You can’t always have a fancy filet mignon for dinner, so when a more affordable cut of beef is on the menu, there are plenty of easy ways to cook it so it’s juicy and flavourful. Turn to trusty marinades, sauces and rubs to transform even the toughest cuts. Get started with these five recipes (one for each busy weeknight).
Use: 3 strip loin steaks, 1/2-inch thick
- Stir 6 cloves minced garlic with 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp salt. Rub on both sides of striploin steak.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high. Add canola oil, then steaks. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 3 to 4 min per side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to plates and let rest, covered, 5 min. Cut into 1/2-in. slices. Drizzle any pan juices over steaks
Use: Flank steak (about 500-grams)
- Soak 8 skewers in warm water for 20 min. Slice flank steak across the grain into strips 3/4 in. thick (about 16 strips). In large bowl, stir 2 tbsp ketchup with 4 tbsp Worcestershire, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Add steak and stir to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Preheat barbecue to high. Thread each skewer with 2 strips flank steak, and if desired, alternate with chunks of French baguette and cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt. Lightly oil grill, then barbecue skewers, turning once, until steak is medium-rare, 4 to 8 minutes.
Use: Budget steaks
- In a canning jar or measuring cup, stir 1 cup oil (olive or vegetable) with 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp garlic salt and 1 tsp chili flakes. Microwave, uncovered, on medium until hot, about 1 minute.
- Finely grate 1/4 cup (50 mL) lemon zest from 3-4 lemons and stir into oil with vinegar and oregano. Use right away or pour into a jar, if necessary. Seal and refrigerate up to 5 days.
- Place budget steaks in a large plastic bag. Add marinade to coat. Seal and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Or place bag in freezer; it will keep well at least 1 month. Defrost before cooking.
Use: 1 flank steak
- Score steak on both sides in a grid pattern, about ¼ in. deep. Whisk 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp anchovy paste and 1 tsp Dijon in a small bowl. Rub steak with mixture and set aside. Preheat barbecue to medium-high.
- Oil grill. Cook steak, lid open, 8 to 10 min for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand, loosely tented with foil, for 10 min before slicing across the grain.
Use: 454 grams boneless top sirloin, sliced into strips
- Combine meat with 1/4 cup hoisin, 2 tbsp dark sesame oil and 1 tsp chili flakes in a medium bowl.
- Heat an extra-large non-stick frying pan over medium-high. Add meat mixture. Cook, stirring often, until just a bit of pink remains, 3 to 4 min. Transfer to a bowl and reserve. Add oil to pan, then desired vegetables. Cook until tender-crisp, about 5 min. Stir 2 tbsp cornstarch with 1 1/2 cups beef broth in a small bowl until dissolved. Add broth mixture and meat to pan. Cook until sauce thickens and beef is cooked to desired doneness, about 2 more min. Stir in cashews (optional). Serve over rice.