Marinades are magical flavouring liquids used to enhance flavour and tenderize food items prior to
Marinades typically contain oil, some type of acidity (vinegar, wine or citrus), spices, and herbs. Meats, fish, and vegetables are soaked in a marinade before cooking to add flavour and tenderize the food item. The acidity component of the marinade denatures the proteins and softens the fibres of the food. Pineapple, papaya, guava, and ginger may also be used to achieve this desired effect. Once the marinade has broken down the food, the flavoured liquid enters the food item and provide moisture during cooking and protects it from drying out too quickly. Lean meats such as chicken and pork loin, really benefit from a marinade as they are more likely to dry out during the cooking process.
How Long Should You Marinate?
Than answer to this question depends on what you’re marinating. Chicken marinaded for too long in a highly acidic marinade will cause the proteins to denature too far and produce a tougher texture than desired. The same is especially true for fish and seafood. Marinate these proteins too long and you’ll end up with mush! In this case, it’s best to use milder, less acidic marinades and shorter times.
1. Use the table below to avoid mushy or tough food when marinating
2. Never marinate food item at room temperature. Cover your container containing the liquid and food item and store marinate in the fridge.
3. Never cover container with aluminum foil or hold your marinade in aluminum pots or bowls, use glass, ceramic or disposable ziplock bags. Certain metals may cause undesired reactions with your marinade
4. Never reuse your used marinade to baste the food while cooking. Save or make a little extra and use this instead.
Here’s a family favourite I grew up on (thanks mom). When marinating, I prefer to use a large freezer ziplock bag then pour the marinade over top. Carefully squeeze out as much air as possible, zip it shut, and place in a covered casserole dish in the fridge. Every few hours, I remove the dish from the fridge, move everything around in the bag and turn over the meat before placing back in the fridge.
Marinated Flank Steak
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds flank steak
In a medium bowl, mix the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, and ground black pepper. Place meat in a shallow glass dish. Pour marinade over the steak, turning meat to coat thoroughly. Cover, and refrigerate 6-10 hours.
Preheat grill to high heat.
Place steaks on the grill and discard marinade. Grill meat for 5 minutes per side or to desired doneness.
Be sure to rest meat before slicing against the grain. Let the meat rest, covered, the same length of time it was cooked. This will allow the juices inside to redistribute evenly and not bleed out, keeping your steak flavourful and juicy.
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