Sunday, April 8, 2012

Steak Marinade

Moving to the United States for university meant leaving behind many of my favorite foods - meat pies, real chips, pumpkin leaves,  tomato sauce flavored crisps, Crunchie bars, steak and kidney pie, nsima, chambo, Chombe tea, bakery fresh bread, sausage rolls  - a good mix of post colonial Southern African dishes (not to mention the Korean, Indian, Portuguese, and real Chinese food restaurants I had to leave behind). I was very, very excited when I went to Steak and Shake for the first time and saw steak burgers on the menu. I envisioned what I knew as a steak burger - toasted, buttered bread sandwiching a delicious, juicy steak topped with tomato and onion. Imagine my surprise when my order came and a hamburger was placed in front of me.

"Excuse me," I said, "I ordered a steak burger."

"That is a steak burger - it's made from steak," the waitress answered contemptuously.

"No. This is not a steak burger. This is a hamburger. I don't care what cut of beef you use, when you grind it up it becomes mince. When you make mince into a patty and grill it, you have a hamburger. This is not a steak burger!" my answer seemed to further confuse the waitress (probably because she had no idea what "mince" meant - I had not yet learned to use the American term "hamburger meat.")

I do not eat at Steak and Shake anymore.

If I want a steak burger, I make it myself. I was happy to learn recently that my favorite cut of beef - silverside - is known as bottom round in the US. It is not cut as thickly as I would like, but it will do. This morning, I had one for weekend brunch. I chose to forgo the tomato and onion because my pregnant stomach just wanted buttered toast and steak.

I marinated my steak in a concoction I got from Better Cookery entitled "Sir Edward's Vest British Steak Marinade Ever". It was quite good (although I will say, I do prefer my usual marinade of Worcestershire sauce, chili oil, salt, and pepper just because it is what I am used to. ) You may click on the Better Cookery Link to see the instructions. Here are the basic ingredients.

1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/3 cup light soy sauce
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp ground pepper
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 can diet or regular Coke
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
2 tbsp chives

Now, if I could just make a decent steak and kidney pie....


  1. It's interesting how different countries and regions have formed their own terms for cooking. You must have been so disappointed with your "steak burger"!

  2. The food terminology is indeed confusing. Our blogs go all across the globe and I sometimes worry that what I say means something else to other people. Both the steak marinade you are used to and the one you've used here are to my liking and quite similar to what I am accustomed to. Nice!

  3. this post reminded me of a similar situation way back when we just arrived here in the US haha.. it was way too funny,

    I love yuor marinade and your version of a marinade is what i enjoyed while living in the pHilippines.



Thanks for your comments!