Grilled Steak with Olives and Feta

I’m looking forward to UND football’s 1st Annual Spring Cook-Off on Saturday. I’m going to help judge the ribs and burger competition that’s going to be held before UND’s annual spring game in the Alerus Center. At least a dozen area food vendors and restaurants also will be providing food samples for a People’s Choice Competition for fans among other events scheduled.

The thought of all the tasty grilled food that’s going to be available has me thinking about firing up the grill. We have a lot of options available, including pheasant, elk or venison sausage and buffalo burger.

But my first inclination is to look in the freezer for some nice venison tenderloins to marinate. There’s nothing better than those tender morsels wrapped in a slice bacon and cooked to perfection.

Marinating steaks not only adds flavor to the meat but helps tenderize it. Marinades are usually made up of an acidic base that includes such ingredients as wines, vinegar and citrus juices), an oil and seasonings. Some people also use liquids such as beer and soy sauce.

Here’s a recipe for grilled steak that I recently came across that looks pretty yummy. Not only is the meat marinated in a balsamic and red wine vinegar combo, along with garlic, kosher salt and black pepper, it’s topped with feta cheese and kalamata olives among other things.

Grilled Steak with Olives and Feta
4 strip steaks (or other favorite steak), about 6 ounces each
½ cup canola or olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced or crushed garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
½ cup sliced mixed green and kalamata olives
½ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
Cut several slits on the fat side of the strip steaks so they don’t curl when grilling. Place the steaks in a plastic bag. In a small bowl whisk together all the marinade ingredients. Pour half of the marinade over the steaks in the bag. Seal bag and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Cover and refrigerate the other half of the marinade.
Preheat the grill to medium-high.
Remove the steaks from the marinade and discard the marinade. Let steaks sit at room temperature while you make the topping.
In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Add the onions and saute until soft. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, oregano, olives and feta and saute 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Oil the grill grate. Place the steaks on the grill and grill 5 minutes or until you get good grill marks. If desired, turn on an angle and cook 1 to 2 minutes to get nice cross-hatch marks. Turn and continue grilling until the steak is cooked to the desired degree of doneness. It’s best to have an instant-read thermometer. For medium-rare, the internal temperature should range from 125 to 130 degrees. Cover with the topping and drizzle with remaining marinade, if desired.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 422 calories, 49 percent of calories from fat, 23 grams fat (9 grams saturated), 7 grams carbohydrates, 45 grams protein, 641 milligrams sodium, 112 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram fiber.