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Author Topic: Marinade for TOUGH steak  (Read 1036 times)

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Offline Kodiakmac

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Marinade for TOUGH steak
« on: September 17, 2022, 05:09:11 PM »
We have half a steer in our freezer that has wonderful beefy flavour but is as tough as an old pair of caulks.  My wife slow cooks the roasts in the crockpot and they turn out fine, but the steaks are another story.

Her usual marinades - which worked in the past on tough beef or venison - don't seem to make much of a difference on this meat.

We would appreciate a marinade recipe that would take some wear and tear off our jaw muscles.
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Offline DennisK

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Re: Marinade for TOUGH steak
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2022, 05:22:00 PM »
Add some Basalmic vinegar or lemon and lime juice.

Offline Southside

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Re: Marinade for TOUGH steak
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2022, 05:44:03 PM »
Try cooking the steaks at the lowest possible temperature on your grill, even offset the heat source. The faster you cook beef the less tender it becomes, even with the best stuff. 
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Offline tule peak timber

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Re: Marinade for TOUGH steak
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2022, 08:06:39 PM »
We like to age beef to a light green color. Also take a look at papain powder mixed into your marinate and a meat tenderizer mallet with spikes that will reach well into the meat, allowing the marinate to get on in there. Papain is powerful stuff, so a little goes a long way and you will have to experiment with amount and time, otherwise you will end up with meat sauce at the extreme end. 
Other substitutes are pineapple, lemon, lime, citrus, even vinegar if you want to go the Samoan route.
We treat beef differently than all the other proteins we cook here, aging it much longer. 
Braising is also an alternative, and not the crockpot. You need to season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper, sear it well in oil in a cast iron pot. Add a few simple spices and your braising liquid (we use beef, chicken or garlic "better than Boullion", some dried chiles, some tomato paste, red wine) and put the lid on and shove in a 225 degree oven for 3-4 hours depending on thickness. Turn it over mid-way through the cooking period. This method works excellent for beef, lamb, goat, pork, game, moose etc. Hasn't failed us yet. 
If you follow some of my oddball cooking on this site, you know I like to eat....well!
Pic below is a pork butt at about 0.89$. lb. in today's recent prices. Tough as heck; not when we finished with it, LOL

 
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Offline tule peak timber

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Re: Marinade for TOUGH steak
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2022, 08:22:41 PM »
Baby lamb ribs on the fire right now. Oak bark. Marinate is garlic, red wine, olive oil, pinch of salt and Italian seasoning for about 2 hrs. prior to putting on the grill. Plan to grill approx. 45 min. 
Once I hit 45 min. I'll lower the rack right on down to the coals and crust them up.

 
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Offline Kodiakmac

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Re: Marinade for TOUGH steak
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2022, 09:33:40 AM »
Thanks for the advice, guys.   Neither my wife or I had ever heard of that pepain powder that tule peak timber suggested. If we can find some on supermarket shelves this side of the Border, we'll give it a try. 
Robin Hood had it just about right:  as long as a man has family, friends, deer and beer...he needs very little government!
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Offline realzed

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Re: Marinade for TOUGH steak
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2022, 10:30:03 AM »
I've seen videos that claim marinating steak or beef in a plastic bag for 6 or more hours (even overnight) filled with pulped up pineapple really loosens up the meat fibers.
No experience personally, but the comparisons visually and the cooked end results in using the pineapple method compared to other types of marinades was quite startling.
Look for some Youtube videos on it - and see what I mean!

Online WV Sawmiller

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Re: Marinade for TOUGH steak
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2022, 04:45:49 PM »
  Are you wanting to grill it?

   If not I'd run it through a tenderizer and make cube steak, flour and fry it and serve with gravy and rice or flour and fry it and make Swiss steak by putting it in a covered Dutch oven with a can of mushroom soup and water to cover the meat and cook on a slow oven till it is ready to fall apart and serve with rice, potatoes or other side dishes. 
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Marinade for TOUGH steak
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2022, 08:57:39 AM »
Take a look/see at Mexican beef recipes as they are often derived from the tougher, coarser cuts of meat. 
Or you could do the Asian thing and MSG it.  :D 
As mentioned already, natural aging does work via letting it hang as long as possible. 

When I worked in meatpacking we bought truckloads Cutters & Canners for use in luncheon meats, sausages and the like. As employees, we could buy the fillet mignon from those worn our dairy cows as a side benefit. Really tender and delicious and you were lucky to be able to get some tenderloin meat.
  One of our regular products was a sliced Roast Beef lunchmeat made from Mexican bull meat and it was quite tender by the time it got sliced. It came frozen in huge flattish, 75lb or so boxes from Mexico. 
The meat was in large chunks of pure red meat muscle. 
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Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Marinade for TOUGH steak
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2022, 09:13:06 AM »
Maybe try Sous Vide?
Our Tenn beef steaks were pretty tough. I sous vide'd them then finished on a hot griddle.
Came out pretty good.
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Offline K-Guy

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Re: Marinade for TOUGH steak
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2022, 09:25:06 AM »

Anything citrus is a natural tenderizer as well as MSG, salad dressings also work well but the biggest thing in using all of them is time. The tougher the meat the more time to marinade it. I don't card for sweet beef so I would use either salad dressing(Italian or Greek) and or MSG.

When I was in the military as a cook I found the the salad dressing also works on small roasts and it will not taste like salad dressing at all.
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Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Marinade for TOUGH steak
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2022, 01:12:42 PM »
My sister's ex is Cuban and his aunt used to visit.  My sister learned how to make great Cuban pork.  You cook a butt roast at 450 for a few hours, so by no means is it a "slow roast".  So I tried and it would come out tough.  You marinate in lemon, garlic and cumin.  I found if I let it sit for 2 or 3 days rather than a few hours, it comes out great.  And the seared fat/skin is yummy!  Just don't do it the day before giving blood :-X
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Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Marinade for TOUGH steak
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2022, 01:17:05 PM »
Goya makes a mojo marinade that's pretty good. It is mostly citrus so should help tenderize.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Marinade for TOUGH steak
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2022, 02:18:30 AM »
The acid marinades the likes of lemon and pineapple would be the best for tenderising. The acids break down the tough proteins that make beef chewy.

But personally I'd  just call it "Stewing Steak" and slow cooker it. Those tougher cuts make the best stews anyway. By the time you take a World Tour of slow cooker beef recipes the problem cuts will be used up.
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Marinade for TOUGH steak
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2022, 06:57:48 AM »
The man who owned my meat packing plant employer (1960's for me) had come from Germany before WWII. He liked goat meat and kept a carcass hanging in our scold storage shipping area from a steel rack. They reminded me of a baby deer hanging there for what seemed liked a long time.
 
Tough steak solutions are typically ground up as a common answer found in any retail meat market. Tough can have decent flavor when cooked right but in it's unground form it stays tough from certain animals and cuts. 
I buy marked down meats often and freeze until use, not that we eat a huge amount of meat, but we sure don't avoid it either. Yesterday I picked up two mark down ribeye steaks at Walmart which at todays prices are still expensive. These are not prime steaks, lacking the marble of the higher grades but we tend to not eat them as "slabs" on a plate, we prefer freezing, partial thaw prior to cooking and slicing thinly for steak fajitas or pepper steak or similar uses. When you consider the cost now for cuts such as flank, brisket and other far more grainy cuts, it makes sense. 
When I worked in grocery the business I bought steaks and other cuts that had turned greenish at huge markdowns. Back then the plastic films hadn't advanced with chemicals which keep meat red on retail shelves so long like now. There was zero bad about that meat other than the color change & freezing kept it good anyway. Of course many retail meat markets used to re-grind that meat to pop the red back into the ground meat. Now much comes on a truck pre-cut from big cutting houses. 
Talking slow cooker and stews- I buy mark down roasts like chuck and we freeze them after cutting our own chunks for stew meat-lots cheaper and more careful cutting than pre-chunked meats and we choose the cut it comes from. I'll score a markdown prime Angus chuck now and then when I tour Walmart meat section for those yellow stickers. My 2 ribeyes were marked down $4.82 which is seriously logical savings of a product that needs more age anyway. 
MSG has a very bad rep, I'll stay away from that one.   
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