The Weekly Cook Up: Marinades
Marinating meat is a great way to not only save time, but to inject lots of awesome flavour into a week-night meal.
This week I’m going to share with you three really awesome marinades, which can be used on chicken, beef and lamb which will have your family raving not only about the great flavours, but also the tenderness of the meat.
Marinading meat is so convenient because you can do your weekly/fortnightly or monthly shop and marinate whatever meats you wish before popping them in the freezer. Once thawed, all that is left to do is cook it, and because it will be bursting with flavour, a simple salad or side of vegies is the only accompaniement required.
Don’t know much about marinating? Well, you’ll see from the below recipes that there are generally three main ingredients in each – acid (like lemon juice), oils and seasonings (herbs, spices, salt and pepper etc). The oils and the acids help tenderise the meat and break down the fibres to allow the seasonings to penetrate their great flavour. Once you get hold of a few good marinating recipes and start to understand what flavours work – then you’ll be making up your own before you know it!
- Half a cup of olive oil
- The juice of a whole lemon
- 1 tsp of ground black pepper
- 1/2 a tsp of sea salt
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tbs of dried oregano
This marinade is great for chicken thighs or lamb chops, which can then be grilled on a hot pan or on the barbecue.
You could also spread it over a whole chicken or on maryland pieces (which is the cut with the thigh and leg bone, joined together) before roasting in a medium oven (about 180 to 200 degrees C – cooking times depend on the size of your whole bird, but marylands should take about 45 minutes).
But this is most ideal on a leg of lamb before roasting, or ask you butcher to butterfly the leg – which means he’ll remove the bone, leaving a nice flat piece of meat. Marinate it, and then cook it on the barbecue. It’s just amazing!
Spicy Asian Marinade
2cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 a red chilli, finely chopped (remove seeds to reduce spice)
- 1/2 a green chilli, finely chopped (remove seeds to reduce spice)
- 5 tbs of soy sauce
- 2 tbs of fish sauce
- 1/4 of a cup of peanut oil
- 1 tsp of sugar
- The juice of half a lime
This marinade is ideal for chicken and beef. Chicken strips can be marinated and stir-fryed with some Asian greens, or beef steaks will soak up these beautiful flavours before being cooked medium to rare on a barbecue and used in a Asian beef salad. It’s also great for meats you want to skewer and then barbecue. Beware though, it is quite spicy – so not one for the kids.
1/2 a cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
2 tbs of Moroccan spice blend/seasoning
1 tsp of lemon zest
1/2 a tsp of sea salt
1/2 a tsp of black pepper
This marinade is very versatile and is great for all cuts of chicken, is fabulous on lamb chops or back strap (cooked medium on the barbecue) or on tender cuts of beef.
Method and tips for all marinades
Combine all ingredients and whisk well. All these marinades yield enough for 1 to 1.5 kilograms of meat. The best way to marinade it to place meat in a freezer bag, add marinade and seal the bag, ensuring all the air is out. Toss, turn and massage the meat in the bag (having the bag sealed prior to doing this exercise saves your hands from getting all dirty, but ensures the meat and marinade is well combined). Ensure you use a large enough freezer bag for your quantity of meat.
Freeze for up to three months. To thaw – place the frozen meat in the fridge the night before you need it. This is the most hygienic way of thawing meat.
You can marinate the meat on the same day as you plan to use it, but the flavour won’t be as good. However, as long as the meat has at least 2 hours in the fridge, it will still be delicious.
This really is the simplest and easiest process to inject wonderful flavour. So, no more boring lamb chops or roast chickens. Inject some flavour – your family will thank you!
Any questions about marinating? Feel free to post them in the comments section below.
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Posted on April 29, 2011, in Beef, chicken, Cooking techniques, Entrees, Freezing meals, Lamb, Quick and easy, Recipes, The Weekly Cook Up and tagged Asian flavours, BBQ, Beef, Chicken, Cooking, dinner, entertaining, food, Greek, home, Inspiration, Lamb, marinades, Morrocan, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.