Friday, December 3, 2010
Review of Hearst Ranch Beef and Kiwi Steak Marinade
I love a good steak...med-rare, flavorful and juicy. So couldn't wait to try the two complimentary grass-fed flank steaks sent to me by Hearst Ranch.
You might not have heard of Hearst Ranch before (I hadn't) but this place seems amazing. It was founded in 1865 (by William Randolf Hearst) in San Simeon, California and is today an 80,000-acre ranch raising free-range cattle that live a natural roaming existence, feeding only on native grasses.
This all-natural, grass-fed beef is exceptionally lean and juicy with a robust flavor resulting from the unique concentration of nutrients in the cows' grass diet. The taste was distinctly different from what I was used to but I thought it tasted delicious and liked complex "beefy" flavor.
Now on to the marinade...
I typically cook ribeye steaks and filet mignon at home. For those cuts, I do not do any sort of marinade. Just a bit of fresh crack black pepper, salt and we are good to go. However, flank steak is a tougher cut of meat and for that reason it really needs to sit in a good marinade for a few hours.
My friend Dave had shared this recipe a while back but I'll admit that when I saw the secret ingredient was kiwi I was a bit unsure. Dave explained that the kiwi has a powerful enzyme called actinidin that breaks down protein and essentially tenderizes the meat. Sure enough, it produced a delicious and tender steak.
This was such a flavorful meal. I topped off the steaks with a classic chimichurri sauce, pico de gallo and fresh avocado. I kept the side dish simple....rice and black beans.
1-2lb flank steak
juice of 1 lime
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C minced cilantro
1-2 Serrano chillies minced (to taste), I only used 1/2 of one
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
1/4 tsp ground cumin seed
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (less if using table salt)
black pepper to taste
1 Tbs pureed kiwi
Combine all the marinade ingredients in a container with a lid that will fit the meat. Taste the marinade and add more salt or sugar if needed. It should be relatively salty, but not so salty that it burns your tongue. The sugar is a personal preference thing. If you like it sweeter, add more sugar. Add the flank steak to the marinade and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
When you’re ready to grill the meat, remove it from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. This helps ensure the meat will cook evenly. If you’re using a broiler, move the rack to the top position and turn the broiler on high, with a grilling rack on top of a baking sheet. Scrape any excess marinade off the meat and place the meat on the grill. Cook until nicely browned on one side, flip and brown the other side. *Please note that grass-fed steak will cook much faster than regular flank steak, so be careful not to overcook it.*
Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 5 minutes. Use a sharp knife slice against the grain and serve.
Source: Courtesy of David Mankin