It’s barbecue weather, which means outdoor cooking, fresh flavours and simplistic recipes. Marinades are our go-to this time of year. With just a bunch of these, a splash of this and a dollop of that, a marinade can turn a cheaper cut of meat into a juicy showstopper.
Unlike dry rubs, the marinade is a flavoursome liquid, which infuses and tenderises meat or vegetables.
The beauty of the marinade is that there are no “correct” ingredients or soak times, meaning you can experiment your way to the perfect steak! There is, however, a bit of a science to the perfect combo. It goes a little like this:
Many marinades include an acidic element like lemon, vinegar*, soy sauce, wine, fresh kiwifruit, or apple/pineapple juice. This loosens up the meat muscle, allowing the flavors to be absorbed. Fats like olive oil aid this process by binding the marinade to the meat. Flavorings take all forms, but often include garlic, zest, ginger, chilli, cracked pepper, ground cumin, dried oregano, and fresh herbs like basil, coriander, rosemary and thyme.
Additional ingredients range from Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce and mustard, right through to jalapenos, curry powders and yoghurt – a common ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine.
Chinese restaurants are often revered for their tender beef dishes. Many use a combination of sodium bicarbonate, oil blanching and stir-frying to achieve this texture and juiciness. For a D.I.Y version:
Massel concentrated liquid stock makes an excellent marinade base. It’s gluten-free and made with premium produce and natural salt. Be sure to try out these easy marinade recipes for your next barbecue!
*Be careful not to soak your meat in a vinegar-based marinade for more than 30 minutes, as after this time, vinegar can have an adverse affect, making meat tough.