Edible Freezer Archeology
July 26, 2010 12:17 PM   Subscribe

What is a good marinade recipe to use to help make a freezer-burnt steak worth eating?

We recently acquired a chest freezer, and in the process of loading it up with stuff from our refrigerator freezers, I discovered some items which aren't so far gone as to be garbage, but may not be very good if I cook them "as-is". I have a 7-bone steak that I'm thawing, and am looking for a good marinade recipe I can use on it before I put it on the grill tonight. Any suggestions?
posted by hippybear to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
A very liquidy marinade that I've seen successfully used to revive dry-ish meat is a combination of red wine, soy sauce, fresh chopped rosemary and coarsely ground black pepper. I'm afraid I don't know the exact proportions.
posted by cranberrymonger at 12:24 PM on July 26, 2010

Not quite what you wanted, but I think chopping it into a chili or stew might do more to hide or diminish the freezerburned texture. I'm not sure you can do much with a marinade between now and dinner tonight. You'd want to go overnight at least.
posted by Kellydamnit at 12:25 PM on July 26, 2010 [4 favorites]

Italian dressing straight out of the bottle makes a great marinade.
posted by usonian at 12:27 PM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'd take that bad boy, fully defrost it, pour a little white vinegar on it and smoosh it around for a few minutes, then pat it dry and then vigorously rub olive oil on it and let it sit some more and then sprinkle salt and pepper and a dash of onion or garlic powder on it, then more olive oil, then grill it quite slowly, turning frequently, minding for flare-ups. You gotta treat it gently and keep it from drying out; the oil helps with that and the vinegar will help break down some of the "burn" layer.

I like my steaks simply cooked and usually add a little something at the table if it's really needed.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:27 PM on July 26, 2010

Herb Paste Extraordinaire:

2 parts fresh parsley
1 part fresh tarragon
1 part fresh rosemary
4 parts minced garlic
1 part salt
0.5 parts black pepper
A splash of red wine vinegar
Olive oil sufficient to create a thick paste

Stab meat-chunk in question all over with a fork. Sensuously massage herb paste into meat. Cook as per usual. Wolf down delicious meat like a starving jackal.
posted by julthumbscrew at 12:30 PM on July 26, 2010 [8 favorites]

Oh, I forgot: the longer you can let that bad boy sit and marinate in herbal goodness, the better. I have applied this stuff to beef, lamb, pork, etc. - it is always obscenely good.
posted by julthumbscrew at 12:31 PM on July 26, 2010

Olive oil, three juiced limes, grated zest from one of the limes, minced garlic, salt, fresh ground pepper, Worcestershire sauce.

The lime juice is key, since you need acidity to break down fibers in the meat, and vinegar just doesn't cut it for me.
posted by rocket88 at 2:24 PM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by applemeat at 2:50 PM on July 26, 2010

This is my kick-ass marinade and I do call it "Govtdrone's Kick-Ass Marinade"

Crushed red pepper flakes (rub between hands to release the flavor)
chopped garlic
cayenne pepper
hot sauce
black pepper
lime juice
balsamic vinegar

Mix all together (Use as much or as little of the ingredients as you want.)
Let it marinade as little as an hour to as long as overnight.

I have used this on flank steak, sirloin steak, veggies, etc.

Damn this is good!
posted by govtdrone at 2:55 PM on July 26, 2010 [3 favorites]

Asian: rice vinegar, vegetable oil, sesame oil (only a touch), ginger, garlic, scallion, lemon grass
Italian: lemon juice, garlic, bruised basil, olive oil
Mediterranean: olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, black pepper, coriander, cumin

Everything here is optional. Basically, you just need the ingredients of a vinaigrette. I usually marinade in gallon ziploc bags, as it helps expose as much meat to the marinade as possible. The possibilities are literally endless. As long as you've got some sort of acid and some sort of oil, you'll be able to coax some goodness out.

Here's something else I've done: puree some garlic, cloves, cinnamon, tomato sauce and a mix of reconstituted guajillo and ancho chiles. Massage into meat, then allow the meat to dry out (I use bread rack to get air circulation all around the meat). Grill. This comes via Diana Kennedy, and makes a pretty fine steak out of some not so great meat.
posted by Gilbert at 3:58 PM on July 26, 2010

Teriyaki cures all. I like equal parts teriyake sauce, soy sauce, A-1 steak sauce and lemon juice. makes old flip flops delicious
posted by Redhush at 7:10 PM on July 29, 2010

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