Last weekend, my lady and I spent some time in New Orleans, and over the course of a few days we consumed somewhere between four and eleventy billion Bloody Marys. And a few hurricanes. And one of those hand grenade drinks that comes in those yard glasses that advertise it as the strongest drink on Bourbon Street which was not that strong oh my god I remember very little of that night after consuming it but the two are totally not correlated.
We made it home in one piece, and I decided that I wanted to incorporate the Bloody Mary into something I cooked, without taking the easy way out and just making some peel-and-eat shrimp with cocktail sauce.
(Sidenote: a Bloody Mary is basically cocktail sauce, with tomato juice instead of ketchup. But it’s cool, because cocktail sauce is delicious, and really, are peel-and-eat shrimp anything more than a sauce delivery vehicle? I’ve had maybe three shrimp in my life that made me say, oh this doesn’t taste like watery rubber, I would eat these on their own.)
I figured for something like this, a flank steak would work best. Chicken would be overwhelmed by the tomato mixture, and fish would break down if I left it to sit long enough for the marinade to penetrate it. So I went to the internet to look up recipes and see if anyone has ever done this before, to at least make sure that no one has ever tried it and said, do not make this, it turned my steak into mush and the marinade exploded and left huge stains on my ceiling, and when we tried to sell our house we had to put in the description “pay no attention to the red stains in the kitchen from the great Bloody Mary incident of 2006.
One recipe came back. And I clicked on it, and saw that the author was…
No, no, no, no, no. We do not travel to Flavortown in this house, we make nothing that is righteous, and everything is in bounds and on the hook.
(BTW, I had to look all those expressions up. Some of them. Maybe.)
I did take a look at the method he used, and it lined up with what I had planned to do, so I went about creating my own recipe that would not only make a good marinade, but also the base for a great drink. Not to toot my own horn, but I think I knocked it out of the park.
A few notes before I get to the recipe:
- This is my recipe, any similarity to an existing recipe is completely coincidental, so there will be no attribution.
- I served this with a simple salad and brown rice with lots of herbs – that recipe will come in a later mini-post.
- You could use a bottled mix, and get pretty good results. Don’t. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes, you’ll use the ingredients in other recipes, and you can modify it as you like.
- Caveat: if you’re going to use bottled lemon juice and not fresh squeezed, then go ahead and use the bottled. It’s not going to taste nearly as good.
This does call for using a cast-iron skillet. I know that scares a lot of people off, because they think it takes so much time to maintain it, and if you mess one thing up then it becomes totally useless. I used to think so too, but it’s pretty easy – I bought one at a flea market a couple years ago, and after a little cleanup it’s slicker than a non-stick skillet. Here’s a great primer on how to bring an old one back to life.
Bloody Mary Marinated Flank Steak
Serves 4, plus makes enough base for 2 Bloody Marys
1 1 1/2 lb flank or skirt steak
2 5.5 oz cans Spicy Hot V-8 juice
1 11.5 oz can tomato juice
2 1/2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T prepared horseradish
1/2 T Sriracha
1/2 t soy sauce
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
2 T canola oil
Place steak in a large Ziploc bag. Mix remaining ingredients, except for oil. Pour half of the mixture into the bag – save the rest for drinks.
Press as much air out of the bag as you can, then seal the bag. Place in the refrigerator on top of a dish or paper towels, in case the bag leaks. Marinate for 8 hours, flipping every couple hours to ensure even marinating.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet on high heat. Add oil to the pan, and heat until smoking. Place the steak into the pan fat side down, turn the heat down to medium-high, and cook for 3 minutes on each side until well browned on each side.
Remove the steak and place on a cutting board. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain.