in the beef and actually toughen it. Since this particular marinade has next to no acidity, it’s safer to marinate the beef for a longer period of time.
My favourite marinades for chicken always uses buttermilk. Buttermilk helps to make for a more tender chicken dish. The acidity of the buttermilk will break down protein structures in the chicken, and helps it to retain moisture a whole lot better. But, my favourite marinade for beef is always olive oil based. The olive oil has the unique ability to pull the flavours from the other marinade ingredients and infuse them right into the beef.
Therefore, a marinade consisting of more mellow ingredients, like a mixture of olive oil, garlic, onion, and herbs, etc., would allow for a longer marinating time. For this particular marinade, I would highly recommend you allow the beef to marinate for at least two hours. But, to get the best results, try marinating your beef for 12 hours or overnight.
HERE’S WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- Olive Oil – Once again, the olive oil will pull the flavour out of the other ingredients and infuse them into the beef. In addition, you won’t need to grease or oil your cooking vessel when you’re ready to grill, fry, or sear! Use a light olive oil, rather than a full-bodied olive oil.
- Soy Sauce – As a rule, we use low-sodium soy sauce. You can use regular soy sauce too, but if you do, cut back the salt to just a 1/4 teaspoon.
- Worcestershire Sauce – This stuff is like a miracle worker when it comes to imparting flavour. Use it often to get really good results in most of your savoury dishes.
- Garlic – Freshly minced garlic is best. You will get more flavour.
- Italian Seasoning – There are many differing Italian seasoning blends out there. Use the one you’re most comfortable with. I have a great homemade Italian Seasoning Blend if you want to make up your own.
- Ground Black Pepper – Lots of it! Beef dishes love to be generously seasoned with this warming spice.
- Salt – Remember to cut back on the amount of salt by half if you’re using regular versus low-sodium soy sauce.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BEEF MARINADE
This is super easy. Measure all of the ingredients into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake it up well and it’s ready to go. You can pour it directly over your beef and massage it in for best results. Alternatively, you can make this marinade ahead of time and keep it in your fridge for up to 5-7 days.
If you have any marinade left after that amount of time, I would recommend you discard it. By now, the saltiness of the soy sauce and the salt have all but eaten up all of the flavour of the garlic and the seasonings. Don’t worry – this is a small batch recipe, so if you’re making it to marinade beef, you won’t have much (if any!) left.
3 OF MY FAVOURITE CUTS OF BEEF TO MARINATE AND HOW TO DO IT RIGHT
Flank Steak – This cut works well when marinated for at least 4 hours, but no longer than 24 hours. Be sure to grill it to medium-rare and to slice it thinly across the grain for best results.
Skirt Steak – This is a long cut of steak with is cut from the underbelly. Skirt steak has less fat than flank steak, but is more marbled. Prepare it just like flank steak. Skirt steak is more flavourful.
Sirloin Tip Steak – This is one of those cuts that can be expensive or cheap, depending on the day. I tend to buy this whenever I find it on sale. It is moderately tender with good beefy flavour and can certainly use a marinade to maximize the tenderness. Marinate for at least 4 hours, but no more than 12.
Best Beef Marinade
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Measure all ingredients into a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Shake well and pour over beef to marinate.
- Marinate beef for at least two hours.
- Unused marinade can be safely stored in your refrigerator for 5-7 days.