Oriental Inspired BBQ Steak Marinade

I'm am NOT going to tell you how long ago I added this recipe to my collection - just way too weird.  In my 20's (that means you have to guess my age) I subscribed to a recipe card series where they sent you a recipe box at the start and then one set of cards each month until full. It's hard to remember which exactly of my long held favourites came from this fount of knowledge, but this marinade did and it's one I still love

The original recipe card was for Sukiyaki, but I loved the marinade they used for the beef and thought it might be a great choice for steak going on the BBQ.  I was right.  The recipe had to be doubled and tripled over time as the number of steaks grew to accommodate my growing family, but it's still the most requested dish I serve for birthdays.

I am personally not a big meat eater and was a vegetarian for many years, but the unique taste of this marinade even has me pulling out the knife and fork - as long as the steak is carefully well-done by my husband.  He can do it without making it tough or dry - love I guess.

Let's start with the basics.  I purchase a large package of top sirloin steaks at Costco that are thick. In looking, I would guess about 1 inch.  The packages seem to hold about 4 pounds of steak (1.8 KG).  I cut them in smaller size pieces.  This helps the marinade get into the meat better and honestly, even though they may look small, the steaks are very thick so it's more than you think.

I then split the meat into two large or one extra-large Ziploc Freezer bags and put 1 full recipe of marinade in each one (so one recipe to 2 lbs. of meat). Sometimes I do a recipe and a half to 2 lbs of meat as I love the taste it imparts. Carefully squeeze out all the air and seal, then lay flat in in your refrigerator.  If you can remember, turn it over once or twice during the marinade process.  If you have a nice big container that you can lay the meat in a single, flat layer you can also just pour the marinade on top and flip the steaks a few times over the marinade process.  Again - don't forget you need a MINIMUM of 1 recipe for up to 2 lbs. of steak and preferably a little more.

For ease, and so they really soak up the flavour, I put the meat in the marinade the night before. Add a few make-ahead salads and the day of your dinner all you will need to do is set the table and fire up the BBQ.  You could also put them in the marinade first thing in the morning for an evening get-together.

One item in the marinade - the whole peppercorns - soften the longer they are allowed to soak and I have had guests who love to take a bite of steak embedded with these jewels.  Others prefer to scrap them off as they don't like the intense peppery bite.  So don't remove them, let the guests decide.

Oriental Steak Marinade (single Recipe)
This is good for no more than 2 lbs. of good quality steak.  More is better in this instance, so don't be afraid to do a recipe and a half for 2lbs. if you want lots of flavour.

1/2 cup      Chopped Onion
4 Cloves    Garlic, crushed or minced (minced will impart more flavour)
5 T            Soy Sauce (I use low sodium)
5 T            Salad Oil
1 T            Sesame Seeds
1 T            Sugar
2 T            Whole Black Peppercorns (or you could try a variety mix - see note below)
3 T            Dry Sherry or Cooking Sherry (in same aisle as vinegar)

Combine all Marinade ingredients, pour over meat and let marinade up to 24 hours - a would say a minimum of 6 hours.  Occasionally flip meat over to make sure it gets evenly marinaded.

That's it - fast and easy to get ready and we all know how relaxing it is to sit outside and visit while something cooks on the BBQ.
Note - Black peppercorns have a hotter flavor and more of a bite; white peppercorns are subtler and milder; and Green peppercorns are the least pungent of the three.  I think the black adds the most flavour to this to my preference and again, guests can just scrap them off.  The steak is not spicy at all.