A marinade is a combination of spices and other components that you can add to your beef to not only enhance its flavor but also aid in the cooking process. Marinating steaks before cooking can result in increased tenderness. While there are countless recipes for steak marinades, which have a liquid base, you can follow several general techniques for marinating steaks, resulting in a tender piece of meat.
Pour a marinade of your choosing over the meat and make sure that it is completely coated. You can pour the marinade over your steak in a bowl or baking pan, as long as you make sure that the entire steak is covered completely in the marinade. Typical examples of marinades might infuse olive oil with ingredients such as vinegar, wine, lemon, lime and even exotic ingredients such as diced papaya, ginger and kiwi. Acidic fruits will aid in tenderness of the finished steak.
Place the marinade-covered meat into a plastic bag and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, depending on your particular recipe. You should aim to marinate the steak for at least 30 minutes so that the flavors are infused into the meat and the acids and enzymes of the marinade begin to tenderize the steak.
Ten minutes before you wish to cook the steak, remove the bag from the refrigerator and allow the meat to reach room temperature.
Remove the marinated meat from the plastic bag and cook the steak according to your recipe.
Consider using olive oil or other vegetable-based oils as the base of your marinade. These oils can withstand higher cooking temperatures and will not burn as quickly as an animal fat such as butter, margarine or lard.