See also Flavor Rubs
Many recipes exist for wonderful marinades and rubs suitable for use on grassfed beef. Marinades and rubs are generally used for two purposes: to flavor and/or tenderize the meat. Not all flavor marinades or rubs are tenderizing. All of the marinades listed here are tenderizing. All of the rubs are not.
Tenderizing marinades are designed to add flavor and improve tenderness. In general, tenderizing marinades are used on chewier cuts. More tenderizing is achieved with longer marinade times. Marinating time for flavor is usually 30 minutes - 4 hours. To marinate for tenderness, plan as little as 4 hours, or as long as 24-48 hours.
When selecting a marinade recipe, look for one of the following ingredients if you want the marinade to act as a tenderizer:
Citrus Fruit Juice - lime, lemon, or orange
Wine - red, white, or rice
Vinegar - often basalmic or red wine vinegar, or rice wine vinegar
It is easy to create your own marinade recipe, using one or more of the above tenderizing ingredients, plus some coordinating flavor ingredients such as minced garlic, minced fresh ginger, freshly ground black pepper, thyme, or rosemary.
ALWAYS refrigerate beef cuts while marinating, and use stainless steel or glass bowls to contain meat and marinade (NEVER plastic or reactive metals).
Some ideas for marinades (Click on the titles to see the recipes):
Korean Beef BBQ - see recipe. A great marinade for lean economy cuts., especially round. You can modify this recipe for other uses; be sure to include the lime juice and rice wine as the tenderizers in your modified recipe.
Bourbon Marinade - see recipe. This is a wonderful marinade, but expensive to prepare, so you may wish to reserve it as a flavor step for premium steaks.
Oriental Stir-Fry Marinade - great as an overnight marinade for small round, chuckeye, or flank, to provide a very tender meat for stir-fry. May also be used for shorter marinade time on sirloin or other premium steak. Stir-fry is a great way to stretch expensive meat, creating a quick, family meal that incorporates meat, vegetables, and grains.
Red Wine Marinade - Primarily as a flavor step for premium steaks, but may be used to tenderize economy cuts if marinated overnight.
Fajitas- may be used with premium cuts, but excellent choice for economy cuts of beef steak.
Maple Syrup marinade for Skirt Steak with compound butter would also be great as a starting point for stir-frys or other recipes.
The sky is the limit with marinades! Have fun, and enjoy your grass-fed beef!