MAKE: Montreal Steak Seasoning
With a small collection of dried spices and herbs, it is easy, economical and creative to create your own seasoning blends. I use herbs and spices in most everything I cook, and I grow many culinary herbs but they don’t meet my demand so I order from an online retailer. The most economical way to do this is to a make list of your favorite seasonings, meat rubs, and spice blends and their ingredients, determine approximately how much you need for a six month supply and then purchase a bulk order from a local herb shop or an online retailer. Avoid buying dried herbs and spices from grocery stores: they are exposed 16-24 hours of light and may have been on the shelf or in the bulk bin for months, resulting in lost volatile oils which is where the flavor resides.
Using canning jars, a coffee grinder dedicated for spices only (I usually buy my herbs & spices in whole or cut form to preserve their oils), and a list of my favorite seasoning recipes, I can make batches of my blends in one rainy afternoon.
I indulged in some corked spice jars and simply refill them from my larger storage jars of blends. All herbs and spices should be stored away from heat and light to preserve their flavors.
I make the following blends: Blackened Seasoning, Cajun Herb Mix, Italian Herb Blend, Garam Masala, Pungent & Mild Curries, Chili Seasoning, Taco Seasoning, Chorizo Seasoning (for pork sausage), Italian Salad Dressing Mix, Popcorn Seasoning, Poultry Seasoning, Seafood Seasoning, Winter Spice Blend (recipe here)
This year, I made my version of Montreal Steak Seasoning which you can find in most grocery stores. I use this seasoning several times a week on steaks, burgers and grilled vegetables.
According to Wikipedia:
"Montreal steak seasoning, also known as Montreal steak spice, Canadian steak seasoning, or Canadian steak spice, is a spice mix used to flavour steak and grilled meats. It is based on the pickling dry-rub mix used in preparing Montreal smoked meat. The smoked meat seasoning is derived from pickling mixes used in Eastern Europe or Romanian Jewish cuisine.
The primary constituents of Montreal steak seasoning include garlic, coriander, black pepper, Cayenne pepper flakes, dill seed, and salt.The spice mix recipe varies slightly among restaurants and manufacturers.
The Montreal deli Schwartz's is credited with the creation of Montreal steak seasoning. It is rumored that during the 1940s and 1950s, a Schwartz's broilerman by the name of Morris "The Shadow" Sherman began adding the deli's smoked meat pickling spices to his own rib and liver steaks. Soon the customers began asking for the same. Due to its popularity, it eventually became a norm in Montreal delis and steakhouses, such as the nearby Moishes Steakhouse and the Main Deli Steak House, to spice their steaks similarly."
RECIPE: MONTREAL STEAK SEASONING
2 Tablespoons ground paprika (regular or smoked)
2 Tablespoons ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons granulated garlic powder (or use the sweet-savory Black Garlic)
2 Tablespoons fine sea salt (or pink Himlayan salt)
1 Tablespoon granulated onion powder
1 Teaspoon ground dill seed
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground brown mustard seeds
½-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne
Blend the herbs and store in a canning glass jar. Use as a rub for meats that will be grilled or fried and sprinkle over grilled vegetables (recipe here). A collection of your favorite blends in a basket makes a great wedding, housewarming, birthday and holiday gift.
NOTE: I purchase bulk herbs and spices from Mountain Rose Herbs because their herbs and spices are organically grown, the farmers are valued and appropriately compensated, they practice Zero Waste and their packaging is sustainably produced and recyclable. It helps that they are located in Oregon which keeps the price of shipping minimal. There are herb shops throughout North America and other online companies that offer quality herbs.