Beef steaks used in a steak sandwich often benefit from a short stay in a liquid marinade. One of the most common is flank steak, which because of its location, contains some amount of tough, connective tissue. Marinating in an acidic liquid marinade not only helps soften this connective tissue, but also enhances its flavor. Timing is important, however, as a long soaking time can cause the meat to become mushy, rather than tender.
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Add 1 cup of liquid acidic ingredients for each pound of beef to a small mixing bowl. This can include one or more ingredients, such as all soy sauce or a combination of 1/2 cup each of low-sodium soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. These ingredients work to soften the bonds of the connective tissue and tenderize the meat.
Add ingredients that enhance the flavor of the steak. For a slightly sweet taste, stir in brown sugar and seasonings such as fresh thyme and black pepper. For a savory flavor, forget the brown sugar and instead add minced garlic and onions, and substitute Worcestershire sauce for the soy sauce. For a hot or spicy flavor, add seasonings such as Mexican oregano, chili powder or cayenne pepper, cumin and lime juice.
Pour the marinade over steaks arranged in a single layer in a baking dish.
Turn the steaks two to three times with tongs to coat the meat thoroughly with the marinade.
Cover the dish, using a sheet of aluminum foil if the baking dish does not have its own cover.
Marinate the steaks in your refrigerator for 15 minutes to one hour, turning the meat every 15 minutes with tongs to ensure it marinates evenly.
Things You'll Need
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 to 1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 to 3 tsp. minced garlic
2 to 3 tbsp. minced onion
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. crushed Mexican oregano
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder or cayenne pepper
1/2 to 1 tsp. cumin
2 to 4 tsp. lime juice
You can add about 1/4 cup of olive oil to a steak sandwich marinade if you choose a lean cut of meat. Oil adds moisture and helps prevent the meat from becoming dry.
Although a common guide for marinating is to use 1/2 cup of marinade per pound of meat, use more when marinating steak for a sandwich to account for the short time you will soak the meat.
- Cattlemen’s Beef Board/National Cattlemen’s Association: Know Your Cuts and How to Cook Them
- What’s Cooking America: Marinating Meat Guidelines - Marinating 101
- Better Homes and Gardens: Steak Sandwich With Grilled Onions
- Food Network; Grilled Marinated Flank Steak Sandwiches; Paula Deen
- Recipe Tips: Savory Steak Marinade Recipe
- What’s Cooking America: Southwest Marinated Flank Steak Recipe