BBQ Bonanza Guest Post: Steak with Friends at Home with Rick Tramonto

Welcome to the 4th of July installment of the BBQ Bonanza. This installment comes from the resourceful Vivian Boroff of Island Dreaming in Oklahoma. Postal delays didn't stop her from keeping to our schedule and only my unexpected travel kept this review from posting sooner. Thanks Vivian, and sorry. I hope your copy has arrived by now!

This sounds like a terrific marinade and a book worth checking out.


STEAK with FRIENDS At Home with Rick Tramonto

by Vivian Boroff

Barbecue is a way of life in our house. Generally we smoke our meats. A long slow smoked brisket is what we tend to favor. Still there is something to be said for a really great steak grilled to perfection. Rick Tramonto's Steak with Friends was such a refreshing change for me. I collect cookbooks, but I don't often buy books that revolve around barbecue or grilling.

As I perused this book I was pleasantly surprised by the spectrum of recipes, how the different cuts of meat were addressed, and the wonderful appetizers and sides. What really grabbed me were the sauces and marinades. Everything from the simple Balsamic Marinade, to a complex Bourdelaise Sauce. This is a book that will please anyone who has a sincere appetite for great food from the grill.

I love a great steak and found some lovely Sirloins at our local butcher. I decided to do this with the Balsamic Marinade. I normally leave matters involving the grill to my husband Cliff, and he has never failed to disappoint me. But this time around I was manning the flames. Unfortunately, our overcast weather drove me indoors to the Cast Iron Grill Pan. The original recipe tops this with an Au Poivre Sauce, but after I tasted the marinade, I thought that this would be better left on it's own. The steaks turned out absolutely perfect.

Grilled Steak with Balsamic Marinade


  • 4 Top Sirloin Steaks 6 to 8 oz each and 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Balsamic Marinade (recipe to follow)
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil


In a shallow baking dish, cover the steaks with the marinade. Gently rub it into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.

Prepare a clean, well oiled charcoal or gas grill so that the coals or heat element are medium -hot. Or heat the broiler (in my case the grill pan).

Lift the steaks from the marinade and let the marinade drip into the dish. Brush the steaks with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.

Grill the steaks, turning once for a total of 12 - 14 minutes for rare meat or 16 - 18 minutes for medium rare. Let the steaks rest for about 5 minutes before serving.


Balsamic Marinade

  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 1/2 cups olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a glass, ceramic or other nonreactive mixing bowl, stir together the vinegar, orange zest and juice, garlic, shallot and thyme. Whisk in the olive oil until it comes together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.



Other BBQ Bonanza Posts

This is one post in a summer series highlighting guest bloggers and new grill guides and barbecue books.

Tell us what you've been grilling. Favorite tip or recipe?