Montreal Steak Spice & Marinade
I’ve been working on posting my recipe for making Montreal Smoked Meat, and I realized that I never did post my recipe for Montreal Steak Spice - a key part of that recipe.
SO, today I’m going to rectify that!
As I was gathering the photos from previous shoots, to get this post together, I realized - when we shot this spice mix for More Than Poutine, we shot it together with a knockoff recipe for Diana Steak Spice Marinade.
Like literally did not photograph the steak spice on its own.
So, in the spirit of laziness leading to giving... we’re doing a 2-for here today!
Montreal Steak Seasoning
Montreal Steak Spice is a seasoning mix that’s ubiquitous here in Canada - it’s pretty much *the* default seasoning blend of grilling season.
Like the name suggests, this spice mix originated in Montreal, Quebec.
As legend tells it, the mix specifically came from Schwartz’s Deli. It’s pretty much a historic landmark at this point - the company has been around for almost 100 years, and is famous for its smoked meat.
Back in the 40s or 50s, one of their employees started using their pickling spice when cooking his own steaks.
The customers started asking for it, other delis and steak houses followed suit, and it became a Canadian tradition!
Homemade Montreal Steak Spice
Today I’m sharing my version of the mix, which I use when making my own Montreal Smoked Meat (Sort of - I omit the salt when making smoked meat!).
I also use this when grilling or roasting beef in general, in making beef burgers (sometimes), etc. It’s also the main flavour in my replica Diana Marinade - more on that in a few minutes.
While my recipe has all the flavour of commercially available Montreal Steak Seasoning, it has a lot less salt.
I don’t know if the stuff we’d get in Minnesota was actually saltier than I was used to, but it sure seemed like it.
The salt content was definitely excessive - it really doesn’t need that much.
I’m guessing it’s a matter of salt acting as a cheaper filler material, than anything else.
If you find you want more salt in this, feel free to add more. Just be sure to try it as-is, first - I think you’ll find that it’s definitely got enough salt! It’s ruined us for the store-bought favourite, to be honest.
The full recipe is at the bottom of this post, and can be used to make the marinade recipe, later in this post.
How to Make Montreal Steak Spice
Makes about ½ cup.
Measure peppercorns, garlic, coriander, dill, and pepper flakes into a nonstick pan.
Toast over medium-high heat - stirring constantly - until fragrant. Remove from heat, allow to cool.
Transfer toasted spices to a small food processor or spice grinder, blitz until ingredients are fairly fine, but still mostly identifiable.
Mix in remaining ingredients.
Store in an airtight container.
Replica Diana Steak Spice Marinade
Much like the Diana BBQ Sauces I posted the other day, the source material for this is a popular, commercially available product in Canada.
It’s particularly good for steak and vegetables. If using commercial steak spice, leave out the ½ tsp salt. Taste, add more salt if necessary.
To make this gluten-free, be sure to use a gluten-free soy sauce.
A Note on Accuracy
Because this is a replica of a commercial product, the technique - and corn starch - are things that I normally wouldn't include in a basic marinade.
While I'd normally leave the water and corn starch out and just shake/whisk the remaining ingredients, I'm a stickler for details! Done as described, this produces a marinade that is very accurate to the store-bought version.
If you're looking for a great-tasting steak marinade, and don't really care if it has the right viscosity to replicate a $3 bottle of Canadian marinade that you've never tried, you can definitely skip the water, corn starch, and cooking!
Replica Diana Steak Spice Marinade
Makes about 1 ¼ cups marinade.
¼ cup Vegetable oil
¼ cup Water
¼ cup Granulated sugar
2 Tbsp Montreal steak spice (Recipe below)
1 tsp Corn starch
1 tsp Mustard powder
1 tsp Soy sauce
½ tsp Paprika
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Thyme
Measure ingredients into a small saucepan.
Whisk all ingredients together.
Bring to just a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and cool before using.
To use, marinate food items for about 30 minutes, before cooking.
This recipe is one of many fantastic Canadian recipes in my cookbook, "More Than Poutine: Favourite Foods from my Home and Native Land”. "More than Poutine" is a Canadian cookbook like no other - written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional home cooking recipes, as well as accurate homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada! Order your copy here on this site, through Amazon, or through any major bookseller!
More Grilling & Smoker Recipes!
Looking for an excuse to fire up the grill? I've got you...
Apple Chicken Burgers with Basil & Gouda
Cold Smoked Potato Salad
Grilled Jambalaya Skewers
Hop Marinated Chicken & Vegetable Skewers
Hoppy IPA BBQ Sauce
How to Cook Corn on the Cob
Montreal Smoked Meat
Moroccan Spiced Lamb Burgers
Replica Diana Sauce
Smoked Cheese Balls
Smoked French Fries
Smoked Jalapeno Poppers
Spinach Feta Salmon Burgers
Tandoori Spiced Chicken Burgers with Mango
Vegetarian Chorizo Burgers with Grilled Poblano & Cilantro Pesto
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Montreal Steak Spice
- 2 Tbsp Black peppercorns
- 1 ½ Tbsp Dried minced garlic
- 2 tsp Coriander seeds
- 2 tsp Dill Seed
- 1 ½ tsp Crushed chilies / red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp Salt
- 1 tsp Onion powder
- ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
- Measure peppercorns, garlic, coriander, dill, and pepper flakes into a nonstick pan.
- Toast over medium high heat - stirring constantly - until fragrant. Remove from heat, allow to cool.
- Transfer toasted spices to a small food processor or spice grinder, blitz until ingredients are fairly fine, but still mostly identifiable.
- Mix in remaining ingredients.
- Store in an airtight container.