Grilling With Don

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Don Redinius, a Reading native who has written a book, “The New Era of Financial Success.” Prior to that interview, Don sent me the following instructions for the steak marinade recipe that he has “perfected over the years.” It’s quite a detailed process, so I’m sharing it exactly as Don e-mailed it to me. Here’s Don’s formula for steak success:

I am going to try to explain this as if I were going to cook a one pound steak (a steak that is approximately five inches in diameter and one inch thick). I have never written this down before; I just do it based on experience and intuition about how much it takes. I will do my best to quantify the amounts based on what I usually do, along with the appropriate times.

I would suggest you do one steak with the approach I describe, and then use your own common sense to adjust whatever you think might make the steak more flavorful for you, i.e. you may want it more spicy (Cholula sauce) or less salty etc. Also these instructions are based on grilling a rare to medium rare steak. I have no idea what will happen if you nuke the steak (nor would I understand why someone would want to do that).

What you will need:

1. This is a must unless you only eat Filet Mignon steak. Meat Tenderizer Tool (45 blade version from Sur La Table): or similar. It is a high quality tool and will cost you about $40.00 — well worth it, and if you take care of it, it will last a lifetime.

2. Wood cutting board (for using the above tenderizer)

3.  Pan to keep the Marinade from getting all over the counter after being applied.

4. Meat Tenderizer Powder. The amount you use will vary depending on the quality of the steak and here are a couple of examples:

a. Filet Mignon — none.

b.  Rib eye —  sprinkle on about half the amount as if you were going to salt a steak.

c.  New York Strip — sprinkle on about the same amount as if you were going to salt a steak.

d. Eye of Round — sprinkle on about twice the amount as if you were going to salt a steak.

e. If you put too much on you will notice that the meat tends to become a little mushy —  approximating/approaching the feel of wet ground up paper when chewed. You will know if it happens — then be sure to back off the next time.

5.  Soy Sauce.

6.  Liquid Smoke.

7.  Cholula Brand Hot Sauce.

8.  Montreal Steak Seasoning.

9.  Whiskey (Jack Daniels preferred).

General Approach:

1. Pull the steak out of the refrigerator (I like to start doing this with the steak at a refrigerated temperature) and place onto the cutting board.

1. Using the 45 blade tenderizer essentially cover the whole steak at least once with the blades (do both sides this way). It does two things 1) it helps to further tenderize the steak by cutting those nasty little ligament things in the meat you can’t see and 2) it creates pores for the marinade to flow into. Note: you will be doing this a second time later.

2.  Now into the pan for the first application of marinade

a. Sprinkle on the tenderizing powder per the quality of steak you are using on one side.

b. Sprinkle on enough soy sauce to adequately wet the side of the steak (should not be so much that it runs off the steak, just good and moist as you will add more later)

c. Using your fingers rub the soy and tenderizer powder into the pours.

d. Flip steak and repeat.

e. Let this set for about ten minutes (the steak will absorb all the sauce and start to look a bit dry)

3. Next Application of Marinade

a.  Randomly put five drops of liquid smoke on one side.

b. Randomly put about five drops of Cholula sauce on the same side.

c. Sprinkle on Montreal Steak Seasoning (A light coating, similar to putting on ½ of the normal salting /peppering of a steak). Too much will make the steak a bit salty tasting because of the soy sauce.

d. Sprinkle on a about twice the amount of soy sauce used above.

e. Using your fingers rub the mixture together to an even wet moist surface on the steak (add a little more soy if necessary so it is wet for the next step).

f. Back to the wooden cutting board — using the 45 blade tenderizer go over the meat one more time which will also push the wet slurry into the meat.

g. Flip steak and repeat and put back into the pan.

4. Let this set for about an hour — by now you will have some extra soy sauce/mixture on the bottom of the pan around the steak. Every fifteen minutes or so flip the steak over or the top surface will become too dry.

5.  Last Application of Marinade — now time for the whiskey (and hopefully you haven’t drunk it all by now!)

a. Put about a half a shot on each side, rubbing it in before doing the other side.

b. Leave set in the pan for about 30 minutes flipping the steak over every 5 to seven minutes as you will now have an even larger amount of marinade in the pan.

6. While the preparation of the steak is one of the most important steps in getting a good steak, you don’t want to mess up the grilling part. Here are some recommendations.

a.  If at all possible use a Green Egg or equivalent porcelain grill with hardwood charcoal.

b. Next best is a regular grill using hardwood charcoal and finally with ordinary charcoal.

c. Gas grill with lava rocks and at the bottom of the list is a gas grill without lava rocks.

d. Grill temp should be around 350 to 425 degrees preheated.

e.  Approximately 4 minutes per side

f. Preheat the plate the meat will be placed on to about 225 degrees, cover with Aluminum foil until ready to eat (5 minutes or so) This will warm the center more without overcooking the meat.

7. Pour a glass of Cabernet at 58 degrees.

8. Bon appetite!