Beef Recipes Turning You Into a Grill Master

There might not be any food more perfect for grilling than beef, at least that’s what Americans think. According to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association (HPBA), the top two most popular foods to cook over the grates are burgers and steak. Those basics are good, but we think beef can be even better with a little bit of imagination. These seven recipes use a variety of cuts and flavors to show just how versatile the protein can be. A backyard bash featuring these dishes will be talked about for years. All you have to do is cook and enjoy the compliments.

1. Grilled New York Strip Steak with Salsa Verde

Steak, grilled

Steak | iStock.com

While the word salsa might drum up visions of chopped tomatoes, jalapeños, and cilantro, it’s really just the Spanish word for sauce. It also happens to mean the same thing in Italian. This savory steak from Epicurious features the Mediterranean version, which is loaded with anchovies, parsley, garlic, and capers. The tangy sauce pairs perfectly with rich meat, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself using extras on everything from fried eggs to turkey sandwiches.

This salsa verde is about as easy as it gets. Using a mortar and pestle, just mash all the sauce ingredients together, then stir in a bit of water. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you’ll get similar results using a food processor. You’ll want to pulse, rather than purée to retain a little bit of texture.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ tablespoons coarsely crumbled firm white sandwich bread
  • 1½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons drained capers, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ⅛ teaspoon anchovy paste
  • ⅛ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 (12-ounce, 1-inch-thick) boneless New York strip steak

Directions: Prepare grill for cooking. If using charcoal, open bottom vents.

Using a mortar and pestle, mash together bread, vinegar, capers, garlic, anchovy paste, and mustard. Add parsley, oil, salt and pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Stir in water.

Pat steak dry, and season with salt and pepper. When fire is hot, grill steak over high heat on a lightly oiled rack, uncovered, turning once, about 10 minutes total for medium rare. Let rest 10 minutes. Serve with sauce.

2. Muffaletta-Style Grilled Stuffed Flank Steak

steak pinwheel

Flank steak | iStock.com

Stuffed meats always sound like a tasty meal, but they can be tricky to pull off. Many cuts are difficult to butterfly evenly, leaving you with some parts that are incinerated and some parts that are borderline raw. This stuffed steak from Serious Eats gets it right by using flank steak, which is practically made for filling and rolling. The recipe draws on flavors from a classic New Orleans sandwich to pack the meat with plenty of Italian cold cuts, cheese, and olive salad. Feel free to try other variations as well. A combination of spinach, mushrooms, and Gruyere is particularly delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (2- to 2½-pound) flank steak, trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup New Orleans-Style Olive Salad
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced capicola
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced mortadella
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced Provolone cheese

Directions: Lay steak on a cutting board, grain running parallel to edge of counter. Trim left and right edges to form a clean rectangle, and reserve scraps for another use. Holding steak flat, use a sharp knife to butterfly the steak, leaving ¼ to ½ inch attaching the two sides. Open steak, and flatten gently with hands. Season with salt and pepper, and spread olive salad over top, leaving a 1-inch border at top and bottom. Top with prosciutto, capicola, mortadella, and provolone, leaving same border.

Roll steak away from you, tightening as you go, until rolled into a cylinder. Let rest with seam side facing down. Tie beef with twine spaced every 1½ inches. Insert a skewer through each piece of twine, then cut between each tie to make individual pinwheels. Season with salt and pepper.

Light one chimney full of charcoal. Once covered with gray ash, pour evenly over half of grate. If using a gas grill, set half of burners to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and allow to preheat 5 minutes. Clean and oil grate. Place pinwheels over hot side of grill. Cook until charred, about 3 minutes. Flip, and cook about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to cooler side of grill, cover, and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 120 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare. Transfer to a platter. Let rest 5 minutes, and serve.

3. Korean Barbecued Beef Short Ribs

beef recipes

Short ribs | iStock.com

Many barbecue lovers go nuts for the combination of sweet and savory flavors. For a Korean twist, try these marinated short ribs from Fine Cooking. Though you’ll need to let the meat sit in the sauce for at least 2 hours, you can prep the ribs up to 12 hours in advance. Start the recipe in the morning, and you’ll be ready to grill as soon as you walk through the door.

The key to these ribs is the cut. Short ribs usually come cut parallel to the bone, but Korean-style ones are thinner and cut across the bone, so they’ll still be tender when cooked to medium rare. If you don’t regularly see this cut at your butcher, call a few days in advance to put in a request.

Ingredients:

Ribs

  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons apple juice
  • ¼ cup Asian sesame oil
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds (½-inch-thick) cross-cut, bone-in short ribs
  • Vegetable oil

To Serve

  • ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
  • Pinch Korean chile threads
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 18 lettuce leaves, washed, and dried
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • Ssamjang or other chile sauce

Directions: In a large bowl, combine sugar, soy sauce, apple juice, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add short ribs, and massage marinade into meat. Cover, and refrigerate 2 to 12 hours.

Prepare grill for high heat. Clean and lightly oil grate. Remove short ribs from marinade, allowing excess to drip off. Grill, flipping once, about 4 minutes total for medium rare. Transfer to a serving platter.

Garnish meat with scallions, chile threads, and sesame seeds. Serve with lettuce, rice, and Ssamjang to create wraps. Cut bones from meat before eating.

4. Skirt Steak Asada Tacos

steak taco

Tacos | iStock.com

While just about any cut of beef can work in tacos, skirt steak is one of the best choices thanks to its deep flavor. Get a taste for yourself with Mario Batali’s skirt steak asada tacos, which he shared with the Chicago Tribune. This clever method uses a rich salsa as a marinade and a topping. A final sprinkle of lime-spiked onions adds just enough bite to make the meat sing. You’ll never go back to drive-through Mexican food.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium poblano peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips
  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 canned plum tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more
  • 2 pounds skirt steak
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, picked
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, plus lime wedges
  • 8 ounces corn tortillas

Directions: Place a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Once hot, add onion and peppers, and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook 1 minute longer. Add tomatoes and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 5 minutes longer. Transfer mixture to a food processor, and pulse until just smooth.

Place skirt steaks in a sealable plastic storage bag, and add half of pureed. Turn to coat. Refrigerate up to 72 hours.

When ready to grill, salt steaks and grill over medium-high heat, turning once, until deep brown on both sides, about 9 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board, and let rest.

In a medium bowl, combine red onion, cilantro, and lime juice.

Cut steaks into ½-inch slices. Put a few slices in a tortilla, then top with onion and cilantro mixture. Squeeze with lime wedge, and add a tablespoon of reserved salsa. Repeat with remaining fillings and tortillas. Serve.

5. Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Herb-Garlic-Pepper Coating

beef tenderloin

Beef tenderloin | iStock.com

Rosemary-crusted beef tenderloin doesn’t have to be a winter meal when you take to cooking outside. Give the tender cut a little bit of a flavor boost with this grilled version from Allrecipes.com. The method uses a two-level fire to get the best results. Start by searing the meat over direct heat, then move it to the cooler side of the grill to gently finish cooking. It’ll take 35 to 60 minutes, depending on how rare you like your meat, but the results are worth the wait.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (5-pound) whole beef tenderloin, trimmed
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Directions: Fold thin tip end under to create an even thickness, and tie with twine every 1½ to 2 inches. Mix oil, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Rub over beef to coat. Set aside.

Fill half of charcoal grill with hot coals, or turn half of burners to high heat. Let grill preheat 10 minutes. Oil grate. Place beef over hot side of grill, and close lid. Cook until seared, about 5 minutes. Flip, and sear on second side, about 5 minutes longer.

Move meat to cooler side of grill. Cook, covered, until an instant-read thermometer registers 120 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare, or 130 degrees Fahrenheit for medium, 35 to 60 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes. Carve, and serve.

6. Grilled Beef Ribs with Smoky-Sweet Barbecue Sauce

barbecue beef ribs

Beef ribs | iStock.com

Rib fiends usually devour piles of pork, but beef bones are every bit as satisfying. This delicious recipe from Food & Wine braises the ribs on the stove until they’re perfectly tender, before a trip to the grill for a bit of char. While the beef is simmering, whip up an easy homemade sauce. Though the ingredient list looks a bit long, it’s just a matter of combining everything, and letting the mixture simmer for 15 minutes. Save extra sauce for dressing up chicken or burgers.

Ingredients:

Ribs

  • 15 pounds beef back ribs, membrane removed, and cut into individual ribs
  • 1 liter cola
  • 1 liter water
  • 1½ teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • Kosher salt

Sauce

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ½ cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1½ teaspoons ancho chile powder

Directions: Place ribs in a large pot or roasting pan. Add cola and water, adding more if needed, to just cover. Bring to a boil, skimming scum from surface. Add peppercorns and 1 tablespoon salt. Cover, and simmer over low heat until meat is tender, but not falling from bone, about 2 hours. Drain.

Meanwhile, combine all sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan. Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until thick and glossy, about 15 minutes.

Heat grill to high. Working in batches, arrange ribs on baking sheets, and brush with sauce. Grill ribs, turning and brushing, until lightly charred, about 12 minutes. Serve with remaining sauce.

7. Kofta Kebabs with Tzatziki

Tzatziki, yogurt, cucumber, cream

Tzatziki | iStock.com

Not everyone loves the flavor of lamb, which can make it difficult to enjoy Greek food. Food Network’s kebab recipe substitutes beef for a more familiar flavor. That doesn’t mean the rest of the dish is tame, though. These skewers get tons of taste from a combination of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and coriander. Serve the cooked kebabs with your favorite flatbread, and a drizzle of tzatziki. We also like to whip up a simple Greek salad, like this one from Chow.com.

Ingredients:

Tzatziki

  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved, and seeded
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus a pinch
  • ½ garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon dried mint, crumbled

Kebabs

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 3 tablespoons grated onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Grilled flatbread

Directions: Grate cucumber on large holes of a box grater into a bowl. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt, and rub cucumber with hands. Set aside 20 minutes, then squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible.

Smash ½ garlic clove, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Using the side of a knife, mash garlic into a paste. Stir cucumber, garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, and mint into yogurt. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Smash 4 garlic cloves, and sprinkle generously with salt. Using the side of a knife, mash into a paste. Mix paste with remaining 1 tablespoon salt, beef, onion, parsley, and spices.

If using wooden skewers, soak at least 15 minutes. Line a pan with foil, and divide mixture into 28 balls. Mold each piece around pointed end of a skewer, making 2-inch oval kebabs that come to a point just over the tip of each skewer. Lay skewers on pan, cover, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.

Heat grill to medium heat. Brush grates with olive oil. Working in batches, grill kebabs, turning occasionally, until browned all over and just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a platter. Serve with bread and tzatziki.

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