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All Chucked Up June 23, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, Home, random stuff.
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I’m in love . . . I’m all chucked up.  😆

We do love our beef around here, you know, and I won’t apologize for it.  I was raised in the midwest, born in Chicago, in fact.  The heartland – home on the range, for crying out loud.  😀

So a couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled to see that Tops was running boneless chuck steaks on sale for $2 a pound.  (If it had been winter, I’d have asked the butcher if he could cut me a “steak”  3 or 4 inches thick.)  So I picked up a half dozen 1-pound steaks and decided to have some fun – a 1-pound steak is just about right for dinner for the two of us – with leftovers for at least one of us.  😀

We have a couple of different marinades that we’ve been using for a few years now – we absolutely love them, and if pressured, we’d really have a hard time choosing one over the other.  So today’s your lucky day – you’re going to get two recipes for the price of one!  😆

The first one is SIZZLING!  Seriously, that’s what we call it — SIZZLING Asian.  😀

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We start by whisking together 1/4 cup each of red wine vinegar and low sodium soy sauce.  I like to do it in a measuring cup for a couple of reasons – first, it’s easier to pour out of, and second, we’ll be dividing this up, so it helps to see the measurements.  😀

To the vinegar and soy sauce mixture, we’re going to add, then whisk:

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  • 4 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • about 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • several cloves of garlic, minced
  • about a Tablespoon of grated ginger (I still have some in the freezer that we froze in ice cube trays)

PhotobucketMeanwhile, try to cajole your husband into chopping a bunch of scallions – you’re going to want to put each of three steaks into a zip-top freezer bag, then dump a third of the scallions into each.

If you’re lucky, he won’t mind.  Even if he did just get home from work and really wish he could jump in the shower first.  😕

PhotobucketWhat a guy, huh?  🙂

The rest is really quite simple – once the scallions are in the bags of meat, just divide the marinade among the three bags, seal, label and freeze.  There are now three two delightfully beefy steaks awaiting our pleasure downstairs in the freezer.  😉

See?  SIZZLING!

PhotobucketOh, but wait!  There’s more!  😀

I promised you two marinades, didn’t I? Well, let’s try this – it was originally from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe, but it’s been, well, tweeked over the years.  😉

We call this one BETTER than A-1.  Which, to be honest, doesn’t say much, because I think A-1 Sauce is . . . nasty. 😯

Anyway, we still have the soy sauce and the brown sugar out – that’s good.  😀

PhotobucketHere’s what we’re going to whisk together this time:

  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • a scant 1/2 cup worcestershire sauce
  • several cloves of garlic, minced again
  • 2 heaping teaspoons black pepper

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And if you happen to have one, dash out to the garden and cut a bunch of chives to throw in.  I guess, if you don’t have chives, you could use scallions.  Or not.  Up to you, I guess.  🙂

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Anyway, this is the basic marinade.

PhotobucketBut this one has a twist – we make a nice sauce to spoon over the steak after it’s cooked.  You’re going to need a separate container – we happen to have a boatload of portion cups with lids that work perfectly.  You could also use a sandwich bag.  Anyway, measure into each of three containers about 1/4 cup of marinade plus 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar; cover (or seal) and set aside.

Again, you’re going to divide the remaining marinade among each of three steaks (that you’ve already put in freezer bags – of course).  Just like before, seal, label, and freeze.  With the sauce containers, though. 😉

PhotobucketFrom here on out, both steaks are treated essentially the same.  If frozen, of course let them thaw completely.  The just slap them on the grill until they’re just shy of medium-rare.  😉

We’re going to cook the meat, then cover and let it rest about 10 minutes.  That will be just enough time to bring the center of the meat from unappealingly rare to perfectly medium-rare.  😉

Then simply uncover and slice thinly.

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Do you need a closer look?  😉

PhotobucketWhat do you say?  Perfectly cooked beef, fully marinated in a flavorful mixture, with a delightful crust, thanks to the touch of brown sugar.

There’s just enough fat to keep it moist and tender, yet chuck is a flavorful cut of beef that will stand up to the strong flavors of soy, worcestershire, sesame oil, and garlic without losing its beefy character.

And the BETTER than A-1 sauce complements that beefy character perfectly!

We just serve the thin slices of either steak on top of a bed of rice, (preferably basmati) with maybe a fresh green salad on the side – it’s a fabulous summer dinner, with a bit left over either for lunch the next day or even as topping for Friday’s pizza!  😉

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