La Deliziosa Vita, Recipes

Hit the grill with Teach’s Magic Marinade

First, a correction: the measurement for ketchup in last month’s barbecue sauce recipe (“Recipes for Grilling Season,” July, B2) from “Kitchenless Cook” Bill Knutson should have been one cup, not three cups (math’s not my strong suit; that’s why I became a writer).

This month’s recipe is also perfect for the summer grill. A few months ago, Kickie (my dad’s girlfriend after my mother passed away, and my second mom) was going through one of her old cookbooks and there, stuck between the pages, was my dad’s handwritten recipe for his marinade. It brought back such wonderful memories of him in the kitchen, listening to the Giants game on the radio with a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon in hand, a countertop full of spices and herbs as he worked out ratios, and, after years of trial and error, he finally perfected them. He was a teacher for 30 years, and his nickname was “Teach,” so he called it Teach’s Magic Marinade. Mostly he used it with tri-tip, a flavorful cut of beef from the bottom of the sirloin. Tri-tip is lower in fat than most cuts, which also means it can be tough, so it really needs to marinate, preferably overnight. If you don’t want to use beef, this marinade also works well with pork and chicken.

You can find high-quality tri-tip at Whole Foods. Though it’s one of the cheaper cuts, you’ll pay a bit more when it’s from a small, reputable, humane ranch, but I think it’s worth it to know where your meat comes from and how it is raised, as well as to support small, local farmers.


¼ cup light soy sauce
½ cup red wine (use one you would drink)
¼ cup beer (lager or ale)
¾ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Dash of onion powder
Dash of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt (optional)
Dash of Adolph’s tenderizer, original unseasoned (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake well. Store in refrigerator.

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