I picked up a free sample of McCormick & Co.’s Montreal Steak seasoning somewhere. I’m not exactly sure where I got it, either at a culinary festival or a culinary conference. I know that it was free because it says so right on the little packet.
We don’t eat much beef around here anymore, despite my Texas upbringing, but I bought a couple steaks from a local Arizona cattle rancher at a farmers market a couple of weeks ago. Since I bought them (the young rancher looked so darn cute in his cowboy hat, I couldn’t resist) I decided that I might as well grill them and use up the packet of free spice.
The Montreal Steak seasoning’s first ingredient is salt. Normally, that would dissuade me from buying the spice. But the thing is, for steak, salt is probably the most important seasoning. You need salt and plenty of it to bring out the beefy taste (especially if the beef is grass fed, like these New York Strips).
Besides salt, there’s a hefty amount of pepper – black peppercorns and red chile flakes. There are a few cracked coriander seeds and fennel seeds and lots of orange-tinted flakes that at first I thought might be orange peel. They’re not. They taste hot. And garlicky. Maybe they’re just granulated garlic but I’m not sure why they’re orange.
If you grill a lot of steaks and you’re always trying out a new spice mix, you might like this blend. Just be generous with it so it can live up to it’s “bold” claim.