Everyday Cheapskate: They'll Think It's Filet Mignon
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 beef flank steak (1 1/2-pounds) (or cut of your choice)
In a shallow bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, onion, ginger and pepper. Place steak in a large plastic zipper bag. Pour marinade over. Zip the bag, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours if possible (two days is ideal), turning occasionally to keep the marinade well-distributed.
Heat an outdoor grill to hot. Grill steak for 7 to 8 minutes per side to no more than medium temperature, or 145 degrees F on a quality instant-read thermometer, like this ThermoPop (please, don't cook past medium, or you will be disappointed).
To serve, slice thinly against the grain on the diagonal. Serves 6. Recipe multiplies well.
How Marinades Work to Tenderize
A marinade is a combination of three basic components: acid (vinegar, wine, citrus, soy sauce, coffee) spices and oil. The acid is the key ingredient, as it helps to break down tough connective tissue in meats and poultry, making them tender. The combination of acid, oil and herbs/spices enhances the flavor. But it takes time. And the longer the meat or poultry sits in that marinade, the more tender it will be.
One word of caution: Once you've used the marinade to tenderize and flavor meat or poultry, do not reuse it. Once it's been in contact with raw meat, it can harbor bacteria. Unused marinade can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for later use.