Food, Recipes

Marinades improve flavour and texture


Cooks have for centuries used marinades to tenderize tough cuts of meat, or to improve the flavour of a range of ingredients.

Marinades require soaking of foods in a seasoned acidic liquid before cooking. The time depends on the type of food. A large and tough cut of beef or game requires longer marinating than shrimp or “factory-raised” chicken.

You can use wine vinegar, wine, lemon juice or enzymatic food such as ginger or even pineapple.

Marinades break down tissue, penetrate the food, and render it both tasty and tender.

Oil (extra virgin olive oil), acidic liquid, sliced onions and spices mixed in appropriate proportions constitute the basics of a good marinade.

Rubs now often used to flavour steaks, and which contain spices, are considered “dry” marinades, and often used by BBQ fanatics.

It is important to refrigerate the marinating food. Remember never to use the marinade to make a sauce.

Beef marinade
For 680 grams (1 ½ lbs) of flank steak or chuck

1/3-cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp mustard coarse grain
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 clove of garlic minced
1 tsp black pepper corns
1 ½ tsp sea salt
Mix all ingredients. Marinate for eight hours or overnight in a non-reactive container.

Chicken marinade

½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp cumin
Cayenne pepper to taste
3 Tbsp onion, sliced or diced
1 ½ cup lager beer, (must be flat)
½ cup flat leaf chopped parsley

Mix all well. Spread all over chicken. Place in a food-grade plastic or non-reactive container . Marinate for at least 8 Hour in refrigerator.

Dry rub recipe (steaks or game meat)

1 Tbsp dried juniper berries
2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried thyme, rubbed
1 tsp kosher or se salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
Mix al well. Place in a mortar and ground everything with a pestle
Rub on both sides of steak or all over the meat. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before cooking.