Chipotle Marinade

chipotle [CHiˈpōtlā]: A smoked hot chili pepper used esp. in Mexican cooking. (Wikipedia)

Dried Chipotle

Dried chipotle offering an intense smokey flavor.

Marinating is an excellent way to infuse flavors into different kinds of meats. It also helps tenderize tough cuts of meat making it easier to digest.  I like Mexican ingredients for a marinade due to its spiciness through the usage of different chilies and its intense flavor. I like using chipotles for this marinade due to its smokey flavor and warmth it brings to the rib eye steak. It can be hard to find dried chipotles in your local grocery store but here in Saskatoon, the El Mercado Las Palapas grocery store on Broadway has a good selection of dried peppers.

Chipotle Marinade

2-3 dried chipotles, stems removed*
1 white onion quartered
2-3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
3-4 tablespoons of cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
3 cups water

1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 Meyer lemon, juiced or juice of 1 lemon

Green onion for garnish

Add all the ingredients above except for the last 2 ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for one hour or until the liquid has reduced to 1 cup. Pour mixture into a blender and puree. Pour through a sieve to remove seeds and add the last 2 ingredients. The cider vinegar and lemon (or lime) provides enough acidity to break down muscle fibers. Allow your marinade to cool before coating your meat as you want the flavors to penetrate the meat but not cook it. Once cooled, coat the steaks liberally and allow it to marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour. You can either marinate the steaks in a bowl or bag which requires less marinade. Grill your steak as normal when the time is up. Garnish the steak with grilled green onions. You can pair this with a potato side dish (baked, mashed, stuffed), grilled vegetables or even risotto.

Grilled Chipotle Rib Eye Steak

Grilled Chipotle Rib Eye Steak

*Warning: these peppers are quite hot so if you can’t handle a lot of heat, reduce the amount of peppers you use. If, after you puree your marinade and find it quite spicy, you can reduce the heat by whisking in a bit of olive oil, tasting after each addition until it’s the right temperature for you.