Hide the Anchovies

Posted by | February 14, 2014 | Cooking, Recipe | No Comments

I love anchovies and I am always trying to find ways to sneak them in without John tasting them.  This one was a WINNER!  I may do a whole series of recipes for you featuring anchovies. This recipe is for a marinade for flank steak or a tri tip.  You could try it on other things, but these are the only cuts I have vetted for this recipe. Trust me.  Really.  John despises anchovies and he LOVES this marinade.

Here is what you need to know.

  • Soy sauce and anchovies are loaded with umami, that magical fifth taste.  When blended together they are a secret weapon.
  • And don’t be afraid of the salt either.  Seriously.
  • If you want to switch it up a little, you can add a tablespoon of good quality tomato paste (the kind in a squeezable metal tube, not from the can) because that is loaded with umami too.
  • Let this marinate at the very minimum 30 minutes, but no longer than 4 hours.  And if I am doing a quick marinade, I let it sit at room temp.
  • I chose grapeseed oil for its neutral flavor and high smoke point. You are tossing this onto a hot grill. You want oil that can stand the heat.
  • Contrary to what the Kraft salad dressing commercials would have you believe, your meat doesn’t need to SWIM in marinade. This is enough for an average sized flank steak.  I increase it by half or double it for a tri tip depending on the size and of course marinate the tri tip longer.
  • And before you go freaking out about the lack of acid, there is a reason for that.    Acid “cooks” the meat and can make it tough if you marinate for a long time. Yes, really.  Did you ever eat ceviche?  Well the fish is “cooked” with an acid like lemon or lime juice.  If you really want that hit of acid, splash on some red wine vinegar after it comes off the grill and has rested, but you won’t need it.

No, there isn’t a pic of the recipe.  Do you really want a pic of dark brown liquid?

 “Hide the Anchovies” Marinade    

4 large cloves garlic

1 ½ tsp Kosher Salt

2 anchovy filets

4 Tbsp Soy Sauce

4 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil


Using a mortar and pestle (or a muddler) crush garlic into a paste with the Kosher Salt.  Add anchovies and continue to make a paste.  Whisk in Soy and Oil until a uniform consistency has been reached.

Place beef into marinade and allow to sit for at least ½ hour or up to 4 hours.  Grill beef to desired doneness.