Anything can benefit from a marinade whether it’s Fish, Poultry, Beef, Chicken, Wild game, you name it. The reasons for marinating are many though. Marination will build in layers of flavour, add moisture and for tougher cuts, aid in the process of tenderizing. You must keep in mind the ‘Cut’ your using to determine how far you want to go with the process. Let me explain: some marinades have natural tenderizing enzymes like Pineapple and Papaya, others have acids like vinegar and citrus. In addition, an oil (your choice) and a selection of fresh herbs and spices will add to flavour building. There are TONS of recipes out there but, as long as you have the two basics: acid (or enzyme) and an oil, you can pretty much add ANYTHING else you want to your marinade. Experiment, take notes and have fun with it!!
Remember, the thickness of the cut to be marinated determines how long it should be left in the liquid. For example: over marinating a delicate piece of fish will result in ‘cooking’ it.
Safety is a concern also: always marinate in the fridge so that any nasty bacteria has less than a fighting chance to ruin your day. And, NEVER use the left over marinade for a sauce or basting while cooking. You COULD use it for the basis for a sauce as long as it heated to kill anything harmful that may have been transferred from the raw product to the liquid but, I’m a big fan of reserving a portion of the liquid, untouched by the raw meat instead.
Home use Vacuum storage machines (I use mine ALL THE TIME) will actually ‘pull’ the marinade into the meat, and seriously cut down the amount of time needed to do the job with wonderful results.
One final thought on food safety regarding the ‘vessel’ you use to marinate your meat. I always use glass or plastic (food safe) rather than metal or pottery for marinating because, if there is lead in the vessel your using the acidic component of the liquid will, over time leach out. There are enough things out there waiting in the wings to harm us people, let’s at least control the things we can to keep us and the food we eat safe.
So there you have it, add moisture and flavour to any cut to take your meal to the next level.
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