A marinade is one of the best ways to make the most of your steak and really maximise on flavour. An age-old method, it is also a global technique, suitable for any cuisine or cooking style.
In all four corners of the globe, whether steaks are being barbecued, grilled, flash or stir-fried, diverse marinades are a fail-safe way to infuse flavour. We’ve sourced our favourite steak marinades from around the world so you can bring a taste of the exotic into your own kitchen.
Technically, churrasco is a general term referring to meats prepared on the grill, but typically all of these will be marinated in classic recipe like this one to ensure they are tender and full of flavour. Serve your steak topped with classic Argentinian sauce Chimichurri and bring a taste of the South American nation to your table.
- 3 heads garlic (about 30 to 40 cloves)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup onion, minced
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 cup Spanish olive oil
- Mash garlic, salt, and peppercorns into a paste, using a mortar and pestle. Stir in orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, onion, and oregano. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or longer. Whisk the garlic-orange juice mixture with the olive oil until well blended.
- Place the meat in a large bowl or pan. Add enough marinade to cover the meat. Place a cover over the bowl or pan and place in the refrigerator a minimum of five hours, but preferably overnight.
- Grill the marinated meat outdoors on the barbecue. (Make sure your coals are hot and white!). For the steak – you can cook them however you like your it, from rare to well done. However, the rarer the meat, the more tender and flavoursome.
THAILAND: GINGER & GARLIC THAI MARINADE
A diverse and simple marinade full of Asian flavours and incorporating the classic Thai combination of sweet and salty.
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine (or dry sherry)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh root ginger
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Whisk together the fish sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, ginger and honey in a small bowl.
- Marinate meat at least 6 hours or overnight before cooking.
ITALY: BALSAMIC & ROSEMARY MARINATED FLORENTINE STEAK
This classic Italian dish is a favourite of many of Tuscany’s finest chefs, who recommend marinating the meat overnight if possible and pairing with a cherry-inflected Chianti.
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped rosemary
- One 3-pound porterhouse steak, about 4 inches thick
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
- In a sturdy re-sealable plastic bag, combine the vinegar with 1/2 cup of the olive oil and the rosemary. Add the steak, seal the bag and refrigerate overnight, turning the bag several times.
- Preheat the oven to 425° and bring the steak to room temperature. Heat a grill pan.
- Remove the steak from the marinade and season with the salt and pepper. Rub the side with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Grill over moderately high heat until nicely charred on the top and bottom, about 5 minutes per side.
- Transfer the steak to a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the tenderloin (the smaller section) registers 125°.
- Alternatively, build a fire on one side of a charcoal grill or light a gas grill. Grill the steak over moderate heat for 5 minutes on each side.
- Transfer the steak to the cool side of the grill, close the lid and cook for 30 minutes longer.
- Transfer the steak to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice the steak across the grain and serve immediately.
THE CARIBBEAN: CITRUS SPICED CARIBBEAN/CUBAN MARINADE
The perfect blend of citrus and spice for a taste straight from the islands.
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 -4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 dash ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Combine all ingredients in a heavy-duty Ziploc bag or glass pan.
- Add your choice of pork, beef, chicken or fish.
- Marinate for at least two hours.
- Prepare in your preferred method of cooking.