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Old 08-01-2015, 11:18 AM   #21
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For some reason, when I tried the liquid Italian dressing as part of the steak marinade, my steak cooked up tasting very overly Italian tasting. I might try using dry powered Italian dressing mix instead as some recommend. There's too much vinegar in the liquid dressing.
I would say that's because of the Italian herbs in the dressing What were you expecting it to taste like?
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:10 AM   #22
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I would say that's because of the Italian herbs in the dressing What were you expecting it to taste like?
I was expecting it to tenderize the steak and not overpower it. I question why so many sites said to use Italian dressing to tenderize a steak. Obviously its the acidic vinegar? I tried it once. I never will again.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:37 AM   #23
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I love Italian dressing as a marinade, but I don't buy the pre-made bottled dressing. I've used Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix since I was a kid. I can make it with any kind of vinegar I want - I typically use red wine vinegar - and I use half canola oil and half evoo for the oil. And, I can make the ratio of oil to vinegar however I want. I tend to like it a bit more vinegary than the directions say, but ymmv.
I remember that stuff from when I was a kid. It was pretty good. My mum had the cruet with the markings for water, oil, and vinegar on the side, so you didn't have to measure. I'm pretty sure there were other flavours of dressing too.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:49 AM   #24
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"There is another reason why there is little point in trying to tenderize meat by marinating it. According to Harold McGee, author of "On Food and Cooking" (Collier Books: $21), protein-digesting enzymes do most of their work during cooking and only begin to really get going at around 120 degrees. Even then, they do most of their work at the surface. "Unless you have days and days," summarized McGee, "the only thing you are going to get from marinating meat is flavor."


But what flavor! "It is right at the surface, where the meat meets the fire during grilling, that you get much of the flavor," said McGee, who is particularly enamored of the effect of red wine marinades on meat. In fact, he suggests doing a comparison test:

"First, grill an unmarinated steak and then grill one that has been marinated in red wine for about two hours," he said. "The wine-y steak will taste like there is much more steak, richer and more mouth-filling than one that hasn't been marinated. A wine marinade greatly increases the complexity of flavor and contributes chemicals that the meat doesn't have. Then when it meets the fire, those chemicals combine in tremendously complex ways and you end up with hundreds of aromatic compounds."

Fruit juices also make good marinades because of their natural sugars. "Browning reactions that give you flavor and color come from sugars reacting with proteins at very high temperatures," explained McGee. "If there is a little extra sugar, then the browning reactions are enhanced."

McGee advises against soaking meat for longer than two hours in an acid marinade. "Any longer than that and the meat will have a kind of mealy stuff on the surface. The structured meat tissue becomes tiny protein particles, fine for a pate but not what you want in a steak."

Of course, once you give up trying to tenderize meat with a high-acid marinade, you can use low-acid marinades, let the meat soak for longer periods of time and avoid the problem, suggests an article in the current issue of Cook's Illustrated. A bath of olive oil, a small amount of balsamic vinegar, garlic and herbs took 24 hours to penetrate to the heart of two-inch beef cubes."
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:37 PM   #25
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I never understood why oil is used in a marinade. My gut feeling says that oil would make a barrier. But, that's just gut feeling, obviously the science may be quite different.
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Old 08-05-2015, 03:21 AM   #26
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Red wine you say....gonna have to try that one of these days.
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Old 08-16-2015, 01:11 PM   #27
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I never understood why oil is used in a marinade. My gut feeling says that oil would make a barrier. But, that's just gut feeling, obviously the science may be quite different.
There is another one I don't get. I see on TV cooking shows, usually a road trip type show of multiple restaurants; where they are braising a hunk of meat.

They go through a whole procedure to make a rub, rub the meat then put in a pan and pour the braising liquid all over the meat washing it all off! Why not just put the seasonings in the braising liquid and save the whole "rubbing" facade they just did?!!!

They were not searing the meat in these circumstances. In which case would make sense to rub, sear then in to the pool.
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Old 08-16-2015, 01:12 PM   #28
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I know this flies in the face of a cooking forum to some degree, but back in the day I could not afford really good steak so I bought London broil. My surefire marinade did include water, but it’s added to this marinade pack:

http://www.amazon.com/Adolph-Steak-T.../dp/B00473SW92

Good ole Adolph’s. The steaks were perfect every time. I never buy this anymore nor do I ever buy a London broil. I do get that cut when my dad goes in on a half an Angus every now and then and gives me some meat.

BUT, the biggest mistake in my opinion people make is over cooking the London broil. You don’t want to take that cut past medium (warm and pink in the middle) because every second past that makes it tougher and tougher. Unless you are braising it of course, then you are cooking to near fall-apart in a covered dish with liquid, which is the only other way I cook these types of cuts. They are too lean for me to use for burgers, but other folks grind this cut all the time and add fat. It has good flavor.

Otherwise I have never used a water based marinade for meats. I don’t usually marinade beef cuts at all anymore with the exception of a cut I am grilling for fajitas which you can use a London Broil, sirloin, any steak cut; and also a version of carnitas I make on the grill with beef chuck where I chunk up the meat, marinate it (usually including tequila) overnight, then char the pieces very well, then immerse in to a broth marinade combo in a covered foil pan on the grill, indirect heat, 225° or so till fall apart tender.

I do water down my standard Worcestershire/Soy sauce based marinade that has a fistful of herbs, spices and a few other things in it. I water it down for marinating jerky…usually deer jerky, because the marinade alone is so salty, and I hand mechanically tenderize every single slice of jerky meat and it soaks up a marinade like crazy. Watering it down cuts the salt content but still has the flavor profile of my marinade.
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Old 08-16-2015, 03:15 PM   #29
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you may find a lot of disagreement. "London broil" is generally considered a method of preparing the beef - and there's only a little bit of agreement on what actual cut "is used / is genuine / is the real thing" etc etc

here's some of the common names translated into "cuts"

London Broil BEEF BOTTOM ROUND STEAK BONELESS
London Broil BEEF FLANK STEAK BONELESS IMPS 193
London Broil BEEF PLATE SKIRT STEAK ROLLS BONELESS
London Broil BEEF SHOULDER STEAK BONELESS
Shoulder London Broil BEEF SHOULDER STEAK BONELESS
Top Round London Broil BEEF TOP ROUND STEAK BONELESS FIRST CUT
London Broil BEEF TOP ROUND STEAK BONELESS THICK

top round, bottom round, chuck and even skirt "passes" for London Broil depending on how the butcher chooses to label it. the amount of fat/marbling varies widely in these cuts - which is why some people get wonderful tender and other people need a chain saw.....
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Old 08-17-2015, 07:38 AM   #30
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There is another one I don't get. I see on TV cooking shows, usually a road trip type show of multiple restaurants; where they are braising a hunk of meat.

They go through a whole procedure to make a rub, rub the meat then put in a pan and pour the braising liquid all over the meat washing it all off! Why not just put the seasonings in the braising liquid and save the whole "rubbing" facade they just did?!!!

They were not searing the meat in these circumstances. In which case would make sense to rub, sear then in to the pool.
When I make a Cuban style roast pork butt, I make a paste of garlic, salt and cumin. I take a pairing knife and make deep holes all over the butt, as deep as the knife will go, twisting 180 degrees. The paste gets rubbed on and stuffed into each hole. The butt is then placed in a 2 gallon storage bag, on top of a layer of thinly sliced sweet onions. Freshly squeezed, sour orange juice is then added to the bag. The butt marinades over night, turning several times. Trust me the rub in the holes does not wash out. The stuff that does wash off, just adds flavor to the mojo I make later with the marinade.
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