Tuna Steaks, Madeira-Style

Serves: 4
Total Calories: 244


4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon salt, coarse (kosher or sea)
1 tablespoon oregano leaves, dried
1 tablespoon basil leaves, dried
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 cup olive oil, extra-virgin, preferably Portuguese, or as needed
4 tuna steaks (each 6 to 8 ounces and about 1 inch thick)
8 bay leaves


1. Combine the garlic, salt, oregano, basil, and pepper in a mortar and pound to a paste with the pestle, then work in enough oil to achieve a spreading consistency, 1 to 2 tablespoons (see Note).

2. Rinse the tuna steaks under cold running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Using your fingers or a spatula, spread the spice paste on both sides of each of the steaks, then place in a baking dish just large enough to hold them flat in a single layer. Pour another 1/4 cup of the oil over the fish and turn the steaks once or twice to coat. Place a bay leaf under each steak and one on top, then cover and let marinate, in the refrigerator, for 3 to 4 hours, spooning the oil over the steaks occasionally.

3. Preheat the grill to high.

4. When ready to cook, oil the grill grate. Remove the tuna steaks from the marinade. Rinse and blot dry with paper towels, then brush on both sides with another 1 to 2 tablespoons oil. Arrange the steaks, facing in the same direction, on the hot grate and grill until cooked to taste, 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium well (the Portuguese like their tuna on the medium side of medium well), turning over carefully with a long spatula. For an attractive crosshatch of grill marks, rotate the steaks 90 degrees after the first 2 minutes on each side.

5. Transfer the steaks to serving plates or a platter and serve at once.

Serves 4

Note: If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, mash the ingredients together in a bowl using the back of a wooden spoon, or process in a mini chopper or blender, adding the oil gradually.

Nutritional Facts:

Serves: 4
Total Calories: 244
Calories from Fat: 240

This Tuna Steaks, Madeira-Style recipe is from the The Barbecue Bible Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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