This is the famous Throwdown! winner steak, where Bobby Flay’s competition, Major Eric Dominijanni, fought hard and won. Before I dish on the recipe, I have to reveal what went down before any cooking actually occurred in my kitchen. The beef in this steak recipe is supposed to be marinated 4-6 hours. I decided I wanted to let it marinade overnight, so I started to prep the ingredients the night before. Why I decided to do this just as the kids were transitioning from dinner to bedtime, I have no clue. As I dug around my kitchen, I was able to find everything but the meat. “Where’s the beef?!” Heh Heh. You have to remember the 80’s to get it… humungous buns, teeny-tiny patty…
I had a sinking feeling that maybe I left my not-so-cheap beef tenderloin at the store, where I had been frazzled due to my boys either laughing or fussing or both. I vowed – for the 40th time – that I’d never bring more than one child to the grocery store again. After making Hubby dig through the big trash can for the itsy-bitsy store receipt (I did my share of digging), would you believe what I found? The silly ‘ol beef surfaced in the fridge. Yep, just surfaced. How funny! Hubby didn’t think it was funny.
I happily went on to make the marinade. This marinade is surprisingly easy to make. When I followed the instructions to toss the marinade over the beef in a plastic bag, I accidentally spilled some of it. OK, a lot of it. This is why my kitchen rug now smells like soy sauce.
Thankfully, there was still enough marinade left to soak the steaks in, because the recipe makes a whole slew of sauce. Good. I didn’t have to go and remake the marinade. Let’s just hope this steak is worth it.
This steak looks and smells so good, you’ll grow hungry just standing near it. There is an approximate amount of minutes for cooking, but we always make sure to press down on the meat to feel for the right amount of doneness. That’s because steaks vary in thickness. Medium rare feels semi-soft. Not soft like when it was rare, but not firm either. If it feels firm, you’ll have a well-done steak.
The sauce is an eclectic combination of spicy, tangy, and sweet. I didn’t put as much heat into my sauce, just out of personal preference. If you like it hot, absolutely go for the whole habanero!
The orange zest and fresh lemon gives this sauce a nice citrus complexity. The soda (or pop, for Midwestern peeps) provides the sweet. As you know, I used tenderloin for my steaks, which means they were super tender. The original recipe uses New York strip steaks, which I think would be awesome as well.
So, did this steak turn out tasting like it could take down Bobby Flay? You be the judge.
RECIPE (serves 4)
1 can regular cola (12 oz)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup garlic teriyaki sauce (I used regular teriyaki and added minced garlic)
1 habanero chile, with seeds, finely chopped (use gloves!)
1 TB grated orange zest
1 TB grated fresh ginger, peel removed
1 TB extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing steaks or grill
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 tsp fresh squeezed lemon
4 New York strip steaks, about 3/4 in thick (I used tenderloin steaks)
Mix all the ingredients, except for beef, in a bowl. This can be made ahead of time and kept in fridge when ready to use. Place steaks in resealable bag and pour just enough marinade to completely cover the meat on both sides. Set aside remainder of marinade. Set steaks in fridge 4-6 hours or overnight. Take steaks out 30 min to 1 hour before grilling, so it can get closer to room temp.
Take the unused marinade and reserve about 1/3 cup of it in a bowl for basting. Pour the rest in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and stir occasionally for 10-15 minutes. It should thicken a bit, to a dipping sauce consistency. Set sauce aside.
Preheat grill to high. Oil the grill or coat steaks with oil. Grill over direct high heat, basting occasionally. Turn over once, about 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove steaks from grill and let rest for 3 minutes before slicing. Serve warm, with dipping sauce.
Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay’s cookbook, Throwdown!