This needs to be said: I have a love/hate relationship with marinades. Love them when they impart that subtle or complex flavor or when they tenderize an otherwise tough piece of meat. But go overboard and it’s an instant turnoff for me. Even worse: cheap, commercial marinades that are loaded with sodium, sugar and other ingredients not found in nature.
Just last week I tried a terriyaki marinade for flank steak. The recipe recommended marinating the steak for 24 hours or longer. It ended up tasting like steak swimming in terriyaki sauce (yuck). Call me crazy, but I want my steak to taste like, well….steak!
Years ago (and I’m talking WAY back in time), I came across a sirloin steak marinade in the Chicago Tribune food section. It quickly became a family favorite, as you can see from looking at the recipe card. Yes, we’re talking “old school” right here.
Funny too that it’s in my nature to tweak a recipe here and there, but this one was just so spot on from the beginning, I have left it as is. Perfect in its simplicity. Another bonus: anyone with a well stocked pantry should be able to make this up in a matter of minutes, without having to go to the store.
It also lends itself perfectly to sirloin steak, which is a decent cut of meat but very lean, so sometimes a bit lacking in flavor. If you want to take your steak to the next level, throw some wine barrel oak chips onto the coals. Then grill some portobello mushrooms and red peppers along side and break out a vibrant Napa Valley Cabernet.
Dive right in everyone. This marinade is about as perfect as you can get!
Juicy Sirloin Steak Marinade *
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/4 cup each red wine vinegar, soy sauce
1 small onion, minced, about 1/4 cup
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TBS Dijon mustard
1/4 generous tsp each oregano, basil, thyme (dried)
1 large or two medium sirloin steaks, about 1-inch thick
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Place steaks in a shallow, non-reactive dish and pour marinade over. Turn steak several times to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours, turning steak once or twice. (Alternatively, place steaks and marinade in plastic zipper bags and refrigerate).
About one hour prior to cooking, remove the steak from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature. Then remove steak from marinade and discard marinade. Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to high/indirect heat. Sear steak on both sides for about four minutes per side, then move steak to cooler part of the grill and continue cooking until desired doneness, about 4 additional minutes for medium rare.
* Recipe from the Chicago Tribune, date unknown