Homemade Montreal Steak Spice – less expensive plus you control the salt level. A recipe for one of the most popular seasoning blends in Canada that you can easily make at home.
Montreal Steak Spice is an iconic seasoning here in Canada and has been used on backyard grilled steaks across the country for decades. Its origin comes from its namesake French Canadian city, where it is said the first versions were blends of the actual spice blend used on Montreal smoked meat, for which the city’s ancient delis are renowned.
Wikipedia credits the original follows: “The Montreal deli Schwartz’s is credited with the creation of Montreal steak seasoning. The story of its creation is 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.”
Montreal Steak Spice (or seasoning) spread across the country, and is widely available on store shelves from several national brands. As with many bottled seasonings, the cost increases dramatically once the ingredients are blended and packaged. It is a far more economical practice to make your own and, I think, far more flavourful too.
Another issue with seasonings like Montreal Steak Spice is the amount of salt used in the blend. Because salt is a cheap filler ingredient, I think the default action of brands is to use rather a lot. Look at the composition of Montreal Steak spice in one of the small bottles in the spice aisle at your supermarket and you can see that the coarse salt granules are very prevalent in the mix. In some blends I’ve seen, it looks to me that it could comprise as much as half. For me that is far too much. I also prefer a smaller grained salt in my blend.
After doing some research and looking at the composition of other recipes online (and there are a lot of them) plus a little experimenting, I came up with my own blend that I think works very well. For me the salt in this blend is adequate to season a steak well and adds a lot more flavour than the standard off-the-shelf brands.
The other thing that’s so much better about this version of Montreal Steak Spice is the cost. This is far less expensive than those small bottles in the supermarket spice aisle and even the larger economy sizes. This recipe makes enough to fill a 16 ounce mason jar as shown and using bulk store spices, cost only around 2 dollars to make! You can’t beat that for value.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be testing it on steaks, ribs, chops and even grilled chicken, so be sure to follow the action on our Facebook page to see the results as they are posted. I’ve already tested it on steaks a couple of times and are having some friends try it today. Ribs will be up next.
Like this Montreal Steak Spice recipe?
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- 3 Tbsp granulated onion
- 3 Tbsp black peppercorns
- 3 Tbsp granulated garlic
- 2 Tbsp smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
- 3 Tbsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp chili flakes (cayenne pepper flakes or red pepper flakes also work)
- 3 tbsp mustard seeds
- 2 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 3 Tbsp dill seeds
I like to grind each individual ingredient to a coarse consistency before blending them all together. This ensures that I get a uniform size.
I use a mortar and pestle but this is not completely necessary. You can use a spice grinder, blender or food processor if you like but again I recommend, doing each one individually.
Blend all of the ground spices together well and store in an airtight container like a mason jar.
This spice blend will maintain its freshness for several months. Small 4 ounce mason jars make great host/ess gifts if you're invited to summer barbecues.
I like the salt amount in this recipe but if you prefer a more heavily salted seasoning for your purposes, try increasing the salt by a Tbsp and experimenting from there.