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Marinated Steak

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1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 pounds boneless ribeye or strip steak

Marinated Steak

Marinated steak is a flavorful and delicious recipe for tender meat at your cookouts all summer long.

  • Serves 4
  • Easy

About This Recipe

Steak is a popular and delicious summer recipe, which is really good all year round. This recipe for Marinated Steak adds flavor and well, slightly tenderizes the steak. But don’t be fooled.

The marinade really can’t penetrate all the way through the steak to tenderize it because of physics. The structure of the steak doesn’t allow liquids to enter. The exterior of the steak will get a little tender, but if you marinate too long, it will become mushy, which is not what you want.

It’s the connective tissue in the meat, also known as collagen and muscle fibers, that make steak tough. While some enzymes used in marinades, such as pineapple (bromeliad is the enzyme) and papaya (which has papain, an enzyme), can break down those structures, they do not get into the interior of the steak. Acids such as lemon juice and vinegar break down muscle fibers, but they make the meat’s surface mushy if left too long.

So look to marinades to flavor the meat. And to get tender results, choose the cut carefully. Cuts like tenderloin, ribeye, and strip are going to be more tender than rump or round steak. And the final key is how you slice it. Look for the “grain” in the meat – the direction of the muscle fibers. Slice perpendicular to the grain to cut the fibers, and the meat will be more tender. That’s the secret to flank steak, which is very tough (but very flavorful) unless it is cut against the grain.

For this recipe I used a boneless ribeye steak, about 1-1/4″ thick. I marinated it in the fridge for 8 hours, then grilled it to medium. It’s luscious. Serve it with Fresh Corn Salad for a great meal.

How to make the best Marinated Steak

  • Choose a good red wine that you like to drink. Using cheap wine in cooking doesn’t work, because cooking concentrates the flavor. A sour wine makes a sour dish.
  • Don’t marinate the steak longer than 18 hours or the surface will be mushy.
  • The key to browning meat and getting it off the cooking surface without tearing it is to put it down and don’t move it for at least five minutes. When the steak releases easily from the pan, you can turn it over.
  • Use tongs to handle meat on the grill. Forks will pierce the steak and you’ll lose some juice.
  • Cook to desired doneness, but the USDA recommends a minimum temperature of 145°F with a three minute rest for food safety reasons.

Why this recipe works

  • The marinade does tenderize the outside of the steak. And it adds great flavor.
  • You can use your favorite herbs in this recipe. Tarragon and marjoram would be great choices.
  • If you don’t want to use wine, substitute 1/3 cup beef stock and 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar.


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In a large shallow baking dish, combine the wine, thyme, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper and mix. Add the steaks and turn to coat. Cover the dish and refrigerate for 4 to 18 hours, turning the steak once during marinating time.


When you're ready to eat, prepare and preheat the grill, or heat a cast iron skillet on the stovetop over medium high heat.


Remove the steak from the marinade and drain. Add to the coals or pan and brush with the marinade.


Cover the grill (you don't need to cover the pan, but put the fan on) and cook for 7 to 8 minute per side for medium, or 145°F on a food thermometer. Discard remaining marinade.


Remove the steaks from the grill or pan to a clean plate (never put the steak onto a plate or dish that held the raw meat), and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve the steaks whole, or carve against the grain and serve.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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