Need help solving argument regarding marinating steak.

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by makymash, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. makymash

    makymash

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    OK, so my brother made a marinade by basically adding dry herbs and spices to some water and put a London broil top round (or something) and the marinade in a bowl.

    The steak now no longer looks red, but brown and the water is red like he leached the blood out or something.

    I am saying this is not a good thing and he is saying that that is how it's done. I am thinking that the water has basically removed the good juices and blood, etc...

    Any thoughts? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. 
     
  2. teamfat

    teamfat

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    In my opinion,, water is not a good base for a marinade. You need oil and acid.

    mjb.
     
  3. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Take a plastic bag, put a little vegetal oil in, add steaks, add a few sprigs of thyme and a cruched clove of garlic. Massage the bag a little with its content, fold and close the bag and let marinate an hour or so. 

    Note; absolutely no salt or acids. Salt extracts fluids, acids "cook" the meat.

    The oil serves as a fast transmitter of added flavors which are thyme and garlic in this case.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  4. panini

    panini

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    Chris,

    I respectfully disagree. Marinades only penetrate maybe a mm into the skin. An acid with salt will break down the connective tissue making

    the skin more tender. Just from what I know. which isn't much.
     
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Cook's illustrated largely agrees with Chris. Whether they're a respectable authority is a different discussion.

    Acid and oil is the traditional approach but has lost some universality I think. The Chinese would never marinate beef in water, thinking it impairs the flavor of beef. But will happily use water on poultry and pork.

    So there are a number of thoughts about it all.

    When I cook steak, i go for garlic, a little soy sauce and black pepper. Not really a marinade in the classic sense as it's too dry and short of time.

    The treatment described in the OP does not sound appealing. The liquid isn't adding anything of its own and is not the best conduit to impart other flavors.
     
  6. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    The way the steaks are made for Applebee's and other family restaurants is they're brined.  That's the marinade.

    I do not like it, it makes the texture, well, ham like.
     
  7. luc_h

    luc_h

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    I think we all agree with the OP that plain water and herbs are not the way to go.

    I assume that the steak in question is a though cut whereas marinating will tenderize it somewhat like for a flank steak or Bavette.

    I dry rub a tender steak and marinate though cuts with a weak brine (with flavouring including an acid).

    To tenderize, you need water to penetrate the muscle fibres tubules or disrupt the meat fibers.  That can be accomplished in 3 ways:

    using salt via a brine by soaking, injection or vacuum assisted which dissolves proteins in the muscle tubules so that water can penetrate deep in the tissue,

    using mechanical means i.e. massaging, pounding, tumbling, penetrating with needles or blades

    using phosphates which makes water more slippery and fill the tubules more easily (I know, I know not an option!!)

    or a combination of any and all of the above.

    For the home cook making a flavoured salt brine injecting with a hypodermic needle and add some massaging is achievable.

    Luc H.
     
  8. panini

    panini

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    @ChrisBelgium,

    I should not have disagreed with you. I just assume that when marinating meat with acid or salt most everyone knows that if you marinate for more 30 min to 1 hr. it will start cooking the meat.

     BTW when Luc H started talking,  massaging, pounding, penetrating, makes more slippery, fill the tubules, I got such a craving for red meat./img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif
     
  9. luc_h

    luc_h

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    out of context this sentence can invigorate other cravings(!?).

    Luc H.
     
  10. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Don't start about those scientists and their suggestions... I heard Einstein was quite known too for his secret research on young female nocturnal behavior. 
     
    potos likes this.
  11. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Gentlemen!

    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/blushing.gif

    mimi
     
  12. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Back OT  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    I am no expert cook (and some will say the same about my baking lol) but IMO there is room for all of the above rules to be broken...

    Without acid ceviche would not be... altho too much acid for too lengthy of a time will produce a unpleasant mealy texture in a batch of beef fajitas.

    Salt added in a batch of pinto beans during the first boil will cause the skins to toughen.

    Salt is always added during the second boil (then simmer) along with whatever secret ingredients you use to make your blue ribbon beans....well....award winning.

    Feel free to PM me for my recipe lol.

    BUT what would (the new?) Texas brisket be without salt and black pepper...applied lovingly and with an extra heavy hand?

    IDK ask James Beard award winner  http://franklinbarbecue.com/

    His recipe can be found on the link to TM magazine.

    mimi

    The answer to the brisket quiz question?

    It would be as barkless as a mute hound dog lol.

    m.
     
  13. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Before my mother moved to the Texas hill country she went out to see family, I had her bring me back a brisket from Franklin BBQ in a small cooler with her carry on stuff. It had to have smelled up the whole plane. Even reheated this stuff was top notch.
     
  14. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    In the last few years I have been adding a small amount of Papain to my marinade . It shortens the marinade time, penetrates the meat and makes it very tender. For years they have been doing this at Outback steak houses.
     
  15. cookware sets

    cookware sets

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    Okay guys, we talk about marinating steaks.
    Here is what I have done in my 30 plus years as a professional chef.
    I been thought that meat for a steak has to be prime quality, like a porterhouse, eye filet or ribeye steak, cutlet or back strap. Tender, best quality meat.
    Secondly, using a marinade with fresh herbs and spices in oil, perhaps some mustard and fresh garlic and chilli.
    Any meat I have to tenderise, I dice up and make a stew with it, not steaks. The cooking process and a touch of vinegar in the sauce will tenderise the toughest cow to tender soft meat in a stew or goulash or the like.
    I add salt and other seasonings when the steaks are sealed and not before.
    I hope that my small input will resolve some of your problems. Enjoy!
     
  16. chefross

    chefross

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  17. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Were the slices still oozing that juicy fat?

    Nothing better!

    mimi
     
  18. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Yep.....and it came with a couple quarts of sauce too!
     
  19. luc_h

    luc_h

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    True that papain and other enzymes like ficin, bromalein and other proteases are effective meat tenderizers.

    http://www.enzymedevelopment.com/html/applications/protein.html

    My mistake for not mentioning previously.  The techniques that I did mention above do not require to declare the term meat tenderizer on a label.  Industrial meat processors try to avoid that term on labels, as a trained technical food reference in the industry, I tend to forget that option

    thanks Ed.

    Luc H.
     
  20. potos

    potos

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    A good general base for any meat marinade that I have consistently found to work... Get your protein. Whether chicken, prime cut beef, lamb, whatever. Olive oil, a tiny splash of vinegar(apple cider is my favorite but any will work), a little water, salt and pepper. Then after that, the world is your oyster. Brown spicy mustard, ground dried mustard, worcestershire, sriracha, tyme, garlic, onions, red pepper flakes, cayenne, soy sauce, ginger... It really doesn't matter. It's all up to what you want to do with it. But otherwise let it marinate in a ziplock or covered bowl refrigerated for about an hour or so. Rotate the meat inside periodically to assure even coverage.