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Tod's Steak Recipe

I have received a few requests for my steak recipe, but it is more of a method that I have learned and developed over a lifetime. If you do this correctly, you won't ever order steak in a steakhouse again.

I learned to grill when I was growing up in Kansas. Out there, if you can reach the grill, you are old enough to start learning. The first part of this process I learned from my father - a notorious cheapskate of humble upbringings. He was part of that generation that was born during The Great Depression and raised during the food rationing of WWII. He really took those lessons to heart and would scour the grocery ads every week in a search for the absolute cheapest cuts of meat. We had steak every Sunday, and despite it being only one cut above shoe leather, it was always amazing. His process is really simple, but takes patience and practice to perfect.

My father's original Ingredients:

- steaks (the cut doesn't matter, but thicker steaks take longer)
- garlic powder (he used to use garlic salt, but it is easy to mess up and have too much salt)
- onion powder or diced, dry onion
- black pepper

My additional ingredients:

- Worcestershire sauce
- Cabernet Sauvignon (don't cheap out - buy a kind that you would be willing to drink. If you buy your wine in a box, stop reading now and go to McDonalds. I can't help you.)

And one more ingredient from my wife:
 - container of crumbled blue cheese - after the steaks are cooked and off of the grill, sprinkle some of this on top.

Equipment:

- BBQ (gas or charcoal are fine, but *not* the kind by Mr. Foreman - any kind of fire is OK)
- Water bottle, Supersoaker, or any other device for shooting water
- meat tenderizer mallet
- cutting board or surface where it is OK to smack things with a mallet and make a mess
- casserole dish big enough to hold your steaks one layer deep
- measuring cup
- flipper device for your steaks when grilling
- knife or optional meat thermometer

Step 1 - Tenderizing:

One of the reasons that my Dad could make 99 cent steaks taste like a million bucks is that he beat the living day lights out of them.

- Lay the steaks out on a big cutting board, preferably one that is large enough so you can lay all of the steaks out next to each other so this won't take forever. Tip: do not put the cutting board on a stove with a glass cook surface.
- Liberally shake onion powder, garlic powder, basil, and black pepper onto the top of the steaks. Go crazy. It is hard to use too much.
- Starting with the coarse side of the tenderizing mallet (big spikes), whack the living daylights out of those stakes. Don't make them mush, but do give them a good beating.
- Flip the mallet over and whack the stakes with the finer side.
- Flip the steaks over, season again, and then tenderize again.

Step 2 - Marinade

- Lay the steaks out in a big casserole or flat, plastic container so they are one layer deep.
- Pour wine and Worcestershire sauce in a 2 to 1 mixure (e.g. 2 cups wine, 1 cup Worcestershire sauce) into the container until the steak is covered. You can start with one cup of each and keep going until the steak is covered. This is going to use a lot of Worcestershire sauce. Also, buy extra wine so you can serve the same kind of wine for dinner that you used for the marinade. It really works.
- Wait. If you can wait an hour, great. If you can wait 4 hours, that is better. If you can wait 8 hours, excellent. If you are trying to do this all in the evening for dinner, then get the steaks in the marinade first, and then make all of the rest of the dinner, start the grill, etc., so they have as long as possible to marinade.

Step 3 - Grilling:

Depending on the thickness of the steaks, grilling won't take long, and will require your undivided attention. The rest of the people for whom you are cooking can be employed to set the table, make the other food, etc., so that everything is ready to go when the steaks come off of the grill. Doing all of this work and then letting the steaks get cold because no one is ready is very discouraging.

Depending on the fat content of the steaks, they are going to drip fat onto the grill and that is going to catch fire and burn your steaks. I keep a loaded Supersoaker next to the grill so I can put out any flare-ups instantly. The one that I linked to on Amazon is easily refillable with the garden hose and doesn't leak.

Start with the grill clean and hot - turned up on high. Put the steaks on the grill and leave them just long enough to brown them. Flip them over and brown them on the other side. This will help seal in the juices so you don't have dry, chewy steaks.

After the steaks are browned on both sides, turn the grill down to a medium low setting, or on charcoal, move them away from the hottest part. You want to cook the steaks as slowly as possible to keep from drying them out. This is why you need a fire fighting device because this might take a while. Ideally, it should take just long enough that you finish right before your guests mutiny because they are starving and the steaks smell so good.

Keep an eye on the internal temperature of your steaks. You make have to flip them from time to time so they cook evenly. You can use a knife to cut the steak and look at the color, or you can use a meat thermometer. When they look done, take them in and eat them right away. You will probably have to experiment with your grill and different cuts of beef until you become a grilling Jedi, but when you do, you will never want steak from a restaurant again. Anyone can make an expensive steak task good with this method, but if you get really good, then you can start buying the 99 cent steaks.

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