Leon’s Budget BBQ Steaks

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Just in time for your Australia Day barbie, Leon shares his special BBQ meat rub and magic post-marinade recipes for melt-in-the-mouth budget steaks.

Serves: Four to six (but multiply ingredients to serve more people)
Not long at all


  • 6 x 300g blade steaks (or steak of your preference – instructions are for blade steaks)
  • aluminium foil

Dry rub

  • 3 tablespoons pink sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or brown sugar (ground fine)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons course black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

Post Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or golden syrup, but maple is better)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine (but works just as well without it)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or raspberry balsamic)
  • handful fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)

To make the dry rub, combine all of the dry ingredients together. This will make a rub for three large roasts or around 10–12 steaks. Wash your steaks in clean water and pat them dry. Once dry, cut three slits across the meat about one inch apart and rub about half to one teaspoon of dry rub into each steak. Go easy with it though, you’ll only need a little bit because the mixture is super tasty (and a little spicy) and the post-marinade will also flavour your meat.

Place steaks in the fridge for about one to two hours (the longer you leave it, the more the rub will seep into the meat). And the leftover dry rub can be used for your next barbie (or six!)

You may as well use this time to make your post marinade. I’ve based my recipe on one from a friend of mine, a maestro with meat named Tim Elwin, who runs a great website called Urban Munching (check it out!). Anyway, add all ingredients and mix well. I find popping it all into a jar with a sealed lid, then shaking, works best. Leave the marinade out at room temperature.

Your steaks should come out of the fridge with enough time to get to room temperature before cooking. Make sure your BBQ or fry pan is set to medium-high and, when hot (not smoking) sear each side before frying for six to seven minutes, turning once during cooking.

Pour your marinade into a baking dish. Remove your steaks from the pan and sit in the marinade. Ensure both sides are marinated. Cover with foil and leave for five minutes.

Serve steaks with vegetables or salad, drizzling the marinade over the top of the meat. The marinade can also be added to some chutney, stirred and used as a warm salad dressing.

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 8
  1. 0

    Sounds great, Leon, both the rub and marinade. Many Chinese restaurants do similar with economy cuts of meat, but after marinating for a day the taste belies the price.

  2. 0

    Call me a glass-half-empty man, if you will, but I’m suspicious. Blade steaks marinated for three weeks with another fifty ingredients in the marinade (excuse the sarcasm) will still be tough … tough … tough when cooked in this manner. Nah.

  3. 0

    Furthermore, Fast Eddie, where do you get the idea that this dish is economical? Blade steak is a little less expensive than rump, yes, but after you finish buying the 111 different herbs and spices for the marinade (excuse the sarcasm), you might as well have made do with a couple of kilos of plain wagyu at $50 a kilo. Sheesh!

    • 0

      Well now, what can I possibly say to a “guy” with a female’s name who purports to know it all? Nothing, as I would further tip the scales in your disfavour.

  4. 0

    Leon, GiGi says she doesn’t like your recipe, but I think it sounds great.

  5. 0

    Budget??? Whose budget?? Oh, must run out and purchase ‘liquid smoke’ too. Can’t live without that! 19 ingredients do not a budget steak make.

  6. 0

    You can buy your steak already swimming in a tray of marinade from many butchers.
    Of course it’s what they do when the meat is turning a lime green colour.
    Oh dear, “yummy”, I don’t think so.

  7. 0

    Dear oh dear Fast. No use getting all personal! Here’s a thought, Fast: When you’ve nothing to say, say nothing!



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