Blog posting has taken a back seat to getting ready for our 10-day trip next week – and finishing up that cherry ice cream. Last weekend, though, we took our first trip to our local farm stand and came back with a good haul. Central Connecticut has a lot of wonderful produce, and this farm also raises their own beef! We picked up a very affordable package of flap meat (or “steak tips” on most restaurant menus) with a vague notion of letting them swim in a marinade for awhile before cooking. I didn’t really have a game plan, but once I got in the kitchen, it came together pretty quickly:
Steak Tip Citrus Marinade
1/2 cup very good extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2 limes, juiced
3 tablespoons blanco tequila (I used Lunazul)
2 generous pinches kosher salt
Pepper to taste
Some recipes that say “very good extra-virgin olive oil” are full of elitist crock, but I say it here because the olive oil is the background for the rest of the flavors and you want it to actually taste good. Otherwise, the marinade will just be a lot of citrus with some vague greasiness. The best way to judge this is if the olive oil is something you’d happily dip a piece of bread in and go to town on.
Our meat hung out in this marinade for about 3 hours (because we got hungry), but I recommend letting it go longer – overnight, if you can. Flap meat is similar to flank steak in that it’s a little tough and letting it suck up a lot of citrus and tequila will help break down all those sinewy fibers. I patted the marinade off the steaks, reseasoned them with salt and pepper, and seared the meat for 1-2 minutes per side in my cast iron pan for a medium-rare cook (our steaks were thin). The steaks came out delicious – a lot of citrus with some bite from the tequila all mixed with salty beef flavor.
We’re headed to Europe on my first cruise next week, so there will be pictures. And pasta. And ouzo, probably.