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.
What’s A Marinade?
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:
- Massage baking soda (approx. 1tsp per 450g meat) into your pre-sliced beef, cover in plastic and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Remove the meat from refrigeration and wash under cold water to remove all excess baking soda.
- Pat the meat dry with paper towels, and place in your marinade.
For Best Results:
- To get the most out of your marinade, select lean, thin, and small thin cuts of meat; or tender veggies like mushrooms, zucchini or eggplant. Make sure that all pieces are of equal depth to ensure even cooking.
- Marinade for no less than 2 hours. Overnight in the refrigerator will yield the greatest flavour. During this time, turn your meat in the marinade at least once.
- Score meats like flank steak to allow the marinade to penetrate through the fibres.
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!
- One 110g Pouch of Beef-Style Massel Concentrated Liquid Stock.
- Equal amount of your favourite red wine
- Empty one pouch of Beef-Style Massel Concentrated Liquid Stock into a tray
- Add the same quantity of your favourite red wine
- Place meat or tofu into the mixture ensuring it’s well covered
- Leave for 2-5 minutes depending how strong you like your marinade
- Cook as normal
- 1kg beef skirt steak, flank steak or pork tenderloin
- 2 tablespoons of Massel Beef Style Concentrate
- 1 cup Balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- Freshly ground pepper
- Mix all ingredients in a large re-sealable bag.
- Marinate in refrigerator overnight.
- Remove from fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking. This brings the meat back to room temperature and ensures even cooking.
- Grill for 2-to-4 minutes per side for medium rare, 4-to-6 minutes per side for medium. If you prefer to use a meat thermometer: rare (60°C), medium rare (63°C), medium (70°C), well done (75°C).
- Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. This ensures cooking has finished and the meat holds its juices.
*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.