I wanted to pick up some boneless beef short ribs the other day and happened to notice an extremely cheap Angus Round Tip Steak next to them. I couldn't pass up such a deal, but at the same time, I had no idea what I wanted to do with it.
While I was driving home, I recalled that I had scored a four-pack of spice blends a while back through Penzey's and hadn't tried them out yet. One of the blends was their Arizona Dreaming, an amalgam of ancho chili pepper, black pepper, onion, garlic, paprika, cumin, citric acid, Mexican oregano, cilantro, lemon peel, chipotle pepper, red pepper, jalapeño, cocoa, natural smoke flavoring, etc. I decided to marinate the steak in the seasoning mixture, along with a little olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Because tip steaks are known for flavor but not for tenderness, I decided to try something else I keep reading about – sprinkling the meat with baking soda as a tenderizer. The trick is not using too much or letting it marinate for too long. I once had chicken that had been marinated this way, and if you had your eyes closed, you would never have guessed it was chicken. It was a very strange texture!
2 Angus Round Tip Steaks
1/2 t Baking Soda
Salt and Pepper
1 T Arizona Dreaming
1/4 c Olive Oil
3 T Red Wine Vinegar
1 T butter
Lightly sprinkle the steaks all over with the baking soda, a little salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and 1T of the Arizona Dreaming blend, massaging it into the beef.
Transfer the steaks to a zip-top bag or glass bowl and add the oil and vinegar. Don't be alarmed by the fizz that will be created by the vinegar reacting with the baking soda (not that you want to think about this while making dinner, but that also works for clogged drains in larger amounts).
Give the steaks another quick massage and let them marinate for 45" to 1'. If you are going to do a shorter marinating time, just leave them out because you don't want to add them to the pan cold anyhow. If marinating longer, allow time for them to come to room temp at the end.
Heat your grill (or grill pan) to med-high. If using a grill pan, pat the steaks dry to prevent them from steaming in the oil/vinegar. Grill for about 3" on one side, flip, top with a thin pat of butter and grill for an additional 3" for medium. Remove from heat and sprinkle with additional Arizona Dreaming. That's all there is to it!
Again, this was my first time using the baking soda, so I don't know for sure how far you can push the time, but this window seemed to have served its purpose without creating a noticeable textural change in the beef. It was more tender than I would otherwise have expected, but didn't have that strange spongy feel to it like my chicken encounter.
As for the Arizona Dreaming, I really enjoyed the blend and can't wait to try it in pork and pasta dishes as well.
|I even sprinkled my Peppadews and Bocconcini.|